French Government Denounces Wealthy Leaving Country After Imposition of 75% Tax Rate

150px-Gérard_Depardieu_Cannes_2010-1220px-François_Hollande_(Journées_de_Nantes_2012)During his campaign for president, France’s Socialist President Francois Hollande famously declared “I don’t like the rich” and upon taking office hit the wealthy with a 75% tax rate — a rate that I have criticized as economically foolish and part of an increasing demonization of the wealthy around the world. Now wealthy French citizens have responded predictably by moving out of France and last week famed French actor Gerard Depardieu joined the exodus. The steady stream of departures has left the Hollande government incensed and this week Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault blasted the rich. The English have also seen the same decline in wealthy taxpayers after it imposed a 50% tax. They are now going to reduce that tax after the departure of many wealthy Brits and David Cameron controversially pledged to “roll out the red carpet” for any French residents fleeing the massive tax hike. In the meantime, anger at the wealthy continues to rise in France, where “eat the rich” signs are appearing. The problems is that you cannot eat the rich if the rich flee before the meal.


Depardieu is not going to a tax haven. He is reportedly moving to Belgium which has a 50 percent taxation rate. He is moving to Nechin, a town just a kilometer inside Belgium near the French city of Lille.

Bertrand Delanoe, the Socialist mayor of Paris regretted the move because Depardieu “is a generous man but in this instance he is not showing that.”

Politicians often assume that higher taxes have no impact on market behavior for earners. However, such taxes often make no investments less attractive once the labor and time is factored into the lower rate of net profit.

While I am in the minority on this blog, I continue to be concerned over the economic impact of such confiscatory tax rates and the demonization of the wealthy. A 75% tax rate will not only encourage many French to leave the country or find ways to avoiding direct income, but it will discourage those who might become French citizens. I also fail to understand the increasing vilification of the wealthy which is defined as anyone making over $250,000 a year (as defined by the Administration’s proposed tax hike on the rich). Many of such earners are active in community work and supporting social programs. They also pay the vast majority of taxes in this country. Will they have to pay more, yes. However, the suggestion that they are all deadbeats who do not pay their fair share is unfair in my view.

220px-DantonPosterIn the meantime, the exodus is likely to continue and brings new meaning to the statement of Georges Danton: “At last I perceive that in revolutions the supreme power rests with the most abandoned.”

Source: France 24

79 thoughts on “French Government Denounces Wealthy Leaving Country After Imposition of 75% Tax Rate

  1. shano, I don’t have to search to remember that Geir Haarde was found guilty, but not punished, and that even his legal expenses were paid for by the state.

    A slap on the wrist without consequences for the PM is something totally different than ‘jailed their bankers,’ which kinda implies that there were bankers actually spending time in a jail.

    Which is not what happened in Iceland, because they still shield their crooked oligarchs.

  2. so lazy Berliner, here are some convictions this year:

    08.06.2012 | 11:55
    Managers of Byr Savings Bank Guilty in Exeter Case
    The Supreme Court of Iceland convicted former CEO of Byr savings bank Ragnar Z. Guðjónsson and former chairman of the bank’s board Jón Þorsteinn Jónsson for breach of trust in the so-called Exeter case yesterday—thereby reversing an earlier verdict of Reykjavík District Court—and gave both of them a four-and-a-half year non-suspended prison sentence.

    These are the longest sentences that have ever been announced because of economic crimes in Iceland, Fréttablaðið reports.

    The case of the third defendant, former CEO of MP Bank Styrmir Þór Bragason, was referred back to the district court.

    This is the second verdict announced by the Supreme Court in cases filed by the Special Prosecutor’s Office in connection with the 2008 banking collapse.

    The first verdict was announced over former undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance, Baldur Guðlaugsson, who was sentenced to two years in prison for insider trading.

    In both cases the prosecutor’s demands of maximum punishment were agreed to.

  3. “Bertrand Delanoe, the Socialist mayor of Paris regretted the move because Depardieu “is a generous man but in this instance he is not showing that.””
    ~+~
    I don’t know if anything was lost in translation here but I would think generosity would stem from a voluntary offering. How can one be generous when they don’t have a choice in the matter to give.

    Don Corleone: “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

  4. Reblogged this on Abundant Truth and commented:
    The American government would do well to pay attention to these facts. Both Britain and France raised their top tax rates, and both had wealthy people flee the country. Britain was smart enough to lower the rates again, but will France wise up? And will America pay attention?

  5. I guess war it shall be.

    Why should I pay more?

    – Should I pay more because you all sit around and post comments to each other all day long? I don’t do that.

    – Should I pay more because some people obtained their money illegally or unethically? I didn’t do that.

    – Should I pay more because it is my patriotic duty? It is my patriotic duty to be the best father, husband and citizen I can be. Somehow though that isn’t good enough. Somehow you are entitled to more from me? As if I don’t work hard enough. As if I don’t already have my own problems now I am a problem to others because I made good decisions and worked really, really, REALLY HARD. Now I am the problem! And now I have to pay for that?…I WONT DO THAT!

    We’ve tried it your way (1922-1991). It never works.

    • “As if I don’t already have my own problems now I am a problem to others because I made good decisions and worked really, really, REALLY HARD. Now I am the problem! And now I have to pay for that?…I WONT DO THAT!”

