On February 16, 2012 Reuters reported:
“Monti's government issued a statement on Wednesday night saying it had informed the European Commission that it would pass a law ending the Church's exemption from local property taxes on its properties used for commercial purposes.”
What is significant to my mind is the characterization of Monti as a 'bold' leader because of his willingness to ‘take-on’ the Church. On the same day, the Financial Times commented:
“The move on the Church is a further sign that Mr Monti is ready to take on powerful lobbies in cases the pragmatic prime minister is confident of winning, with popular support.”
“Powerful Lobbies”??? How about the military and Bank-ster lobbies?
On his knees before Germany
While he is showing his gumption and courage by taking on the Church, Monti has no problem acting the role of Freddie the Freeloader on his knees pleading for a German handout.
“Mrs. Merkel, was besieged over her crisis-fighting policy last week by Italian prime minister Mario Monti (the Telegraph 6/2/12)
“Monti is desperate. Reform fatigue has breached breaking point," said a top Italian official. Unless Germany offers a road map out of this crisis, Monti is not going to be able to hold it together much longer.” (The Telegraph 6/20/12)
“Monti Begs Germany to Stabilize Interest Rates” (Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis 6/21/12)
On the Backs of Workers
I would not presume to comment on Italy’s tax laws. However, the issue of taxing Church property is not limited to Italy. The subject comes up periodically in the US.
What is often overlooked in the issue of taxing the Church is that much of the Churches 'income' comes from the donations of working class people. For example, on Sunday working class people make their weekly donation to the parish Church. If the Church then takes some of that money and pays the government taxes, the workers have in fact paid those taxes. Thus, the worker pays the government income tax. Donates a portion of his after tax income to the Church, and the Church, in turn gives a portion of that donation to the government.
In short, the worker is taxed twice.
Tax laws are complicated especially when dealing with nation accounts and international issues. The above simple illustration is only meant to conceptualize the issue of Church taxation vis-a-vis the working class.
Working class people always have to be careful that they are not being Ponzi –ed by governments de facto controlled by the rich and powerful, for the benefit of the rich and powerful.
There is no end to the ways that the elite can con workers out of their money. And the professional biography of Mario Monti documents his career as a technocrat of the rich and powerful