As I’ve recounted before, France recently ousted former “right-wing” President Nicolas Sarkozy in favor of Socialist President Francois Hollande, and they elected a sizable Socialist majority into parliament along with him so he’d have no trouble implementing his Socialist agenda. Hollande has already gotten started rolling out the anti-austerity, tax-and-spend, hike-taxes-on-the-wealthy, redistribute-the-wealth measures in what is going to turn out to be a wildly ill-fated effort to boost economic growth. The hits just keep on comin’:
French lawmakers Thursday backed a series of measures abolishing tax breaks and taxing the wealthy as the new Socialist government pursued efforts to kickstart the economy with a tax-and-spend programme. …
Lawmakers later voted to back an emergency rise in the ISF wealth tax applying to taxpayers with a net worth of more than 1.3 million euros ($1.6 million) and which is expected to bring in an extra 2.3 billion euros in revenues this year.
They also approved a tightening of the inheritance tax to reduce the exemption ceiling from 159,000 euros per child to 100,000 euros, the creation of a three percent surtax on cash dividends and the doubling of a tax rate on financial transactions to 0.2 percent. …
More fiscal steps promised by Hollande, including a 75 percent tax rate on annual incomes in excess of a million euros, are expected to be introduced next year.
Hmmm… hiking taxes on the wealthy, getting rid of tax breaks, government spending… that’s sounding kind of familiar. Haven’t we been hearing something similar-sounding to France’s strategy for fixing their broken economy on this side of the Atlantic recently?
Yes, argue all you like about how “it’s not the same thing,” France’s approach is way more extreme, blah blah blah. This is about choosing a fundamental approach to solving the problems of gigantic public debt and a stagnant economy: By raising taxes on the wealthy (who already pay a disproportionately large share in taxes) in order to justify continued big-government overspending, or easing government taxes and restrictions on everybody to encourage economic activity and prosperity; growing the government so they can run around trying to fix everybody’s problems and socially engineer their worldview, or backing off and allowing everybody to fix their own problems. It looks like President Obama favors France’s horribly misguided, historically disastrous approach to fixing the economy, but remember guys — he’s not a socialist, and he has total respect for the free market.