      Poor, poor Me,

      Here he is an individualist whose success is based purely on his own merits and so really owes nothing to the society in which he lives. Me does’t need no stinking infrastructure since he flies his helicopter from the pad at his house to the heli-pad above the building he alone owns. The power in the building is off the grid and the water is all bottled water. his children are home-schooled so he shouldn’t have to pay school taxes. He pays for his own security forces so he does’t need no stinking police. His security forces are trained to act as firefighters also so forget the need for a fire department. As for protection from “foreigners” he has a bought a share in a mercenary army that will protect him in wartime. He needs no FDA or USDA trying to keep his food supply safe, because he grows and manufactures his own. All those things the rest of you “dependent sissies” need, Me doesn’t because Me is an individual unto himself, with no need for society. How strong! How independent! How woefully egotistical ad ill-informed.

  6. There is one difference between the Kochs and Gates and that is still better haircuts. Both engage(d) in anti-competitive business practices – seemingly with government approval – and both use the power of their wealth to push the government around via lobbying and “campaign contributions” to get compliant pols. Both are scumbags for that alone. That Gates is trying to “buy his way into Heaven” with the Gates foundation is immaterial. The Gates Foundation does as much harm as it does good.

  7. Here are some thoughts on the 1%:

    We oppose the 1% because we are defending the freedom of the American people. The 1% is the cause and beneficiary of our slavery They have misused the social misery of the broad masses to deepen the dreadful split between the right and left of our people, to divide America into two halves thereby concealing the true reason for the recession and war we have endured.

    The wealthy have no interest in solving America’s problems. They cannot have such an interest. They depend on it remaining unsolved. If the American people formed a united community and won back its freedom, there would be no place any longer for the Rich. Their hand is strongest when a people lives in domestic and international slavery, not when it is free, industrious, self-aware and determined. The rich caused our problems, and lives from them.

    The rich are parasites of decomposition. Where they find filth and decay, They surface and begin their butcher’s work among the nations. They hide behind a mask and present themselves as a friend to their victims, and before they know it the rich have broken their necks and feasted on their carcass.

    The wealthy are uncreative. They produce nothing, they only haggle with products. With oil, grain, stocks, peoples and states. They have somehow stolen everything they deal in.

    What does hating the wealthy have to do with socialism? I would put the question this way: What do the rich have to do with socialism? Socialism has to do with labor. When did one ever see a 1 percenter working instead of plundering, stealing and living from the sweat of others? As socialists we are opponents of the wealthy because we see in the 1% the incarnation of capitalism, of the misuse of the nation’s goods.

    But the rich, after all, are also human beings. Certainly, none of us doubts that. We only doubt that they are decent human beings. They do not get along with us. They live by other laws than we do. The fact that they are human beings is not sufficient reason for us to allow them to subject us in inhumane ways. They may be human beings — but what kind of human beings are they! If someone steals from you, do you say: “Thank you! He is after all a human being!” That is not a human being, that is a monster. Yet how much worse have the 1% done to us, and are still doing today!

    We oppose the rich because we affirm the American people. The wealthy are our greatest misfortune.

  8. “If the American people formed a united community and won back its freedom, there would be no place any longer for the Rich.” ~Bron
    ———————
    no.
    there is always a place here for the wealthy….the responsible, responsive and concerned and committed wealthy….and there are a lot of them because those who gain their wealth rightly have a great respect for those who labor….they understand and feel the priviledge of being able to contribute on a greater scale, even in taxes, and they don’t (surprisingly) live lives that look much different than the middle class used to look. Those are truly wealthy people. The impoverished riche, on the other hand, those who will steal, enslave, corrupt and lie to retain their cash…..they are very frightened of losing their wealth….because they never felt it was theirs to begin with. They ALWAYS KNEW it was taken unlawfully from those who worked for it. They are poverty stricken and will find all manner of places to hide and sequester their ill-gotten goodies….

    “They live by other laws than we do. ”
    ————————————–
    No, you are confusing criminality with wealth.
    They are not the same.
    Criminals have had a field day because the force and stability of the law was weak and ill-led in this Country. The market has too many secrets and closed doors and ways around the law…which has catered to those who enjoy being catered to… The war was a result of the same mentality. This Country is being tested on more fronts and in more ways than before but it does not mean we are ‘Socialist’ any more than it means we are ‘fascist’. There will always be a firm foundation here for the Constitutional principles that made us and if you really want to see it happen, raise the tax and let the rats jump ship. We can’t afford the criminal parasites anymore. The world is getting very much smaller for them….like polar bears swimming from ice flow to ice flow is the current crook swimming from Cayman Island to Cayman Island in secret….

  9. self correction:
    Criminals have had a field day because the force and stability of the law was weak and ill-led in this Country. should read;
    Criminals have had a field day because the force and stability of the law was weak and ill-led in them.

  10. Most wealthy french (except for the super wealthy) arent leaving france due to tax reasons. But they are leaving mainly because they fear that France has a bad future and they are also leaving because in france everyone has a very bad attitude towards rich people. You cannot show your money in france anymore, the less fortunate will abuse you …there is a lot of jealousy in french society and they are obsessed with financial equality. But they dont realize that without the rich there will be even more inequality in the absence of businesses fuelling growth in France. Also france is filled with bad immigrants now – a lot of refugees and asylum seekers from former french colonies. These immigrants refuse to integrate and are just using france for free benefits its really sad what some of them have done to france..of course some are very good too as they educate themselves and work hard maybe even harder than the natives but a lot of immigrants in france are not adding any value to the country and causing a lot of problems.

    As for this entire discussion about rich french leaving france….its all nonsense…rich people everywhere in every country move around all the time…there are more rich americans and rich british leaving their countries for plenty of reasons.

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