The Brazilian scene – XVII

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By BENÍCIO VIERO SCHMIDT*

Comments on recent events

The current situation remains fundamentally marked by events within the scope of the CPI on COVID in the Federal Senate. From there emerges a complicated web of interests, putting the military, evangelical pastors and commissioners of the federal government side by side, which has determined the postponement of the purchase of vaccines in favor of gaining time for suspected commercial intermediations with a significant increase in prices from international companies.

In this sense, the president of the CPI, in a rare burst of civic courage, denounced the “rotten side” of the Armed Forces; provoking an immediate reaction from the ministers of the military area and which had the support of the president of the republic.

This framework affects the morality assumed as the guiding principle of Bolsonarist propaganda. To this are added new revelations about obtaining the “cracks” by the presidential family, placing Jair Bolsonaro himself at the center. Facts that will be added to the critical environment affecting the conduct of the presidency of the republic; being able to be brought to the current CPI of the Senate, or even to feed the creation of a new commission with a specific purpose.

The tax reform presented by Paulo Guedes has been severely criticized by specialists, such as Everardo Maciel, who classify it as “the worst possible”, as it increases the tax burden of companies and many individuals, making the tax system even more complex than it already is. , in addition to erecting obstacles to the real estate sector and the provision of services. The timing of the project launch, in the middle of the pandemic, would also be a problem to be considered due to its inherent opportunity. Also noteworthy is the lack of support for companies damaged by the pandemic and vulnerable people.

Entrepreneurs are already rapidly composing pressure groups with a view to negotiating lower levels for corporate income tax, as well as opposing the collection of profits and dividends from business activities. We are at the beginning of a bloody tax battle, and many new developments could emerge.

The succession picture is becoming clearer as a result of the release of electoral polls in recent days. In several sources, Lula leads the simulated election, both in a first round, as well as in the imagined second round against other potential candidates. Lula has also managed to lower his rejection; with only 36% of voters stating that they would not vote for him under any circumstances (PoderData, July 5-7, 2021). A drop of 12 percentage points over the previous survey.

Perhaps due to this dramatic situation for the government hosts are due to the eschatological manifestations of the president of the republic, in recent days. Interestingly, Patriota, the party that will presumably host his candidacy for re-election, is opposed to his joining under the conditions of total control of the party, as Bolsonaro intends.

Finally, it should be noted that Senator Alexandre Vieira (Cidadania-SE) effectively presented (July 5, 2021) a request to create a CPI on the practice of “rachadinha” against the performance of Jair Bolsonaro as a federal deputy (1991-2018). One more ingredient to feed the situation: because, even if it is not installed, it retains a function of denouncing illegal practices committed by Bolsonaro with his advisors.

*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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