France: Er, we are thoroughly committed to this 75% tax-on-the-rich thing. Sort of.

posted at 6:41 pm on September 7, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

“So, President Hollande: Now that the stark realities of actually implementing a 75 percent marginal tax rate on incomes above €1m a year, which you used as an overtly populist ploy to get yourself elected as the leader of the French Socialist party, are coming home to roost, what are your government’s intentions? Do you plan to stick with your promise even if it means driving every last millionaire from your shores, or convolute it with a bunch of loopholes to convince the wealth creators to stick around?”

“…Yes.”

Oof. From the Financial Times:

President François Hollande’s socialist government was facing mounting questions on Thursday night over whether it was preparing to back down on its controversial 75 per cent marginal tax rate for the rich.

Responding to reports that the rate would be reduced to 67 per cent, that all non-salary income would be exempt and couples would only be exposed on joint income above €2m, officials said no decisions had yet been made on how the tax would be levied. …

But the government is determined to find a face-saving way of formally retaining the 75 per cent headline figure. “The 75 per cent rate will be applied,” said one official.

French business leaders have stepped up the pressure in recent weeks on Mr Hollande to limit the tax, fearing an exodus of top earners and a drought of foreign investors and managers willing to come to France.

Oh, but for the many dilemmas of actually converting rhetorical socialist dogma into action — what to do, what to do. Mr. Hollande’s promise to soak the rich was one of the more popular rallying cries of his campaign last spring, but seeing as how it’s a policy that any serious person can realize is obviously doomed to fail right from the get-go, he’s in a bit of pickle, and the government has to announce its decision before the 2013 budget is due in two weeks. But please, while the rest of the eurozone’s economies go into a downward spiral as a result of all of their spending-happy central planning, by all means double down on your free-enterprise-suppressing policies. I’m sure that this time, they’ll work.


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Oh great! The french will start pouring over here to avoid taxes.

TroubledMonkey on September 7, 2012 at 6:46 PM

Clearly we need one-world government to stop people from evading taxes by moving. Can’t have that.

Charlemagne on September 7, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Come on France- DO IT!

Chuck Schick on September 7, 2012 at 6:47 PM

When soaking the rich eventually produces no more rich … what happens then?

darwin on September 7, 2012 at 6:47 PM

When soaking the rich eventually produces no more rich … what happens then?

darwin on September 7, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Utopia!

Charlemagne on September 7, 2012 at 6:48 PM

Simple answer: Stop people from leaving.

Welcome to the NWO, comrades, you will work and you will pay and there are no other choices.

Bishop on September 7, 2012 at 6:48 PM

I’m reminded of a Jimmy Neutron episode in which all of the parents disappear and the kids go wild, until they realize that they can’t produce any goods or services.

Baerwulf on September 7, 2012 at 6:49 PM

So, in two weeks we are guaranteed a good show? Great!

Blake on September 7, 2012 at 6:52 PM

à un certain point que vous avez fait assez d’argent

t8stlikchkn on September 7, 2012 at 6:52 PM

When soaking the rich eventually produces no more rich … what happens then?

darwin on September 7, 2012 at 6:47 PM

redefine rich. easy.

t8stlikchkn on September 7, 2012 at 6:53 PM

Cmon, just do it France. Why do you hate poor people?

MikeknaJ on September 7, 2012 at 6:54 PM

C’est un pour vous, dix-neuf pour moi.

Christien on September 7, 2012 at 6:57 PM

Oh great! The french will start pouring over here to avoid taxes.

TroubledMonkey on September 7, 2012 at 6:46 PM

Fine by me. I dealt with some rich Frenchmen here in the states, and they love to spend their money and enjoy life.

The opposite of many Chinese and Indians I met. They save their money for their grandson’s grandson.

V-rod on September 7, 2012 at 6:58 PM

and the government has to announce its decision before the 2013 budget is due in two weeks

Maybe King Obama can call Mr Hollande and tell him he doesn’t need no stinking budget.

JPeterman on September 7, 2012 at 6:58 PM

C’est un pour vous, dix-neuf pour moi.

Christien on September 7, 2012 at 6:57 PM

I had that last night with a nice Chianti.

I love Romanian food.

