Comment: Lindner has to combine the new debts with clear expenses – otherwise he is threatened with embarrassment in Karlsruhe

FDP Chief Christian Lindner

The Union criticizes the new federal finance minister’s 60 billion euro supplementary budget.

(Photo: dpa)

What did the FDP scream in the previous year. In the summer of 2020, the grand coalition came up with the idea of ​​replenishing a climate fund in the federal budget with 26 billion euros in corona debt. The Liberals thought it was a scandal. At least back then.

The former parliamentary deputy Christian Dürr dictated the following sentences to the “Tagesspiegel” in the block: “Olaf Scholz fills up his election campaign fund.” And: “We have considerable constitutional concerns about the supplementary budget.”

A year and a half later, the FDP is itself part of a government and its view of the world is different. Principles are now being replaced by coalition constraints. Now the FDP is filling its own war coffers, much more than Scholz at the time.

This time it is 60 billion euros, at least by which the climate fund is replenished with unused debts. In other words: the liberal finance minister Christian Lindner has twice as violent a debt policy as the once social democratic finance minister Scholz.

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Lindner defended the 180-degree turn in the Bundestag on Thursday. Investments are still necessary, and contrary to what the CDU suggested in the person of Helge Braun, the FDP does not want to shake the debt brake. And because you don’t want to do anything with the reserve, but rather to mitigate the consequences of the corona crisis, the step is also not unconstitutional.

Lindner has to add more

If Lindner is not mistaken. Because two things should be noted about his statements. First, Braun’s proposal was more honest because it was constitutional. Because the former head of the Chancellery was proposing to change the constitution instead of circumventing it in a tricky way like the traffic lights.

Second, Lindner must quickly prove that the reserve is actually intended for combating corona, and not for any pretty traffic light projects. The finance minister must therefore step up. Nice words alone are not enough.

Lindner has to provide the 60 billion euros with specific spending plans, and that as soon as possible. It will be a huge task, because he has to coordinate with all other departments as well as the SPD and the Greens. But what would the alternative be?

The alternative would be that the Union might have success with its complaint before the Federal Constitutional Court against the accumulation of reserves. The traffic light would be an essential foundation of their policy, namely the huge reserve, pulled away from under their feet. You would be duped right at the beginning. And with her, above all, the new finance minister.

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