The opposition leader should first ensure clear strategies within his own ranks. Opinions on the debt brake are divided in the Union.

Habeck and Scholz whisper as Merz speaks in the Bundestag

Apparently he is not very interested in what opposition leader Merz has to say: Habeck and Scholz in the Bundestag Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi/ap

Karl Marx would no doubt have been delighted to analyze the Union faction's letter to Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Many of the measures that Friedrich Merz and Alexander Dobrindt propose as an immediate program for the economy have the main objective of making labor as cheap as possible for companies. The goal is to make the economy more competitive again by limiting social security contributions to 40 percent of gross wages and giving tax advantages to overtime.

On top of that, there should be a tax cut and a reduction in bureaucracy. The Union takes advantage of the fact that the Minister of the Economy, Robert Habeck, and the Minister of Finance, Christian Lindner, have opened the debate on tax cuts for companies. But the letter to Scholz is not an offer to talk. That's why Merz can do without giving suggestions on how he wants to finance his measures.

Rather, his immediate program is an early electoral program, with which Merz wants to show how he would prefer to reshape Germany in a neoliberal way if he were in power after the next federal election. It is a pity for the CDU leader that not all members of his party fully share his views on economic policy.

Almost at the same time as the letter to Scholz, the Prime Minister of Saxony-Anhalt, Reiner Haseloff, asked… Handelsblatt the renewed suspension of the debt brake. The CDU man dismissed the call for tax cuts with the following phrase: “What good is it for me to reduce corporate taxes if the nitrogen plant in Wittenberg or other companies have to fundamentally question Germany as a place?”

Merz's immediate program would do more harm than good to the economy. Because what is good for each company and its owner does not necessarily have to be beneficial for the entire economy. Because the employees also belong to it. And they would certainly suffer from the measures. This is why Merz should never have the chance to become chancellor.