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Thursday, December 13, 2012 11:13 AM


Socialists Denounce French Actors Leaving France for Tax Purposes; California vs. France; Patriotic to Pay Excess Taxes?


According 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 pathetic.”

“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 act.”

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 see Taxifornia Lessons.

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.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com

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