German Election: Why Merkel's Tax-Cut Pledge Is a Hard Sell

German voters who love their state benefits are skeptical of pledges to cut taxes that could reduce those services

In the U.S., promising to cut taxes is usually a pretty good way to get elected. In Germany, politicians promising to ease the tax burden more often encounter suspicion bordering on hostility. This quirk of German politics helps explain why Chancellor Angela Merkel could have trouble assembling enough votes in Sept. 27 elections to form a center-right coalition.

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