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Sacré bleu! French 75% income tax struck down by constitutional council

France's constitutional council says it is overturning an upper income tax rate of 75% introduced by Socialist President Francois Hollande.

The tax rise for those earning more than 1m euros (£817,400) has been a flagship policy for Mr Hollande, who was elected in May.

The policy angered France's business community and prompted some wealthy citizens to say they would emigrate.

by Gerard Depardieureply 9701/12/2013

Uh oh. Obama must be getting nervous now.

by Gerard Depardieureply 112/29/2012

The Republicans must feel totally doomed now.

by Gerard Depardieureply 212/29/2012

On what grounds are these fuckers operating that they can strike down an obviously needed law.

by Gerard Depardieureply 312/30/2012

Did they really need to all the way up to 75%?

by Gerard Depardieureply 412/30/2012

R1/R2 are trying to say what now?

by Gerard Depardieureply 512/30/2012

Death to Republicans!

by Gerard Depardieureply 612/30/2012

Can you imagine paying 75% of your income in taxes? Seriously?

by Gerard Depardieureply 712/30/2012

Yes, R6, bring back the ancien regime.

by Gerard Depardieureply 812/30/2012

[quote]Can you imagine paying 75% of your income in taxes? Seriously?

That was not the proposal. Did you even read the article?

by Gerard Depardieureply 912/30/2012

75% was the income tax rate, not including the "wealth" tax.

The true rate was more like 90%.

They're acting because Gerard Depardieu and people like him are leaving France.

by Gerard Depardieureply 1012/30/2012

Ooh, finger me some more, R8!

by Gerard Depardieureply 1112/30/2012

A big blow to the far left

by Gerard Depardieureply 1212/30/2012

"The policy angered France's business community and prompted some wealthy citizens to say they would emigrate."

I wish all the decent countries of the world would get together, pass a high tax rate on the wealthy and leave them with nowhere to go.

"Wah, wah, wah, I'm going to leave!" "Well, asshole, have fun living in Ethiopia."

"Can you imagine paying 75% of your income in taxes?"

Dumbest fucker ever. Look up progressive tax system. For example, in America, only the income earned over $1 million would be taxed at that rate.

by Gerard Depardieureply 1312/30/2012

The 1% is truly out of control, world-wide.

The only solution is going to be guillotines.

by Gerard Depardieureply 1412/30/2012

r13, so basically, you're saying (and this tax law is saying) that nobody should make more than 1 million a year? What about someone who invents something that sells a lot? Should someone like that get 1 mil a year and the government the rest? That's the state robbing it's people.

I'm very far from making that kind of money but even I think it's ridiculous.

by Gerard Depardieureply 1512/30/2012

[quote][R13], so basically, you're saying (and this tax law is saying) that nobody should make more than 1 million a year?

R15, can you read? NOBODY is saying that.

You realize the top marginal rate in this country used to be 90%, right? And we had plenty of wealthy people in the 50s when that rate was effective. Remember, the economic great times of the 50s?

by Gerard Depardieureply 1612/30/2012

R16 America had so many tax shelters that you weren't paying anything close to 90 percent at the top rate. What Hollande is doing is causing wealthy to move to Francophone countries like Belgium and Switzerland. What he is doing is like cutting his nose to spite his face. Instead of getting at least a part of the wealthy's income he's driving them out of France.

France's laws also drove a lot of French to start moving to Britain in the 90s.That brain drain was something that could have been stopped at the time if things were less bureaucratic in France at the time.

R15 Great points. I see nothing wrong with an incentive to make money provided that the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes.In the US going from 35% to 39% as the top rate is hardly highway robbery. Yet in France , Hollande looks like a Marxist in comparison to Obama. He went too far.So for all the Freepers who claim Obama looks like a Communist take a look at Hollande instead.

by Gerard Depardieureply 1712/30/2012

R17 = idiot, part deux

by Gerard Depardieureply 1812/30/2012

No r18, you're the idiot. What Hollande did was getting too greedy. Instead of getting 50-60% at the top, he will get (and France) one big, fucking ZERO!

Works nicely, doesn't it?

by Gerard Depardieureply 1912/31/2012

The communists on DL won't like this.

by Gerard Depardieureply 2012/31/2012

[quote][[R13]], so basically, you're saying (and this tax law is saying) that nobody should make more than 1 million a year?

And what kind of greedy fucker needs to make more than a million dollars a year? That is an extreme amount of money that is way beyond what a person is entitled to, no matter what he does for a living.

by Gerard Depardieureply 2112/31/2012

Hollande and his government are morons. The 75% tax rate was nothing to do with raising more funds and all to do with some stupid symbolic class war crap, which is the only kind of juvenile politics that they know. It's ridiculous to see some defending this law that they tried to pass - even the left newspapers in France are criticising the government for pushing a tax that was so badly devised it was obviously unconstitutional. Tax in France is applied to total household income not to individual income. This proposal so obviously violated that principle, it just shows how childish and amateurish the government was and how this tax was not a well-worked out one the goal of which was to help increase public revenues but simply an ideologically-driven piece of superficial nonsense.

by Gerard Depardieureply 2212/31/2012

R22, "superficial nonsense" is the leftists' bread and butter.

by Gerard Depardieureply 2312/31/2012

R21 = Retarded

by Gerard Depardieureply 2412/31/2012

R24= Greedy freeper.

by Gerard Depardieureply 2512/31/2012

[quote]That is an extreme amount of money that is way beyond what a person is entitled to, no matter what he does for a living.