Bishop on September 7, 2012 at 7:01 PM

budgets. so demode.

t8stlikchkn on September 7, 2012 at 7:02 PM

that all non-salary income would be exempt

Well, there you go. That’s their out. All the millionaires will have salaries well below the trigger figure and most of their money will be funneled to them in other ways.

ButterflyDragon on September 7, 2012 at 7:04 PM

Simple solution: just put the rich in prison so they can’t leave. Then you can tax them at 100% and all your economic problems will be solved!

cirrus on September 7, 2012 at 7:10 PM

à un certain point que vous avez fait assez d’argent

t8stlikchkn on September 7, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Ce n’est pas vrai. Les Hommes essayer toujours.

KW64 on September 7, 2012 at 7:10 PM

Bishop on September 7, 2012 at 7:01 PM

I said dix-neuf, not soixante-neuf. Still, congrats to you and Chianti!

Christien on September 7, 2012 at 7:11 PM

perhaps they could increase unemployment compensation, to 1MM per year. it has a huge multiplier. and thereby creating more millionaires to tax.

t8stlikchkn on September 7, 2012 at 7:12 PM

fearing an exodus of top earners and a drought of foreign investors and managers willing to come to France.

unexpectedly……

t8stlikchkn on September 7, 2012 at 7:16 PM

France is going to eat the big one and take the Eurozone with it.

Speakup on September 7, 2012 at 7:17 PM

Businesses of France….

Move over here..
Obama will only tax you at 70%

Electrongod on September 7, 2012 at 7:17 PM

But the government is determined to find a face-saving way of formally retaining the 75 per cent headline figure. “The 75 per cent rate will be applied,” said one official.

Mr Hollande’s promise to impose the rate on incomes above €1m a year was one of the most popular moves of his campaign, helping him to defeat Nicolas Sarkozy, his centre-right predecessor, in the May election.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0e7ed63a-f84f-11e1-b0e1-00144feabdc0.html#axzz25pN0Ou6M

Speakup on September 7, 2012 at 7:19 PM

If you think the Commies needed to build walls to keep people in….

viking01 on September 7, 2012 at 7:22 PM

How much is Hollande worth?

How about Bono, too–that international panhandler in a Bond Street suit who left Ireland to avoid a tax increase that is nowhere near what Hollande demands?

Will Hollande and Bono give up all their wealth to the poor, except what they need to survive among the middle class (everything above $60K)?

Liam on September 7, 2012 at 7:22 PM

It takes a lot of gall to raise taxes that much.

Christien on September 7, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Are the elite frogs still counting on their million dollar pigeons to STAY IN FRANCE?

GarandFan on September 7, 2012 at 7:24 PM

75%? Can tremendous economic growth be far behind? If only we had the courage to make this gutsy call.

/

mankai on September 7, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Clearly we need one-world government to stop people from evading taxes by moving. Can’t have that.

Charlemagne on September 7, 2012 at 6:47 PM

…JugEars will be available for it’s Presidential office…since the whole world loves him!

KOOLAID2 on September 7, 2012 at 7:27 PM

I’m not surprised. This is a man who can’t manage his private life and has no idea what ‘a private life’ means.

It does astonish me, though, that the French, so proud of the motto: Liberte, egalite, fraternite! have forgotten or abrogated the ‘Liberte’ part of that motto.

Although, they must feel a real sense of fraternite with the rest of the EU now that they want to make them share their paycheck with them. Hollande has said that he supports ‘fiscal union’ in the Eurozone, meaning resigning sovereignty so that the workers of the north support the profligate nations of the south and Brussels oversees the redistribution of wealth.

I’ll bet that makes the working stiff who’s busting his derriere up in Germany supporting the rest of the spendthrifts in the EU feel like he’s lost out on the egalite part, too.

“Liberte, egalite, fraternite! Now give me your paycheck… its so hard to be French on a budget!”

thatsafactjack on September 7, 2012 at 7:32 PM

Oh, that’s easy. Just extend the deadline out for a couple of weeks.

Works for Obama.

tom on September 7, 2012 at 7:40 PM

If the rich french can get all of those antique rifles (Never fired, dropped only once) there sold there will be a huge windfall tax profit for Hollande.

