German debt brake is bad economics and undermines democracy

It’s Wednesday and today I don’t comment on the US Supreme Court decision to embed criminal behaviour in the presidency (how much of a joke will the US become) or the Presidential debate, which has focused on the performance of Biden while, seemingly ignoring the serial lies told by the other contender. If these two are all that the US has to offer as the leader then what hope is there for that nation. We will shift focus today from the idiocy of the US to the idiocy of the German government and its fiscal rules. After a temporary suspension during the pandemic, the German debt brake is being applied again and reintroduces a rigidity into fiscal policy that makes it hard for the government to actually run the economy responsibly. By prioritising an arbitrary financial threshold between good and bad, the debt brake undermines the capacity of the government to address the decaying public infrastructure (also a victim of the past austerity) and meet the climate challenges ahead. Through its negative impacts on well-being in Germany, it has also generated the political space for the right-wing extremists to gain ground. Bad all round.

Read more
Back To Top