What if there were another French Revolution. And this time, it was led by creators refusing to be robbed by the nanny state? Well, one is beginning. Earlier this year, the French foolishly elected socialists, and their PM decided that a really great way to raise revenue for do-goodery was to tax the evil rich at very high levels. And, creators, like famous actor Gerard Depardieu have decided to vote with their feet, and leave France. The Socialist PM fired off that the refusal to be robbed was “pathetic.”
Depardieu shot back and, in an open letter to Monsieur Ayrault, wrote, “I’m leaving because you think success, creation, talent and anything different should be punished. I am sending you back my passport and social security, which I have never used.” The French actor claims to have “paid 85 percent taxes on his revenues this year  and estimated that he had paid €145m ($189m) in total since he started work as a printer at the age of 14.”
The lessons from Monsieur Hollande’s debacle should be obvious. The rich are a mobile lot and there are plenty of countries that will welcome them with open arms. The British Prime Minister David Cameron, for example, has promised to “roll out a red carpet” for the French tax refuges. Moreover, as my colleague Alan Reynolds reminds us, high tax rates on income may discourage many wealthy people from remaining in the labor force, since, to use economic jargon, their elasticity of taxable income is much higher than that of low and middle income earners. Translated into English, people like me have to work even if our tax rates go up, because we have to come up with money to pay our mortgages, student loans, etc. The rich people don’t.
Keep it up socialists! Because, as we know, 75% of nothing is nothing, and guys like Depardieu, and all the jobs they create, and all the taxes they formerly paid, are all gone now. Great job!
But, Marian L. Tupy, writing at CATO, nails it perfectly (emphasis added)
The French government was warned of the negative consequences of tax increases. It chose to ignore those warnings. Instead, the French socialists assumed that they could go on plucking the golden goose indefinitely. (Then again, the socialist grasp on reality has never been very good.) Of course, when idiotic policies backfire, politicians feign surprise and then shift the blame onto others. Thus, French Labor Minister Michel Sapin asked in a radio interview “What is more normal than those who earn enormous amounts of money paying lots of tax?” The French Culture and Communication Minister Aurelie Filippetti bemoaned Depardieu’s action by stating that “We shouldn’t be receiving moral lessons from people who abandon the battlefield when we need everyone to be mobilized.”
This is so incredibly true. This has happened before, and because high taxes make rich people go away (and take their money with them), you would think they would learn. But, they don’t, because they are too busy blaming everything else under the sun except for the actual cause, which is their own policies.