Between Lula and Tarcísio, who should practice fiscal irresponsibility? Show – 05/16/2023

The governor of São Paulo, Tarcísio de Freitas (Republicans), sent a project to the Legislative Assembly that, if carried out, will test not only his ability to approve exoticisms in the House, but also the temperature of shame on the faces of the Brazilian press. If not all of it, at least that of its ancient editorialists. “Hey, Reinaldo, how is that?”

I explain.

At a seminar by Grupo Esfera Brasil, this Monday, the 15th, Tarcísio defended a proposal already sent to the Assembly that consists of selling State assets to pay for the salary adjustment of civil and military police officers.

“How? If I’m against the raise?” No. But let’s see.

Ironizing Louis Napoleon, Karl Marx wrote in “The 18 Brumaire”:
“Being a fatalist, he guided his life by the conviction that there are certain superior powers which the human being, and especially the soldier, cannot resist. Among these powers are, above all, cigars and champagne, the meat of cold poultry and sausage with garlic”.

The Brazilian leader who has nothing to say to the business community can behave like the fatalist in the paragraph above. But replace “cigars and champagne” with “sale of public assets”, “chilled poultry” with “cost cutting” and “garlic sausage” with “lean state”. It works every time. Even if I have nothing else to say.

Subsidies and exemptions must, obviously and out of delicacy, be discussed at another time. Our fatalists have their limits.

Undaunted, Tarcísio continued:
“This increase represents, for us, a great effort. Where are we going to get money for this? Downsizing the machine. We are going to sell assets, we are going to demobilize real estate assets. So that the State of São Paulo needs to have 56 properties in the center of São Paulo? Why does the State of São Paulo need to own 35,000 hectares of land? This heritage, we are going to undo, start to demobilize”.

There I read in the report of the Estadão:
“As Estadão showed, the police readjustment should have a fiscal impact of BRL 12.5 billion, spread over three years. It will be BRL 2.5 billion this year, BRL 5 billion in 2024 and another BRL 5 billion in 2025 – in 2026, the government plans to review the salary policy for the category”.

5… 4… 3… 2… 1. Zero! Look for furious columnists with the thesis and you won’t find it. Furious? I? Not exactly. Maybe a little startled. Am I wrong, or is the governor of São Paulo, obviously, creating a permanent increase in expenses, which will be offset by extraordinary revenues resulting from the sale of assets? And then? Well, that will be seen later.

But, lo and behold: since he talks about the sale of property, even if it is to spend the money on funding, the second part is ignored in the name of those fatalisms. Louis Napoleon’s soldiers liked garlic sausages, and our editorialists like the sale of public property.

This is the great alternative that the right wing and some so-called liberals who are afraid to say the name of what they practice (they are really reactionary) imagine for 2026.

Whoever succeeds Tarcísio in the government of São Paulo in 2027 or 2031 may also want to benefit some other category in particular. Let’s keep an eye on the state’s heritage…

I’m going to make a suggestion to Tarcísio here: since he wants to privatize Sabesp, why doesn’t he promise to put the money in teachers’ salaries, for example? Why is his weapon still chalk when it should be tablets? When there is nothing left to sell, and the readjustments continue to be necessary, I suggest that the government in turn start selling the bricks for the Palácio dos Bandeirantes, if it has resisted, or for the building, whatever it may be, that will house the seat of government.

One of the reasons that explain our clumsy, incompetent and backward elites is the complacency of the press with their blunders. Lula is being beaten by some intellectual and moral delinquents because he wants to preserve, in the fiscal framework, the real readjustment of the minimum. But it is very likely — and this is being applauded — that the non-adjustment of servers will be one of the obstacles in the new text if the desideratum of keeping expenditure growth within the limit of 70% of the growth in revenue is not fulfilled, respecting the floor of 0.6% and a ceiling of 2.5% above inflation.

Crashes on servers? Ah, our fatalists salivate with satisfaction, as if they were soldiers consuming cigars and champagne.

Agree: selling assets only makes sense under two circumstances. Either the resources go to investments or serve to reduce debts. And point. I find it astonishing that a governor claims that he is going to get rid of public assets to spend the money on funding and that this is considered normal, like someone saying “today is Tuesday”. And I don’t care, under these conditions, which category is having their salary readjusted.

That’s something, is not it? The fiscal framework of the “leftist” Lula takes extraordinary revenues out of the accounts to calculate the increase in expenses. The model of the “liberal” Tarcísio relies on the sale of assets — which is extraordinary income — to meet a permanent expense proposed by him.

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