Even friends can be merciless, party friends always. SPD leader Lars Klingbeil gave his own government a grade of three plus for its annual report. Just satisfying. Just before sufficient. Far from very good. How unfair is that?

After 364 days of toil, our government deserves a significantly better annual report: It starts with the chancellor, the paragon of the red-green-yellow integration class.

Olaf Scholz throws the proud word “Zeitenwende” around, with which he magically transforms us citizens into contemporary witnesses who are now part of something that is bigger than ourselves. He is offering 100 billion for the Bundeswehr, which his SPD wanted to starve yesterday. Respect! Scholz puts on his most beautiful statesman face. You almost want to salute.

And then? Follows exactly nothing, which in this case is the incredible genius. Not even a cartridge is ordered additionally for the army! And heavy equipment for the Ukraine – as demanded by Selenskyj and his Berlin ambassador Strack-Zimmermann – does not roll off the assembly line either. Our chancellor is more frugal than any Swabian housewife.

Olaf Scholz is – and for that he deserves the grade 1 – the debt brake that has become flesh. Maybe the turning point is precisely that you only pretend to spend money that you don’t have and in fact keep the pockets that don’t have anything closed. Rhetorical governance is a truly impressive political innovation, especially now that we’re all supposed to be conserving energy.

Our Economics Minister has also honestly earned an excellent reference. The speed with which he transformed his gas surcharge (which was supposed to cost citizens around 34 billion euros) into a gas price brake (which relieved citizens of 200 billion euros) was breathtaking.

In general, he is the David Copperfield of the Cabinet. He turns government PR into liquid gas and back again. He enchants the journalists with his nonchalance and so passionately campaigns for the shutdown of the nuclear power plants to the chancellor, until he finally pulls the plug on him. This is how political alternating current works.

All coalition partners are working together on a turnaround in mobility that really deserves the name. Because only the consistent interplay of porous bridges, half-finished motorways, never built electric charging stations and a dysfunctional railway creates the turnaround to a standstill of all traffic.

If you know which devices at home use how much electricity, you can make targeted savings. Our e-paper shows which devices consume how much electricity for all common household appliances, from ovens and stoves to refrigerators and washing machines to TVs and WLAN routers. There are also a number of instant power-saving tips.

This is the only way that the vision of a stationary society can finally become reality. In the end, the previously stressed person finds himself as a decelerated couch potato. If he now applies for the citizens’ allowance designed for him and finally resigns from his job, he will be closer than ever to his own climate neutrality. He no longer consumes CO2, only calories.

Professor Karl Lauterbach passed the school year with distinction. No one warns as virtuously as he does. He lives for and from the apocalypse. With a wild twitch of his eyes, he draws a dead straight line from the corona virus to the monkeypox to the extreme weather situation in Bangladesh and ends with the global war over water, which he inevitably sees coming. After all, we cannot live off the Russian invasion of Ukraine forever.

Speaking of life: Life with Karl is a life on the limit, but that’s how it’s wanted and desired. It is the daily irritation that stimulates us. He is the angry god who hurls his lightning right into the news. Only now we don’t have to wait for the weather report anymore.

Our defense minister should not be underestimated either in her subversive way of waging war. She wanted to arm Ukraine with 5,000 helmets without supplying the associated soldiers or weapons. The Bundeswehr as men’s outfitters. At least that way you don’t become a party to the war.

Christine Lambrecht is probably the most peaceful defense minister in the world, if only because she knows absolutely nothing about war. And don’t want to understand either. She is recognizable as a hybrid between the pacifist Antje Vollmer and Balu the bear. Try coziness.

The government is failing when it comes to digitization, say its critics. But not even that is true. On the contrary: the government, with all its solicitude, keeps at us the crazy novelties that Japan, South Korea or Silicon Valley only invented to torment us.

Life without an app and online booking is a long, calm river. In the schools live the eternal Cretaceous period. In the authorities, the form rustles nostalgically and Peter Cornelius’ music plays softly in the background: “The coffee is ready.”

Only the still young and somewhat impetuous Minister of Finance ensures that the government does not receive an A with distinction. His warning against too many debts and his constant consideration for higher earners and entrepreneurs is annoying. He still lacks the hardness to really grab the well-off citizens’ bags. But he’s still learning.

Finally, it should be commended that this government also cares about the salvation of its opponents. Legalizing cannabis is a first major step in curbing cross-cultural polarization in the country. If you don’t hallucinate these days, it’s your own fault. Or to paraphrase the comedian Wolfgang Neuss: “On German soil, a joint must never run out again.”

Gabor Steingart is one of the best-known journalists in the country. He publishes the newsletter The Pioneer Briefing. The podcast of the same name is Germany’s leading daily podcast for politics and business. Since May 2020, Steingart has been working with his editorial staff on the ship “The Pioneer One”. Before founding Media Pioneer, Steingart was, among other things, Chairman of the Management Board of the Handelsblatt Media Group. You can subscribe to his free newsletter here.

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