In the mean time why not just demand 110% of income over X amount. That would really bring in the revenue.

jukin3 on September 7, 2012 at 8:02 PM

This is one of the benefits of having an EU. Just like companies are free to flee California for Texas, they are just as free to flee France for more friendly environs. Granted, such environs are harder to find, but I think the Netherlands, Finland, Estonia are more friendly to business than is France.

DaveO on September 7, 2012 at 8:05 PM

France: Er, we are thoroughly committed to this 75% tax-on-the-rich thing. Sort of.

Because punitive confiscatory income taxes have worked so well in the past everywhere they have been tried, right?

Hey, here’s an idea. Maybe you should should confiscate tax assets and wealth instead. Maybe that will work.

farsighted on September 7, 2012 at 8:08 PM

I hope France implodes and all the stupid people that are for this Marxist garbage feel serious pain.

tom daschle concerned on September 7, 2012 at 8:10 PM

Keep raising those taxes Hollande and you’ll see wealth leaving Frogland faster than a pair of Air Jordans moving away from the camera on COPS.

viking01 on September 7, 2012 at 8:18 PM

C’est un pour vous, dix-neuf pour moi.

Christien on September 7, 2012 at 6:57 PM

That’s pirate speak – speaking of Johnny Depp; I sense a tinge of irony.

ericdijon on September 7, 2012 at 8:29 PM

Keep raising those taxes Hollande and you’ll see wealth leaving Frogland faster than a pair of Air Jordans moving away from the camera on COPS.

viking01 on September 7, 2012 at 8:18 PM

ROTFLOL! You have a way with words!

MelonCollie on September 7, 2012 at 8:56 PM

My man Ron Paul talked about how he was against a fence at the border because the government will eventually use it to keep us and our capital in the country. People laughed at him. Now look for France, and other tyrannical socialist nations to start making it more difficult for the rich to leave. As usual the old man was right, and it’s only a matter of time before Romney fails in his reelection bid and Obama turns straight up gangster in his second term. Things are gonna get ugly quick because now the President has tremendous liberty-destroying measures at his fingertips.

Fun future.

fatlibertarianinokc on September 7, 2012 at 9:04 PM

C’est un pour vous, dix-neuf pour moi.

Christien on September 7, 2012 at 6:57 PM

“Those French, they have a different word for everything!
Steve Martin

Hill60 on September 7, 2012 at 9:06 PM

Hey, it worked for Obama, just say whatever to get elected, than ignore what you said.

right2bright on September 7, 2012 at 9:09 PM

C’est un pour vous, dix-neuf pour moi.

Christien on September 7, 2012 at 6:57 PM

Babble fish…yeah, we all have it…This is one for you, nineteen for me…good grief.

right2bright on September 7, 2012 at 9:11 PM

and the government has to announce its decision before the 2013 budget is due in two weeks

Maybe King Obama can call Mr Hollande and tell him he doesn’t need no stinking budget.

JPeterman on September 7, 2012 at 6:58 PM

As far as I am concerned, they can both go and do that thing to temselves, the one thatv Clint Eastwood alluded to in his chair monologue :)…

jimver on September 7, 2012 at 9:17 PM

I hope France implodes and all the stupid people that are for this Marxist garbage feel serious pain.

tom daschle concerned on September 7, 2012 at 8:10 PM

Roughly 70% of the French people…could be more too…

jimver on September 7, 2012 at 9:22 PM

It takes a lot of gall to raise taxes that much.

Christien on September 7, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Well trust the Gauls to have that much gall! :P

Benedict Nelson on September 7, 2012 at 10:02 PM

C’est un pour vous, dix-neuf pour moi.

Christien on September 7, 2012 at 6:57 PM

Babble fish…yeah, we all have it…This is one for you, nineteen for me…good grief.

right2bright on September 7, 2012 at 9:11 PM

Um, I think that with a name like Christien, he probably doesn’t need to use babel fish to translate a line from a Beatles song into French.

UltimateBob on September 7, 2012 at 10:13 PM

It takes a lot of gall to raise taxes that much.

