Report: Thousands of French Households Face 100% Tax Under Hollande

louis-xvi-execution-e1357165572206We have been discussing the tax policies of President Francois Hollande’s Socialist government — a record that I have criticized as ruinous from an economic standpoint. A recent report indicates that for some high-earning families — more than 8,000 — the Hollande policies impose a 100% tax. It is the ultimate “eat the rich” policy. Even for those families facing a 75% rate, it is unclear why they would continue to work in the country. Many are not. France is experiencing a flight of both high earners and companies.

The bizarre 100% tax is the result of a one-off levy last year on 2011 incomes for households with assets of more than 1.3 million euros ($1.67 million). The surcharge was imposed shortly after Hollande took office on a promise to hit the rich with high taxes. The Hollande 75% direct tax was so unfair that the Constitutional Council struck it down. However, this report states that the one-off levy effectively pushed some families to a 100% tax.

The newspaper Les Echos found that nearly 12,000 households paid taxes last year worth more than 75 percent of their 2011 revenues due to the exceptional levy. ($1 = 0.7798 euros).

Putting aside how many families are impacted by taxes above 75%, it is in my view an insane, self-destructive economic policy for France. I just spent an evening with a friend and his parents discussing the situation in France. This is a moderate family politically that has long fished in French waters. My friend is now an American citizen but his parents and family remain in France. They recounted how they had to destroy half of their ships because of taxes. They are seeing other businesses doing the same or simply moving out of France. These a patriotic and proud French people but they are watching their government cannibalize off the economy. The government is getting instant revenue while killing revenue producing businesses. It is like eating the grapes and roots of the vineyards of Bordeaux for food and leaving the fields barren.

As someone who truly loves visiting France, it is disheartening to watch Hollande’s cultural war on the wealthy. I favor higher taxes as part of a comprehensive package of reforms in this country and other countries. However, Hollande’s expressed hatred of the rich resulted in a political success and now an economic disaster. It is also grossly unfair to wealth French who love their country and are not opposed to making sacrifices. Hollande played the class card and told the French that their problems were due to a sinister upper class rather than France’s high labor costs and burgeoning budgets. Even if one dismisses this study and the one-year levy, there are still many thousands of families and businesses who face a government demanding 75 percent tax rates.

These policies however will only lengthen the economic crisis. Indeed, France is already viewed as a hostile country for business and that is likely to continue under Hollande who is fighting the French judges to impose taxes higher than what is viewed as constitutional or fair by the courts.

Source: Reuters

502 thoughts on “Report: Thousands of French Households Face 100% Tax Under Hollande”

  1. Calculus is not used to measure anything outside of the abstract world of mathematics and functions.

    To the extent we assume something in nature ‘fits’ a particular function by virtue of high correlation between the math and our measurements, we can measure in the abstract world and expect that to match the real world. But they are two different worlds; the abstract world models the real world, it is not the actual real world; and no measurement in the real world is ever accurate to an infinite number of decimal places, which is how measurements are treated in the abstract world.

  2. Bron: Yeah, I can point at a periodic table too. Your argument is meaningless; because the human being that “figured out” something invented something new that had never existed before in the universe, which was a new arrangement of information.

    Human minds are made of elements, that does not mean I can have a conversation with a gallon of water and vials full of various powders.

    Your unique mind is the result of a particular arrangement of such elements, with enough information content in the trillions of synaptic connections that it has never existed before, and will never exist again.

    Your brain is not a copy of something already in nature. Nor is anybody else’s brain. Nor is an internal combustion engine. Nor is C-4; nowhere in nature will you find the particular chemical compound that creates an electrically triggered explosive. That is a deliberately produced compound that was not copied from nature because it does not exist in nature. It wasn’t even inspired by nature, there are no naturally occurring high explosives. Gunpowder had to be invented, not found.

  3. tony c:

    sure it was written by you.

    calculus is used to measure change and volume and area and other things.

    All inventions or at least most are based on natural laws. Like your engine above, oxygen likes to combine with certain fuel sources, if it did not the internal combustion engine would not work. A human being figured out how to harness that property of hydrocarbon and oxygen and make something useful.

    1. Bron wrote: “All inventions or at least most are based on natural laws.” … “You cannot invent something which does not have a basis in reality.”

