France’s comedy of taxational errors continues as French revolt against eco-tax

posted at 8:41 pm on October 30, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Seeing as how they elected an honest-to-goodness Socialist parliamentary majority and president last year, I’m not exactly sure what it is that France thought they were in for — but these days, it isn’t merely French soccer teams publicly displaying their displeasure with the ultra-high tax policies of Francois Hollande and his ministers. Hollande is deeply, historically unpopular, and the government needs to still more cash in their coffers to have any hope of meeting their deficit-reduction targets — but the new taxes they’ve been cooking up recently combined with other scheduled tax increases are not going over well.

The Financial Times reports on the latest:

Mounting protests over France’s heavy tax burden forced President François Hollande’s struggling socialist government into an embarrassing new climbdown on Monday when it suspended the introduction of a new “ecotax” on large vehicles. …

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault announced the suspension of the ecotax after a series of demonstrations by hard-pressed farmers, food industry, transport and other businesses in Brittany culminated in angry clashes with police at the weekend, with more protests promised. …

Mr Hollande weeks ago acknowledged public intolerance of some €60bn in new taxes brought in over the past three years, heavily augmented by his own administration, to help close the budget deficit. At 46 per cent of gross domestic product, France has one of the highest tax burdens among advanced economies.

But his promise of a “tax pause” was belied by a series of new measures already due to come into effect in 2014 that will raise a further €12bn from households. …

Evidently, the protests included both rubber bullets and cauliflower blockades.

The government has had to back off on several other ideas for business taxes, levies on individual savings products, and etcetera after flurries of protest, and neither the proposals nor the retreats are doing much to help Hollande’s image. Agnes Poirier at the Guardian lists some of the perceived reasons for his troubles:

4. He is indecisive

Conciliation often leads to indecision, or the appearance of indecision. His advisers confide that they never know what he really thinks and that his answers to questions are either “oui” or “oui oui”. In a country where the favourite three letter word is “non”, the presidential habit sounds more than hesitant, it sounds ominous.

5. He doesn’t seem able to rein in his party factions

That the Left party’s pitbull, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, keeps insulting the head of state on prime-time television and on the airwaves is bad enough, but you could argue that not being a member of the government, he doesn’t have to show any deference. However, the Greens holding ministerial positions, calling for French youngsters to take to the streets, is a step too far that even a conciliatory president shouldn’t accept.

And Hollande still has three years left in office. I bet he even envies President Obama’s approval rating right now.


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He has the lowest approval (job and personal) ratings of any French President in history.

Resist We Much on October 30, 2013 at 8:47 PM

To be a socialist is to constantly say,”Maybe this time socialism will work”.

HotAirian on October 30, 2013 at 8:54 PM

10. He hasn’t eased our existentialist angst

Many of us hoped he would be able to soothe our national anxiety, which reached alarming levels after five years of Sarkozy paroxysm. Alas, after a wait and see period, we feel increasingly impatient. Soon, we’ll be getting angry.

I just wish the French would get over themselves at some point.

Existential angst coupled with being convinced that no one “truly understands us”, on the grounds that if they did, they’d be worshiping “us” for being something no one else can ever possibly be (i.e., French), is not an attractive combination.

Realizing that their government, rather than “soothing” their anxiety, is the cause of most of the problems which create that anxiety, would help too.

clear ether

eon

eon on October 30, 2013 at 8:58 PM

To be a socialist is to constantly say,”Maybe this time socialism will work”.

HotAirian on October 30, 2013 at 8:54 PM

Or…

‘Maybe next time socialism will work…once we have the ‘right people’ and spend more money.’

Resist We Much on October 30, 2013 at 8:59 PM

Sumpins Tabranack Suck Le Blue!!

(sarc)

canopfor on October 30, 2013 at 9:01 PM

eon on October 30, 2013 at 8:58 PM

They’re just upset that they didn’t outdo England. Mortal enemies and all that.

nobar on October 30, 2013 at 9:04 PM

Les Miserables.

TXUS on October 30, 2013 at 9:06 PM

Seeing as how they elected an honest-to-goodness Socialist parliamentary majority and president last year,

I’m not familiar with their political systems. Was it really a meaningful majority? 51% is a majority but that still leaves 49% that may hate your guts.

Blake on October 30, 2013 at 9:07 PM

It’s so bad in Frogland that when the Germans were asked if they wanted to invade again the response was: (expletive), nein!!!

viking01 on October 30, 2013 at 9:08 PM

I hate socialism. It’s just a cheap attempt to put lipstick on a commie pig. They think it is easier to sell to the public.

Blake on October 30, 2013 at 9:08 PM

If only conservatives in America protested this fervently, we might actually get something done….

Nessuno on October 30, 2013 at 9:08 PM

Seeing as how they elected an honest-to-goodness Socialist parliamentary majority and president last year

As usual, we beat the French…

We did it twice….

BigWyo on October 30, 2013 at 9:09 PM

As usual, we beat the French…

We did it twice….

BigWyo on October 30, 2013 at 9:09 PM

…yep!…we’re now dumber!…think of how things were… 20 years ago!

KOOLAID2 on October 30, 2013 at 9:12 PM

Hollande won 51.7% of the vote.

Resist We Much on October 30, 2013 at 9:15 PM

They never no when to stop. They always want more.

Wigglesworth on October 30, 2013 at 9:16 PM

If he was smart, he’d just turn the country over to Germany. They’ll get it anyway when the frogs default on their obligations.

