to Socialist newspapers and politicians “to pay a tax is an act of
solidarity, a patriotic act.” Those leaving France because of its
uncompetitive tax rate see things differently.
Please consider Socialists Denounce
Gérard Depardieu for Leaving France
Gérard Depardieu, one of
France’s best-known actors, has been accused by the country’s
Socialist government of lacking patriotism after he moved to Belgium
apparently in a bid to avoid the taxes for which France is also renowned.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault
weighed in, calling Mr. Depardieu’s choice “rather
“He’s a great star, everyone loves him as an artist,” Mr. Ayrault told the France 2 television channel on
Wednesday, but “to pay a tax is an act of solidarity, a patriotic
To reduce the budget deficit and the country’s debt, Mr. Hollande has put in place a 75 percent marginal tax rate
for incomes above 1 million euros, or $1.3 million — a largely symbolic
measure that will affect only a few thousand individuals, he has said —
and has announced additional taxes that are expected to raise 20 billion
euros next year.
Residents [in Belgium] pay no wealth tax and no capital gains tax on stock
sales. In France, residents are required to pay a 0.25 percent wealth tax on
assets valued at more than 1.3 million euros; those with more than 3 million
euros in assets pay twice that.
Mr. Depardieu will by no means be the only Frenchman in Néchin,
where he has reportedly bought a home. Néchin’s
mayor, Daniel Senesael, told the French news media
that 27 percent of residents are French.
Bernard Arnault, the billionaire chief executive of
the luxury group LVMH, was pilloried in the news media in September when it
was revealed that he had requested Belgian citizenship.
Mr. Arnault said the request was not for tax
purposes, but the left-leaning newspaper Libération
featured a front-page headline that read, in polite translation, “Beat
it, rich jerk!” (LVMH promptly pulled its advertising from the
newspaper and Mr. Arnault filed a lawsuit charging
the paper with public insult.)
On Tuesday, the newspaper featured Mr. Depardieu on its front page, along
with an editorial deploring his “absence of moral sense” and
insisting that the flight of the rich represents “a danger for
democracy and solidarity.”
California vs. France
California citizens have renewed reason to vote with their feet following
massive tax hikes approved in the November elections. For a synopsis, please
In case you missed it, the Bloomberg report $822,000
Worker Shows California Leads U.S. Pay Giveaway is a stunning, must see article on
where those tax hikes will go (and it's not for the kids).
The article is well worth a read in entirety, so I offer no snips.
Patriotic to Pay Excess Taxes?
Is it a sign of solidarity or stupidity to pay more taxes than necessary? Is
it an act of patriotism to do something you disagree with or is the real act of
patriotism to protest?
While there may be other reasons influencing people's decisions to leave or
stay, paying excess taxes for the sake of solidarity is complete nonsense.
By the way, for all his bitching and moaning, Warren Buffet does not pay excess
taxes either. In his case, since he feels so strongly about this, perhaps the
patriotic thing for him to do would be to voluntarily pay extra taxes to
write down the federal debt.
In the case of California and France, the logical thing for taxpayers to do
is "leave if you can", and there is nothing at all unpatriotic
about such decisions. Indeed, for those who feel strongly that tax hikes are
not the way to go, leaving in protest may actually be
the patriotic thing to do.