Citizens respond to politicians' greed

May 30, 2013

Americans watching the continuing meltdown of Western Europe’s tottering economies were amazed last year when French leaders proposed a new “millionaire’s tax” rate of 75 percent. But we were hardly surprised. Confiscatory tax rates approaching 100 percent are, after all, the logical endpoint of the socialist big-government mentality.

But there seems to be some hope. A new poll shows that half of France’s younger workers, those from 18 to 34, would like to flee the country if they could. An overwhelming 81 percent of all French citizens say that reducing spending should be a high priority, while just nine percent (presumably mostly government bureaucrats) rate the French economy as good.

France has a 40 percent personal income tax rate for most citizens, a punitive inheritance tax that can reach 60 percent, corporate taxes of 33.3 percent, and a hefty value-added (sales) tax of just under 20 percent. Most Frenchmen, most of the time, are working for the government; even self-employed professionals face a special tax on the workplaces they rent.

Americans don’t face such outrageous tax rates — yet. But residents of high-tax states like California and New York are already facing combined state and federal income tax levies at or above 50 percent, thanks to the recent boost in federal tax rates for high earners. And of course we know what these citizens do: They vote with their feet. None other than Phil Mickelson could be next.

Our friends on the Left continue to downplay the importance of tax rates. But, good grief, if they’ve lost Bill Maher …

Photo: Randy Miramontez /