Joint plea for a supply-side fiscal policy (FAZ)

In a joint guest article in the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung", Prof. Lars P. Feld, Prof. Christoph Schmidt and Prof. Volker Wieland analyze the current economic situation and point out which economic policy measures are appropriate in their view. For the three former members of the German Council of Economic Experts, the "decisive fight against inflation" comes first and foremost.

Fiscal policy faces a delicate balancing act in this situation, the economists warn. Fiscal policy measures can only provide selective relief "where certain sections of the population cannot cope with the sharp price rises, for example in energy". Moreover, a sensible fiscal policy is supply-oriented, that is, it aims to increase the overall economic supply of products and services.

"Fiscal policy must ensure that it looks worthwhile to work, invest and take risks in Germany," warn Feld, Schmidt and Wieland. Above all, they say, tax policy is needed here. In view of the comparatively high tax burden in Germany, they see the discussion about tax increases as the wrong approach and point to the negative performance and investment incentives of tax increases. A strict time limit on tax increases, as proposed by the current members of the Council of Economic Experts, is "not time-consistent and thus implausible," as the example of the solidarity surcharge shows. "Trying to compensate for the lack of targeted aid with higher taxes, for example to correct a distributional imbalance, can nevertheless not be a solution that can be taken seriously," the economists warn.

Instead, they advocate the introduction of a super depreciation plus investment premium for investments in climate protection and digitization. This measure, agreed in the coalition agreement, would lower the effective tax burden. According to Feld, Schmidt and Wieland, government investment in infrastructure - energy, transport, digitization and spending on basic research and education - is also an essential upfront contribution to private investment, which is now needed more urgently than ever.

FAZ: Angebotsorientierte Finanzpolitik als Gebot der Stunde