      Tony C wrote: “the abstract world models the real world, it is not the actual real world”

      I think the point Tony C is making is that the natural laws are comprehended by the mind. The laws themselves do not exist in nature. You can’t point to a natural law and say, “look, see that natural law over there?” Rather, natural laws are constructs of the mind that describe the rules by which nature works.

      All math is this way. The triangle does not exist in nature. It is in the mind. However, we use the rules and principles of geometry or other disciplines of math to describe and comprehend nature.

      Bron, you are correct to point out the empirical basis to which we apply our minds, but this does not contradict Tony C’s point that it is the mind that comprehends it.

      There is an irony here, in this dialogue between an atheist like Tony C and Bron. One could argue from this point that the mind transcends physical nature by its ability to use logic to transcend the physical. This leads to philosophical concepts that go back to Plato who seemed to perceive a monotheism in a polytheistic culture, who described idealized forms to which the physical world is an imperfect representation. The same thread of thought was picked up by Descartes to provide a philosophical proof of the existence of God because of the mind’s ability to comprehend natural laws in a way that transcends actual direct observations in nature. So ironically, the line of thought taken by atheist Tony C here will lead him to a logic that will force any honest man to believe rationally in the existence of God.

  4. Bron: Calculus is not used for measurement of something. Certainly not anything real. Calculus computes something based on an entirely abstract invention of “mathematics,” it computes a derivative to a curve or the area under a curve. But those curves do not exist in nature. Not even the real numbers exist in nature; ‘e’ is transcendental; it does not terminate and does not repeat; it has an infinite number of digits.

    All of calculus is an abstract set of rules to operate on abstract things. The fact that it can be employed to approximate real world things does not mean it exists in nature as a real thing. It was not discovered, it was invented. And to give credit where credit is due, primarily by Leibniz (who came up with the notations, terminology and intellectual justifications we still use), not by Newton.

    There is plenty new under the sun, every day. You have missed the roles of invention, emergent properties, and unique combinations. This very post is new, this message did not exist for 13.73 billion years; now it does. It was not discovered, it was not waiting to be found somewhere, it was invented in the last three minutes.

  5. But calculus is used for measurement of something, if there was nothing to measure I am not sure Newton would have invented calculus.

  6. Bron: Darwin’s writings are full of the breeding programs of plants and animals to enhance certain traits and exploit biological variations, the reason he called it ‘natural selection’ is to distinguish it from the intentional selection process used by breeders and growers.

    The concept Darwin invented was the idea that nature would select for variations that gave an edge to an organism for survival or mating success, much like a pigeon breeder could select for variation to create crests, shorter wings for greater maneuverability and acrobatic ability, colors or patterns, and so forth.

    He already knew about biological variations and selecting for them. The idea of biological adaptation due to changes in the environment is just a ramification of the central idea of natural selection.

    There are indeed new things under the sun. Calculus has not always existed, language has not always existed, Labradors have not always exist. C-4 has not always existed, fiction has not always existed.

    The combination of old things can be a new thing; with properties not inherent in any given part, and properties that have never before existed anywhere in the universe. There are no “natural” internal combustion engines like that found in a car. To claim that is not any different than iron ore is ludicrous, it stretches the idea of equivalence into a meaningless word, like claiming a person is equivalent to the inanimate elements of which they are composed.

  7. Tony C:

    Actually the concept of biological adaptation was created by Darwin. There is nothing new under the sun, there are only men and women who discover what already exists in nature or create something, like a transistor, based on physical properties that exist and have existed as long as the universe has existed.

    The concepts such as biological adaptation and transistors are created by man. Along a similar vein, I suppose you can say the concept light is created by man as well to describe the phenomena we all know so well.

  8. Bron: I am an original thinker; but even original thinkers address problems they did not invent themselves. Newton did not invent light, Darwin did not invent biological adaptation, Bohr did not invent particles or their behavior, the Wright brothers did not invent the idea of a mechanism that would help man fly.

  9. tony c:

    Aynish, I love that word. My hats off to you, I now tell people I am Aynish and they look at me very strangely and I explain that an individual by the name of tony c on the turley blog coined it.

    They then nod their heads and say “ah, it is authentic new frontier libberish then”.

