Analysis

The Breeder

The king announced his biomass-boosting program surrounded by hand-picked loyalists and paranoid security. The program will cost 700 billion, ties the recipients down, but gypsies need not apply. Meanwhile,  oligarchs can breathe a sigh of relief from any taxes they still might be paying.

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This is how a popular, beloved leader gives one of his rare speeches. The entire building cordoned off, a continuous line of buses parked behind the cordon, the building conveniently located beneath his own palace, approached by secure elevator only he can use, in front of hand-picked audience that was previously ran through every security protocol ever invented. Photo: Facebook

King Orbán sat back on his throne after he gave himself his third toxic supermajority in April 2018 and announced what he called “demographic governance” – a hint of orgasm still in his voice. In other words he will get down to breeding us now.

The last couple of weeks in Orbán’s media have been spent with the most distasteful breeding brainstorming by various state-financed talking heads, creating predictable outrage and breathless panic in those who still dare to hate him. And on Sunday, the king himself used his annual state of the realm speech to drop the concrete details of his breeding program that would hopefully jump start our reproductive organs and make the baby factory buzz into action.

As expected, Orbán’s seven points were saturated in the perennial Hungarian tradition of leaving gypsies out of any benefits. But the Orbán-government is also famous for cutting off the poor from any state aid. It means loans and tax cuts instead of direct benefits – but before my confused conservative readers get carried away, please note that IRL, loans will be cancelled when it fits the rulers – and will thus be used later as a reward/punishment mechanism to enforce loyalty. They will be canceled for some, used as whip on others. Please don’t be simplistic and clap like a baby seal just because someone throws around the words “tax cut”. Even massive handouts can be called tax cuts to appease certain groups.

Orbán’s family-protection plan in 7 stomach-turning points:

1 . The wife-debt: Every under-40 woman can get a 30 thousand euro loan if newly married. Cancel the debt after 3 kids are produced. 

UPDATE: The government’s state secretary dedicated to breeding has clarified: Only children born from now on count in the 3 necessary children to cancel the wife-debt. Existing children are on you. Also, this is not for struggling or poor women because credit check by banks is required. 

1st marriage only – cue hypocritical eye-rolling.

Debt assigned to women (not couples) to reduce the number of divorces that are initiated by women. Men can get away from the debt at any point. Their second wives can take out a new one.

I imagine it took this government a lot of hand-wringing to allow under-40s in and not kick them in the uterus. They would much rather punish reproductive underachievers – and since reproduction is only done by women, they would happily legislate punishments for childless females. But they had to swallow the bile they wanted to spit at them even though they have wasted their twenties and thirties without getting down to their one, true function. It may however be too late, as a particularly large age cohort (grandchildren of the victims of a violent communist abortion ban in the 50s) are now in their 40s and missed out on birthing in their 30s because their 30s happened to fall on the financial crisis.

Here is the nasty part. This loan-handout is only for women, not their owners. Men can’t get it. And if the women stop at one child, they have to pay it back. With 3 years of accrued interest for one child and 6 years for two. If they divorce, they have to pay it back. As single parents.

If they want the debt canceled, they have to push through 3 offspring – after which they are in no position to make demands, divorce or have a life. They are out of the job market, exposed to their owners for money, saddled by three children that are hopefully at least not unwanted. But don’t be naive, state-incentivized children often are.

By not assigning the loan to men, the government made sure to force women to think again that divorce rate – over 70% of which is initiated by women. (Not because they can get rich through divorce, that’s not the case in the Hungarian system.) Men can walkaway from marriages after one child – leaving the wife with a loan to repay.

There’s no free money, but this gift sounds to be extraordinarily expensive. We don’t know what the loans will be allowed to be spent on. If it’s diapers, god save the poor souls because diaper usage rarely brings in enough revenue growth to help repay the loans. Multitudes may end up churning out one more unwanted child they can’t afford just to get the loan shark off their backs.

2. Orbán promised to increase the loans available in the tasteful and well-executed (no) loans-for-babies program

They will most certainly need to take out more loans than originally promised as house prices have kept skyrocketing ever since that announcement. The day after the announcement the promised loan barely covered the price increase it triggered – and then there were zillions of conditions for the applicants. Read about it here.

3. A few thousand euros will be canceled off the mortgages of families after each baby.

The biggest relief is promised after the third new subject is born for the king (hint-hint). It’s an old program though.

4. Lifelong exemption from personal income tax for women who birth more than 4 new Hungarians. 

UPDATE: The state secretary dedicated to breeding has clarified: Only children born from now on count in the 4 necessary children to get income tax exemption for their mothers. Existing children are on you. 

This is a trademark Orbán move. It is not really woman-friendly, as it requires the recipient to basically reduce her life choices to zero – before trying to take advantage of a tax cut that only benefits breadwinners. It had also been picked up in the international media, naturally out of context and without the crucial caveats in the headlines.

Also note that it is sex discrimination. No one even assumes that a man would ever want to have anything to do with parenting or that a woman might be breadwinner. In fact, autocratic countries are unique in the sense that only women have children here. Men have nothing to do with the shitty little bastards. So much so that they fail to even protests this discrimination – lest they would end up being obliged to parent.

Average families with 4 kids are not famous for having a bread-winning or even a decent earner wife. A mother-of-four may sell her crocheting on Etsy or work part time making coffee for the deputy project assistant, but her tax exemption would not make much difference – a lower income tax threshold would take care of them but that would also benefit men.

There were 29 thousand families of marriage with 4 children in Hungary in 2016, they can benefit from the cut. (Although, these are not high earner wives by any standard.) The 12 thousand registered partners, 8 thousand single or widowed women and the 725 single fathers who also raise at least four children – they can suck it.

There is, however, a demographic that produces more than 3 children on average, from the same marriage, and that demographic is Fidesz MPs. Their wives can now front for their husbands legally, like there’s no tomorrow – because please forget that they are actual earners. Firstly, a disturbing number of these turn out to be wildly abusing marriages -but there are no consequences, not even political ones for that. (If anything, a Fidesz MP solidifies his position if his wife keeps tripping over the blind dog, repeatedly giving herself brain injuries. But these women are also already used as obvious fronts for soaking in public funds.

Just think about the minister’s 84-year-old mom who suddenly found it in herself to try her luck in business for the first time, bought a pig farm for a fortune, then won an even bigger fortune of EU money (lucky indeed), then repeated the same luck this year dabbling in other industries. That’s the kind of woman who will now get lifelong tax exemption.

Wealth declarations have long been a joke and consequences only befall the non-Fidesz, but it looks like they prefer to legalize every last bit of theft. (The big ones are already offshore.) Now every douche who knocks up his wife four times can steal as much money as he wants, tax free. And not even the woman will run away with it because, you know, four kids…

The move doesn’t apply to adopted kids because of course it wouldn’t. Those are already out and there is no parent to sweet-talk into producing more. The human trafficking, sex work and the illegal organ trade market will surely soak them up, who cares. Certainly not the holy christian democrats.

Next page…

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