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They came to bury, César

19 October 2009

Given the wide-spread rejection of a two percent rise in IVA (the value added tax), PAN President César Nava has been whistling past the rapidly filling graveyard of dead Calderón Administration proposals when he said yesterday that

We have not yet received a formal proposal, nor received a final and formal refusal to the our proposed “two percent anti-poverty contribution” and are waiting for PRI to define their position and give us their final approval.

Nava’s comments (my translation) were posted on El Universal’s website shortly before 10 PM (Mexico City time). Just after 11 PM, the same paper  published a statement from the Secretaría de Hacienda (Treasury Department) reading (again my translation, both from Spanish and trying to tone down the bureaucratic bullshit):

After reviewing various proposals, there is no viablity to any government submitted plan to combat widespread poverty through a two percent tax rise, that the PRI will accept.

Any alternatives?  Some trouble-maker running around in rural Oaxaca is hinting at one, noting there are four hundred companies in Mexico that each have a net profit of at least five billion pesos a year, but collectively paid only paid 80 billion in taxes, when “under a normal system, they should have paid 800 billion.  Tax evasion on this magnitude is a privilege reserved for the wealthy in Mexico.

As with other Calderón Administration “take it or leave it” proposals, the two-percent tax hike (weirdly, and, perhaps Orwellianly (if that’s a real word), described as an anti-poverty tax, has led the opposition to says “no thanks”.  With Calderón’s party in a minority (and rejected more and more, as in Sunday’s PRI sweep in Coahuila state and municipal elections), and the PRI both needing the leftist parties to pass legislation as well as needing to brand itself as a true alternative to PAN (and not, as the left likes to sneer, just part of a larger PRIAN neo-liberal front that still follows the conservative Washington tune), radical solutions like higher corporate taxes and a “normal system” are likely to get a second look.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 19 October 2009 11:14 am

    Typo in this?
    five billion pesos a year, and only paid 80 billion in taxes, when “under a normal system, they should have paid 800 billion.

  2. Bear permalink
    19 October 2009 1:40 pm

    Maybe he is worried about that hurricane after all.

    • 19 October 2009 2:03 pm

      Nah, just more like asleep at the switch. The changes in bold face should make it a little clearer what he was saying.

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