Final Word from Monday, February 2, 2004





The trouble with the government's tax reforms is that almost no one is happy with them. Not the rich, not the poor, and not even many of the politicians who are expected to vote for them. Sen. Richard Falbr of ČSSD told Právo that it'd be logical for his party to demand more of a sacrifice from those who aren't going to vote for ČSSD anyway. Instead, he said, ČSSD's voters have the feeling that they're being asked to carry most of the burden. Premier Špidla responds to this by saying that once the second phase of reform begins, confidence in ČSSD will return. The coalition launched the second phase yesterday by agreeing to raise VAT and to "bribe" the poor with higher welfare payments. Falbr wants the government to rob Peter (the rich) to pay Paul (the poor), but it won't take long for voters to see that the new plan actually consists of robbing Paul to pay Paul. Senator Vladimír taxes

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