I have known Miguel Sebastián for more than two decades and although I have not seen him for a long time, I have enormous appreciation for him. He was part of the Editorial Board of Expansión and Actualidad Económica when I was his vice president. Always I was surprised by his educational backgroundhis intellectual itch, his love of discussion and open debate and his penchant for shocking the audience, which is characteristic of those who are above average and who cannot resist the temptation to exploit their delicious superiority.
In my modest opinion, Sebastian only has one capital sin that I know of, and it is not a minor one: he is an unrepentant socialist. A profound defender of competition and the free market, he still firmly believes in that stupid phrase that Indalecio Prieto invented on his day. “I am a socialist by force of liberal”, said the illustrious without stopping to think that both terms are incompatible: socialism is the antithesis of liberalism. The former is genuinely statist, imposing, autocratic, while the liberal worships human spontaneity, a genuine virtue of his own nature, and from which the ability to create wealth is invariably born. So the liberal is the one who drives the wealth and prosperity that the socialists are ineluctably responsible for destroying as soon as they have the opportunity to reach government.
The fact is that Sebastián arrived at the time to the government of the nation signed by Zapatero, initially in charge of the Moncloa Budget Office, which was a very important place. And from there, dominated by his indomitable impulse, not at all accommodating, and presided over by his desire for greater social justice, he vigorously promoted and managed to convince the president of a measure apparently opposed to the postulates of traditional socialism: eliminate the Wealth Tax .
He managed to persuade the ineffable Zapatero, yes, the same one who advises and charges the dictator Maduro and all the South American tyrants, that no real rich pays such a tax, because they have their capital protected in companies; that said tax basically punishes the middle classes and that, in addition to its low tax-raising potential, it only causes economic distortions: it redirects domestic investors to less hostile destinations and is a clear obstacle to the arrival of capital from abroad, which they are the ones that in the medium term raise the country’s productivity, foster innovation and improve the international competitiveness of nations.
To a person like Sebastián, who is a quicksilver, a lover of academic disputes and a person called by nature to make an apostolate of his convictions, the collective hysteria in which his PSOE of the soul and the Government with the president Sánchez at the head for the decision of the Andalusian Government to abolish the Wealth Tax it causes the closest thing to a herpes. And let’s not even mention this last-minute decision to impromptuly introduce a tax on large fortunes that, as explained in OKDIARIO, had to be eliminated by Macron in France due to the flight of the country’s main assets.
Never has a decision of the Junta de Andalucía, apart from the abominable embezzlement of the EREs during the disastrous socialist era, been so crucial as to determine the political decisions of a state. This visceral and uncontrolled reaction it only shows the insurmountable nervousness of Sánchez in the face of Feijóo’s prominent advances in the polls and only predicts increasingly insane future measures to plunge the knife into that sterile and completely anachronistic debate between the rich and the poor; in that delusional return to the old class struggle that has been definitively overcome by public opinion. As Sebastian has rightly said in OKDIARIO, most people believe that this tax is unfair, and no one is going to be able to convince them otherwise. Spot.
This kind of rational considerations should be, in effect, an end point in the unbridled race to increase the fiscal punishment of the Spaniards, who are the third parties that pay the most taxes in Europe relative to their per capita income. But what’s up?
The Government has taken out all its media artillery, the addicted televisions -which are the ones with the most audience- and the flagship Prisa to denounce the outrage of lack of solidarity, bad practices and fiscal irresponsibility of the right. They have dusted off the usual stale and absurd arguments. Starting with Madrid, that concave mirror that Sánchez cannot stand when he puts on his skinny pants and straightens his hair in the morning, highlighting the white lock that peeks out at the end of his bangs.
They assure that if Madrid, whose steps are being followed by the rest of the PP communities, is successful It is due to the effect of the capitald. Or because of the business exodus caused by the political instability of Catalonia and, hold on, because «the deterioration of public goods and services -in which these idiots believe- is only perceptible in the long term. “No one will benefit from a tax war between communities,” they say; “They will all lose because they will have problems financing public services.”
If it weren’t for the fact that I still retain a certain air of kindness from my upbringing in religious colleges and universities, I’d say that these people spouting such a flurry of frivolity are completely stoned. Being the capital of a state does not guarantee higher levels of income per capitaas shown by the cases of New York or Los Angeles in the United States, or Cologne and Hamburg in Germany.
Madrid has been the capital of the Kingdom and of the court since 1561. But its quantitative and qualitative leap is very recent. In the 80s of the last century, the economy of Catalonia accounted for 19% of GDP and Madrid 14%. Now, Catalonia is still stuck at that figure but Madrid represents 19.3% of the national GDP. And let me make an essential clarification for the gang of parrots who repeat the argument of La Moncloa: during the first twelve years of Madrid’s existence as an autonomous community, in which it was governed by the Socialist Party, in half of them grew below the national average and in all of them below Catalonia.
The conclusion is obvious: Madrid is the most thriving community and prosperous not because the capital of the State resides there, nor because it is home to the headquarters of the main companies -whose taxes end up in the coffers of the State- nor even because they have received the migration of large taxpayers, which is not supported by the data, but for more elementary reasons. The first is that socialism and its recipes impoverish where they are practiced, as evidenced by empirical evidence. The second is that socialism detests competition, which is the only instrument invented by nature to awaken the best of the human soul.
The third is that with lower taxes economic activity progresses rapidly and more income is obtained, as reflected by the fact that the tax pressure in Madrid is the highest in the nation because its GDP -which is how this relationship is measured- is much higher, or that when taxes are lowered, the percentage contribution of the rich to the total income and also higher the contribution of autonomy to the solidarity fund of all the regions.
Finally, there is a profound anti-democratic bias in the Sánchez government’s disoriented attempts to combat the tax cuts practiced by the right or the suppression or reduction of the Wealth Tax. Those who have so decided have simply used their constitutional powers. It will be the citizens who, through their vote, ultimately assess what their preferences are and with which policies they feel more identified. And the dandruff left has no doubt that they will do so based on the quality of the services and public benefits they receive, which in Madrid is extraordinary and will also be so in Andalusia, Galicia, Castilla y León or Murcia if they persevere in reducing the fiscal effort of its inhabitants to promote greater economic growth, a more thorough search for happiness and an environment presided over by freedom. Don’t we really think the same, dear Miguel Sebastián?