And, no doubt, you think you're just the person to say how much a person is "entitled to." Such bullshit. Are you 12 years old?

by Gerard Depardieureply 2612/31/2012

R22 has nailed it.

by Gerard Depardieureply 2712/31/2012

LOL @ R21-R25 - poor, pathetic retard!

R224 ans R26 are spot on!

by Gerard Depardieureply 2812/31/2012

[quote]Are you 12 years old? No. Are you? Accusing someone of being 12 is a pretty immature.

But do tell me, what can anything beyond a million dollars buy someone that isn't completely wasteful and superfluous? A McMansion?

You people are as bad as the Repugs when it comes to equity. No need to deny it.

by Gerard Depardieureply 2912/31/2012

R21 is a jealous, greedy commie. People should be allowed to make as much money as they want AND pay their fair share in taxes. Don't be telling people what they can and can't earn. Next, you'll begin dictating everyone's profession.

by Gerard Depardieureply 3012/31/2012

R26, he is greedy, green with envy, little commie turd.

by Gerard Depardieureply 3112/31/2012

R21-R25-R29 is beyond retarded. She's fucking brain dead.

by Gerard Depardieureply 3212/31/2012

Well, I guess I now know why the US is a third world shithole where an astounding number of people go hungry every year; even the so called "liberals" are selfish bastards.

by Gerard Depardieureply 3312/31/2012

I never thought it would go through. You have to set up the guillotines for stuff like that.

by Gerard Depardieureply 3412/31/2012

R15 - think of it this way...

Say you earn 1 million and I earn 1.1 million, and the highest marginal tax rate of 75% is applied to incomes over 1 million. Consider, too, there are only two tax brackets with the second bracket being incomes over 1 million. You and I would pay exactly the same amount of taxes on the first million, but then I would pay 75% on the amount over. So I would pay an extra $75,000. If the highest marginal tax rate were 50%, then I'd pay $50,000 more. The question has always been whether or not that extra $25 g's is something I could afford given my income, and whether or not it's appropriate to treat my income that way. That is, does it make a difference to me? Or is it more appropriate to shift the burden of taxes down and spread it amongst people who earn less.

by Gerard Depardieureply 3512/31/2012

Anything over 50% is slavery.

by Gerard Depardieureply 3612/31/2012

[quote]Anything over 50% is slavery.

And that's precisely what a lot of DLers want.

by Gerard Depardieureply 3712/31/2012

Income over a million euro is obscene. Off with their heads

by Gerard Depardieureply 3812/31/2012

The brain drain happened in France in the 90s and it seems the Socialists in France haven't learned their lesson. Wealthy French can move to Britain or Belgium like an American can move from state to state.If you're going to increase taxes on the hyper wealthy pull an Obama. Yes 200,000 dollars in a place like the New York metro area is not wealthy but it got the conversation started. Supposedly the Senate is talking about raising the rates on 400,000 to 500,000 dollars worth of income.I don't think that a 4 percent increase will kill rich people in the US. Hollande should emulate Obama and do likewise. If you are going to play a class warfare card do so intelligently like Obama has done not like Hollande has.Otherwise you'll run the risk of hounding people outside of France.

by Gerard Depardieureply 3912/31/2012

The tax will go through. It's just delayed. From the BBC link:

French millionaires would be well-advised to think twice before cracking open the champagne over the Constitutional Council's ruling.

The court emphatically did NOT say that the 75 per cent tax rate was too high.

No, the point on which the socialist government's flagship measure came unstuck was a technicality. In French jargon the new tax bracket for people earning more than a million euros had not been "conjugalised".

As framed, the tax band applied to individuals - not to households.

But in France, income tax is levied on households.

Therefore the provision breached the constitutional requirement that it be equitable for all.

The measure will almost certainly be back. All the government has to do is reframe and resubmit. But it now stands accused not just of a certain vindictiveness towards the rich, but also of a certain legal incompetence too.


But some are saying that Hollande never intended to tax the wealthy at that rate. It was jut a bargaining chip to negotiate taxes at a high but lower rate than 75%...something like 50%. It's all psychological. If Hollande had started at 50% people would have wanted something lower than that but because he started at 75% well 50% suddenly looks good.

by Gerard Depardieureply 4012/31/2012

[quote]But do tell me, what can anything beyond a million dollars buy someone that isn't completely wasteful and superfluous? A McMansion?

That's none of your business.

[quote]You people are as bad as the Repugs when it comes to equity. No need to deny it.

Commie say wha?

by Gerard Depardieureply 4112/31/2012

[quote]Well, I guess I now know why the US is a third world shithole

Oh, dear.

[quote]where an astounding number of people go hungry every year; even the so called "liberals" are selfish bastards.

