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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