Christien on September 7, 2012 at 7:23 PM

And it’ll take a lot of Galt to resist them. Xp

MelonCollie on September 7, 2012 at 10:21 PM

Surrender right before the deadline.

trigon on September 7, 2012 at 10:37 PM

Ah, Les Socialistes–ils prennent de la riche, mettez ce qu’ils veulent dans la poche, et puis…ils font la répartation! Peut-être. Si c’est convenable. Et personne quitte le pays. Pour le Belgique, par example. (Et ils quittent!)

This is a bad move, Hollande. A bad move. One that will comeback to bite him when it’s all said and done.

pacard33 on September 7, 2012 at 10:38 PM

I guess the spirit of the Montgolfier brothers lives. Frenchmen will be gone on the next breeze. Adieu!

DarthBrooks on September 7, 2012 at 11:10 PM

Don’t make the mistake of thing that French taxes work the same way as US taxes.
As Steve Martin has pointed oout, “The French have a different word for everything.”

The actual tax rate is a function of the number of deductions that you have.

Effective tax rate = marginal rate / (1 * # of adults + 0.5 * # of children)

A “rich” family of four pays 75% / (1*2 + 0.5*2) = 75% / 3 = 25%

J_Crater on September 7, 2012 at 11:29 PM

As Steve Martin has pointed oout, “The French have a different word for everything.”

J_Crater on September 7, 2012 at 11:29 PM

LOL. How do you say, “I forgot” in French?

Christien on September 8, 2012 at 12:53 AM

thatsafactjack on September 7, 2012 at 7:32 PM

Liberté, égalité, fraternité … pick any two.

Libraritarian on September 8, 2012 at 1:01 AM

When soaking the rich eventually produces no more rich … what happens then?

darwin on September 7, 2012 at 6:47 PM

A new definition of “rich will be provided. Have to have someone to demonize. It’s just like “the poor” it’s a nebulous enough term that it can always apply.

Arssanguinus on September 8, 2012 at 6:34 AM

My man Ron Paul talked about how he was against a fence at the border because the government will eventually use it to keep us and our capital in the country. People laughed at him. Now look for France, and other tyrannical socialist nations to start making it more difficult for the rich to leave. As usual the old man was right, and it’s only a matter of time before Romney fails in his reelection bid and Obama turns straight up gangster in his second term. Things are gonna get ugly quick because now the President has tremendous liberty-destroying measures at his fingertips.

Fun future.

fatlibertarianinokc on September 7, 2012 at 9:04 PM

Well, if he does fail it will be at least partly because of temper tantrum throwing Ron Paul voters.

Arssanguinus on September 8, 2012 at 6:40 AM

When soaking the rich eventually produces no more rich … what happens then?

darwin on September 7, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Then you have a totally socialistic country like Iceland where the taxes are so high that any young person who aspires to be successful leaves the country.The rest are left with drab mediocrity, if not poverty.

MaiDee on September 8, 2012 at 7:53 AM

Having spent the last several months in the UK, I am thoroughly convinced most of the French population moved there.

French citizens now make up about 4% of the total UK population and that number is growing. Especially those with wealth. Just walk into any Starbucks- that’s where their kids are hanging out…

Marcus Traianus on September 8, 2012 at 8:31 AM

LOL. How do you say, “I forgot” in French?

Christien on September 8, 2012 at 12:53 AM

Now that’s FUNNY! You must be Canadian! Je me souviens my arse.

pos4thst on September 8, 2012 at 10:14 AM

Even a socialist fanatic like Hollande sobers up sometime.

volsense on September 8, 2012 at 1:11 PM

“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” – Napoleon

Over50 on September 8, 2012 at 1:29 PM

The Democrats are confused by this debate, and are wondering what’s wrong with this idea.

MTF on September 8, 2012 at 2:56 PM

I said dix-neuf, not soixante-neuf. Still, congrats to you and Chianti!

Christien on September 7, 2012 at 7:11 PM

I see what you did there.

cableguy615 on September 8, 2012 at 4:20 PM

Hopefully, in a few months Hollande will be able to engage Obama as an expert consultant on the unanticipated consequences of making promises you have no intention of even trying to keep.

drunyan8315 on September 8, 2012 at 6:10 PM

Behold, another socialist circus for our enjoyment. Roll up!

Sharke on September 9, 2012 at 1:25 AM