Brazil’s leaders want cuts for others but privileges for themselves
Brazil’s economy is sick, 13 million people are unemployed, states face difficulties to pay police officers and teachers. But for some powerful the situation is different: civil servants in the judicial branch got a 41% raise; State of São Paulo legislators increased their own salaries by more than 26% and Congress, which is votting to cut pension benefits for all Brazilians, allows its members to retire with lifelong pensions after just two years in office,says Simon Romero in the New York Times.
Top officers don’t treat public money as they treat their own. President Temer, for example, doesn’t blush when spending lots of moneyto host “a lavish ta xpayer-funded banquet to persuade members of Congress to support their budget cuts, with 300 guests eating shrimp and filet mignon”.
In short, Mr. Temer’s austerity measures are igniting a fierce debate over how the richest and most powerful Brazilians are protecting their wealth and privileges at a time when much of the country is enduring a harrowing economic decline.