Corona, climate, war – the present is marked by crises. At the same time, our future is at stake. So how can we overcome the current crises and shape the future in a way that is safe and just? What’s clear is that we need to invest immediately and massively over the coming years. And the state has a decisive role to play. Through its spending and investment policy it influences economic development, safeguards social cohesion and makes our society fit for tomorrow and beyond.
But who should pay for the necessary public spending and investment? How do we finance looming present and future challenges? With the focus project “Who Pays the Bill? – For a Just Future!” we want to create a space where ideas, both old and new, to be developed and refined. It’s about how we can distribute the costs of upkeeping our common good and community life, today and tomorrow, in a generationally fair, sustainable and solidary way – in Germany as well as other countries in Europe and the rest of the world.
Creating opportunities and overcoming challenges – the state contributes to stability and justice in society by investing in infrastructure, education, digitisation, health, social housing and, let’s not forget, measures against climate change. The costs of not investing are extremely high and the consequences would endanger the prosperity of both current and future generations.
Generating the necessary revenue for the state to do its duty and generate incentives for socially and ecologically sustainable action – the state has the power to do this, among other things, with its tax system. However, the changes and challenges that have been observed for some time now require reforms of important state revenue sources in order to distribute burdens in a fair and targeted manner.
In order to invest strategically in the future and to stabilise economic development in times of crisis, the state should also resort to taking on sufficient debt in a reasonable manner. This also distinguishes a strong and capable state that actively shapes economic and social development with its financial policy.
What to do when everything becomes more expensive? This question is currently being raised against the background of significantly rising prices, especially for energy and food. A fair fiscal policy can and must counteract the current inflationary pressures as quickly, efficiently and purposefully as possible by making adjustments to various mechanisms.