France’s Wealthiest Man Leaves Due to High Taxes: French Liberals Outraged

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Categorize this under:  There was a reason that the East Germans built a wall…

It’s been said again and again-high taxes cause people to leave.  And, no matter how many times it happens, liberals engage in the requisite outrage and condemnation for the problems that their own policies cause.  For the latest example, we have to pay a visit to The Lid.

Back in September when Bernard Jean Étienne Arnault the richest man in France applied for Belgian citizenship. Left-wing French newspaper Libération ran a picture of the head of LVMH with the headline, Casse-toi riche con!  which (according to Google Translate) means “F**K Off Rich Idiot!”

Today he took their advice and moved all his financial assets to Belgium for ‘family inheritance reasons.” (He has transferred his 31 per cent stake in Groupe Arnault, the family holding that controls LVMH, to Pilinvest, a Belgian firm that he specifically set up for the purpose).

The consensus opinion is he wants to avoid a 75 per cent top rate on income being introduced by President Francois Hollande so he will have something left over for his family to inherit.

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..others are convinced that the 63-year-old has joined other tycoons and celebrities in wanting to avoid taxes – including a 75 per cent top rate on income – introduced by Socialist President Francois Hollande.

Mr Arnault applied for a Belgian passport soon after the Socialists won elections last year.

Mr Arnault, who owns numerous homes around the world including one in London, applied for a Belgian passport soon after Mr Hollande’s Socialists won presidential and parliamentary elections last year.

Critics immediately attacked him for leaving the country that is associated with all the brands which made his fortune – including Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Guerlain, Moet & Chandon champagne and Hennessy cognac.

Once again, when stupid raises it’s ugly head, the reasonable leave for greener pastures.  And, rather than look at their own  high tax policies, the liberals will blame the people escaping those same destructive policies.  Then, in the case of high taxes, when revenues fall short of estimates (as they almost always do), there will be a scapegoat.  As we all know, when liberal policies fail, it is ALWAYS someone else’s fault.

Bonus Irony Alert:  The lefty newspaper, ironically named Libération (obviously, no translation needed), was very upset that Arnault liberated himself.

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Another French Revolution? Gerard Depardieu Goes Galt

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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 [2012] 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.

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