The Brazilian scene – XVI

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By BENÍCIO VIERO SCHMIDT*

Comments on recent events.

The CPI of the Federal Senate on the pandemic takes on, at this moment, a more dramatic and decisive aspect in the face of the possibilities of institutional destabilization, whether within the scope of the federal government, or within the scope of the decision-making system responsible for public health, especially with regard to the administration of vaccines for the population.

A huge network of interests, with the participation of several actors – inside and outside the government, but very active in the functioning of the system set up by Bolsonarism – has been gradually revealed to public opinion. In fact, there was no lack of available vaccines, but there was a lack of time for negotiations that would serve the various interest groups in the supply of the vaccines themselves.

In addition to the usual lobbyists in Brasilia's daily life, always alert to the possibility of selling goods and services to the State, attention is drawn to the active presence of military and evangelical advisors in the decision-making process on purchases and administration of vaccines from abroad. The presence of close to seven thousand military personnel – reserve and active – in the federal government structure, finally becomes visible in its most deleterious aspects and marking new dimensions of the national heritage heritage, which assumes as private and familiar what is public.

Regrettable repetition of a Brazilian historical phenomenon, assuming new features at every moment of our conjuncture. Religious, family and group ties that are solidified by the way the system of political representation in our country is organized and behaves.

Once again, the State is captured by these particularist forces that feed a political system where the fundamental thing is its continuity, by any mechanism as long as it is not caught as a deviation or a crime by peers and by the limping Justice. It is expected that the CPI will continue with the clarifications and due investigation of the respective responsibilities.

Bolsonaro’s impeachment request, forwarded by representatives of civil society and party organizations to the National Congress, consolidating the approximately one hundred requests already made, composes the adverse picture for the Presidency of the Republic. The combination of pressures, between the request for impeachment and the work of clarifying the CPI, could result in the interruption of the presidential mandate; although today this seems unlikely.

The Tax Reform, whose sliced ​​project was presented by Minister Paulo Guedes to the President of the National Congress, Deputy Arthur Lira, contains changes in the tax exemption range, in the possibility of a simplified IRPF declaration and measures that will tax companies' profits and dividends, from of R$ 20 thousand per month. Other measures, such as the IRPJ increase, are in their initial stages; in fact, more a consultation with pressure groups installed in the National Congress and business corporations, than a firm and convinced decision by the government.

It is worth highlighting, in the sphere of political representation, the manifestation of 11 parties against the printed vote for the next elections, despite the favorable vote of the committee's rapporteur in the Chamber of Deputies.

Finally, it should be noted that Minister Alexandre Moraes decided to carry out an investigation into a digital criminal organization that threatens democracy, even involving family members of the President of the Republic.

*Benicio Viero Schmidt is a retired professor of sociology at UnB and a consultant for Empower Consult. Author, among other books, of The State and urban policy in Brazil (LP&M).

 

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