  10. Mike Spindell:

    Why is that a problem? He was probably pointing out that Jews can be conservative contrary to popular belief. That there is intellectual diversity within the Jewish community and that the myth of Jewish liberalism is just that, a myth. Or at least not universaly applicable.

  11. tony c:

    “Bron: Perhaps they are only “very smart” from your point of view, and from the point of view of actually smart people, your friends aren’t smart enough. The fact that the actually smart also employ their intelligence to conclude they should be liberal is circumstance, it is not their liberalism that gives your friends trouble, it is the intellectual defects of your friends, to which you are blind.”

    Nah, they are smart by any metric.

  12. DavidM: Bron is an Aynish Objectivist, which he and I have discussed at length for two years. I consider allegiance to Rand’s twisted philosophy to be only possible for sociopaths (like her) and those with intellectual deficits that cannot see through her deceptive redefinitions of words. The latter is the kinder accusation.

    Conservativism I see as more of an emotional impairment, not necessarily an intellectual one. Too much greed, too little empathy, too much jealousy, too much desire to force others to obey their moral will. Which is perhaps caused by too much fear of the unknown, of death, of the unfamiliar. Too much unreasoned reliance on authority, tradition, and respect for its own sake, even if that causes harm or despair in others. But those are my personal observations of commonalities in the conservatives close to me. They are not the result of any systematic study; although I do find them reasonably predictive.

    I am a social liberal. If I could transform government, I would, and I wager it would be smaller and less intrusive and above all far more fair. I do not believe in big government, or a nanny state. I believe government exists to ensure the weak are not exploited by the strong, physically and financially speaking, and that certain life-critical services should be collectively provided to all, and other life-changing services should be collectively provided for as close to cost as we can get them. But that is a finite list.

  13. DavidM: Jonathan Turley is not an employee of Fox News tasked with writing the scripts and talking points; he is a guest that can speak as he will.

    1. Tony C – That represents most of the news commentators on Fox News. I think that is why so many people watch Fox News, because most of the talking is done by commentators like Turley who are free to speak their mind.

      By the way, the hard news side of Fox News does not have talking points. That would be found only on their News Analysis and Opinion side of programming. Talking points obviously will be one sided, so if you watch that expecting it to be straight news, you will be disappointed.

  14. Bron: Perhaps they are only “very smart” from your point of view, and from the point of view of actually smart people, your friends aren’t smart enough. The fact that the actually smart also employ their intelligence to conclude they should be liberal is circumstance, it is not their liberalism that gives your friends trouble, it is the intellectual defects of your friends, to which you are blind.

    1. Tony C wrote: “it is not their liberalism that gives your friends trouble, it is the intellectual defects of your friends, to which you are blind.”

      LOL. So your perspective is that the conservative paradigm is a result of intellectual defects. That sounds like the converse of the viewpoint of the extremely conservative Jewish author Michael Savage. See his book, “Liberalism is a Mental Disorder.” Maybe your slogan should be, “Conservatism is a Mental Disorder.”

      1. “That sounds like the converse of the viewpoint of the extremely conservative Jewish author Michael Savage.”


        A question, why do you label Michael Savage as a “Jewish Author”, rather than author?

  15. OS:

    I know exactly why you could not get past Committee. We have seen it here. You are not a critical thinker, you are an ideologue. And you cannot seem to write a complete sentence without stepping into a logical fallacy. Your style is to blame the school and the Committee. You are blind to the log in your own eye. I have seen lots of people who are OK with being able to tease out the correct answer on multiple choice tests, but are not critical thinkers.”

    I know many very smart people who have trouble with their committees because they are not liberals like many academics.

    In fact my son was subjected to that in 11th grade by a liberal tool [certainly not a blanket statement], a high school teacher who told him exactly the same thing, “you arent a critical thinker and your writing isnt very good.” Funny, on the writing portion of the SAT he scored over 790 and at Vanderbilt a couple of his freshman professors told him he was probably one of the best prepared writers they had seen that year, if not the best.

    We solved that problem by having him keep his views to himself while in class, so in a way that a$$hole did us a favor.

    But in any event, there is much bias in academia against conservatives, libertarians, objectivists and others who believe in reason and responsibility.

    Academia can be very hide-bound and jealous of its turf.

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