GarandFan on October 30, 2013 at 9:17 PM

I totally supported this socialism until I found out that I was the one paying for it…

myrenovations on October 30, 2013 at 9:23 PM

Apparently 76% don’t think he’ll be reelected and 68% don’t think he’s competent. Remember, he’s only been in office about 18 months and there’s already been an attempted no confidence vote.

Plus, there this: it appears Hollande’s government paid Al Qaeda a ransom fee to get back French hostages. Via Le Monde via Google Translate:

A few hours after arrival at Villacoublay airport four French used in Niger, ministers Jean-Yves Le Drian and Laurent Fabius was pressed with questions about the conditions of the release of the four men.

While Le Monde said, Wednesday, October 30, a ransom of more than €20 million has been paid, the Minister of Foreign Affairs said on the set of TF1, no “public money”‘ was hired to obtain the release of the four hostages. “To which depends on the French government, there was no public money paid”, said Fabius.

According to information from Le Monde, the amount that was used to pay the ransom has been paid out of the funds to secret service intelligence. The minister also evaded questions on payment of money from a private group, including ‘s Areva, the employer of four men.

Robert_Paulson on October 30, 2013 at 9:25 PM

Hollande won 51.7% of the vote.

Resist We Much on October 30, 2013 at 9:15 PM

thats called a landslide.
at least it was in 2012…..

dmacleo on October 30, 2013 at 9:29 PM

Let’s not forget that plenty of the LIVs are still convinced that BambiCare™ is totally free man, totally!
More and more will actually start to pay attention now that at least a few in the MSM are growing a pair and those notices keep hitting mail boxes. Not to mention it’s health care sign up season at a lot of companies, anyone still betting on $2,500.00 in lower premiums is about to suffer major disappointment.

Prediction: Expect a major distraction attempt to occur in the next 5 or 7 days. I’m thinking the Won might not be so keen to key on immigration now. Probably some BS about college loans or how republicans want you to starve. Lot’s of TOTUS work, blah blah blah.
Either that, or the clown will go pick a fight with some third world sh1thole.

JusDreamin on October 30, 2013 at 9:35 PM

Others spilled truckloads of cauliflower onto the road, while more than 250 vehicles including trucks, tractors and trailers were also used to block the route.

Get the sauce au fromage!!!

Fallon on October 30, 2013 at 9:38 PM

Monsieur Le President Hollande, ze peasants are revolting.

You betcha, they stink on ice.

simkeith on October 30, 2013 at 9:39 PM

Is there a way to express in French the concept of “spending less”? I used Google translate and got the sentence, “Vous devez dépenser moins d’argent.” Has anyone thought of saying it to Hollande?

thuja on October 30, 2013 at 9:58 PM

Let’s not forget that plenty of the LIVs are still convinced that BambiCare™ is totally free man, totally!
More and more will actually start to pay attention now that at least a few in the MSM are growing a pair and those notices keep hitting mail boxes. Not to mention it’s health care sign up season at a lot of companies, anyone still betting on $2,500.00 in lower premiums is about to suffer major disappointment.

Prediction: Expect a major distraction attempt to occur in the next 5 or 7 days. I’m thinking the Won might not be so keen to key on immigration now. Probably some BS about college loans or how republicans want you to starve. Lot’s of TOTUS work, blah blah blah.
Either that, or the clown will go pick a fight with some third world sh1thole.

JusDreamin on October 30, 2013 at 9:35 PM

Time for the REB to do his basketball brackets! I expect the Situation Room is hard at work on this as I write. Top priority, all hands on deck!

slickwillie2001 on October 30, 2013 at 10:03 PM

Unions have taken over the government. And like all unions they perceive there is an endless stream of money to finance their life style.
But there isn’t. Ask GM. Ask Greece. Ask Venezuela or Cuba.
How is that Capitalist Running Dog campaign thingee working out in China now?

pat on October 31, 2013 at 12:24 AM

Well, bless their hearts. The franc isn’t the world’s reserve currency, so Frankie and the Jets have to -pay- for France’s statist wonderland with real tax revenue instead of worthless IOU’s like over here in the US. Say what you will about Hollande, he’s being light years more honest about what needs to go down to sustain socialist nonsense than either Obama or “starve the beast (but let’s borrow from the PRC so -I- don’t face any political consequences)” Republicans.

ebrown2 on October 31, 2013 at 8:31 AM

Correction, I should say that they can’t do borrowing and deficit spending anymore.

ebrown2 on October 31, 2013 at 8:33 AM

Hollande and the Socialists problem is that they are coming on the scene at the tail end of the process when bills and costs start to add up and the consequences of prior decisions really begin to bite and limit options. People have expectations based on years of experience.

The socialist game is good at the beginning because it is likely coming off low government expenditures and an economy that knows it has to work to get ahead, so there are relatively plentiful tax revenues for all those nice Socialist ideas. People like it too because they don’t see where this can go and, besides it is far down the road.

The problem is that Socialists and (in the US) Progressives don’t know when to stop. There is no limit that they can envision as an optimal point. Hence, they continue to push forward all these nice “ideas” without taking into account that past policies may impact and/or invalidate past assumptions and beliefs. Only when things start to get too tight and start coming apart would they even contemplate that there might have been an optimal point to stop and, realistically, they would thing that they can go just a bit farther and things will turn good, even as things turn bad.

Russ808 on October 31, 2013 at 3:56 PM