Looking for Germany's Mr. Fix-It

AP PHOTO / MICHAEL PROBST

ALL SMILES: Angela Merkel leaves a polling station in Berlin after casting her ballot for the German parliamentary elections on Sunday morning.

Until a month ago, Paul Kirchhof was a respected but little-known former judge and law professor in Heidelberg with strong views about the inequities of the German tax code. "We have a system that is riddled with privileges," he told Time in an interview last year, arguing that it was time to strike "a liberating blow" for the economy by replacing the country's complex tax regime with a flat tax rate of 25% on income, after the first 38,000, which would be tax free. Corporations would be treated the same way as individuals. When Angela Merkel appointed Kirchhof to her...

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