Keep wiping back to front, dope.

by Gerard Depardieureply 4212/31/2012

It is supposed to be a temporary two year tax rate increase. Do you really believe that someone who makes over 1 mil. Euros cannot survive paying a bit more tax for two years?

by Gerard Depardieureply 4312/31/2012

Time to bring back the Guillotine! the 21st century, Louis the XIII is a French Billionaire.

by Gerard Depardieureply 4412/31/2012

[quote][R16] America had so many tax shelters that you weren't paying anything close to 90 percent at the top rate.

Well duh. That's how those tax brakets WORK. Right now, the wealthy just sit on their piles of cash, taking it out of the economy basically. Back then, they bent over backwards to invest it to avoid the high taxes, pushing the money through the economy.

The economy only works when money flows through it.

See this graph to help your feeble mind understand this very basic and obvious concept:

by Gerard Depardieureply 4512/31/2012

[quote] Right now, the wealthy just sit on their piles of cash, taking it out of the economy basically.

This is just not true.

by Gerard Depardieureply 4612/31/2012

R40 suggests this tax was just a bargaining chip, r43 says it was just a temporary measure (yes, they wanted it long-term but realised how damaging that would be so claimed it was just for two years, though many feared it would not be temporary and were worried about what would accompany it). Both these claims underline just how badly thought through this scheme was and demonstrate that it was nothing to do with raising public finances and all to do with class war and simplistic ideology. France's problem isn't that it doesn't raise enough taxes but that its public spending is too high. What France needs to do is cut its huge public spending and belief in a "big state" (bigger than most in Europe). And, for the "anti-freepers" in the US, please don't try and compare this situation with your own and support Hollande and his government because you oppose the Repugs. The two situations have nothing to do with each other, aside from the fact that French Socialists and American Republicans are both moronic when it comes to tax policy, public spending and the role of the state.

by Gerard Depardieureply 4712/31/2012

Wow, the conservatives in this thread are getting demolished. It's fun to see them masturbating to Mammon.

by Gerard Depardieureply 4812/31/2012

[quote]Uh oh. Obama must be getting nervous now.

Umm, right. The decision was based on French technicalities. I'm sure he's quivering.

by Gerard Depardieureply 4912/31/2012

R45 Duh is a word that a rubish,uneducated twink uses! Bad form.Then again you come across as a puerile minded lemming anyway. The rich still invest their money in real estate,stocks ,businesses etc so on. You wouldn't know that because you read The Communist Manifesto for inspiration every morning!

R48 You need to start taking your meds again. Even Communist China doesn't subscribe to your fantastical version of Communism anymore. Mammon? You would be the first person to call out Christians on their homophobia(which would be a right position)! BTW nobody mentioned religion in all of this. That was a bad analogy.

R47 Both parties in the States are bad at spending. They both play the deficit card when the other is in power.The tax bill run up by Bush and his cohorts was obscene. Obama and Company didn't do enough to stem the spending tide,though he tried a little bit. That being said ,Hollande is off the cliff.The Freepers who criticize Obama should realize that he will at least talk to them. He's not that unreasonable or unrealistic.

by Gerard Depardieureply 5012/31/2012

R46, it most definitely IS true. The 1% are HOARDING cash, the way those people on "Hoarders" hoard junk.

by Gerard Depardieureply 5112/31/2012

[quote]R45 Duh is a word that a rubish,uneducated twink uses! Bad form.

Just playing to my audience.

And it's hilarious the way conservabots always rush to the "marx/communist" slur. As if ANY liberal or progressive in this country had ANTYHING to do with or WANTED anything to do with communism or marx. Jesus.

You are so willfully blind it's pathetic, making up enemies in your own mind that simply don't exist in the real world, while supporting those who truly are your enemy without you even seemingly being aware of it.

by Gerard Depardieureply 5212/31/2012

[quote]Obama and Company didn't do enough to stem the spending tide, though he tried a little bit.

He tried more than a little bit. He was obstructed at every turn by a petulant GOP in Congress.

by Gerard Depardieureply 5312/31/2012

R45 Your audience is not a bunch of twinks from the hinterlands. Gay people are usually well educated and sophisticated.Conservabots? Please just because someone wants a balanced budget(by cutting spending) AND taxing the top 2 percent to be taxed more hardly makes me a so-called conservabot.

What I was referring to was Hollande's stupidity in driving out rich people from France. Have you ever been there? Do you have any friends there? I mentioned the brain drain that happened in the 90s. Britain had more liberal(economic policies) in starting a business so many French people moved there for the business opportunities. Rich people are moving to Belgium, Switzerland and Britain to avoid paying taxes. What Hollande is doing is making the situation worse.Instead of growing the economy Hollande will contract it.

BTW people trot out the Marxist angle when people play the class warfare card. You want everybody to be the same and end up like the Soviet Union? I'm for taxing the top 2 like Obama has proposed and his tax increase is a modest one. It's nothing insane like Hollande's proposal. Hollande will strangle France with his insane ideals.Their best friend Germany who has unions and a very generous social welfare program have less wacky work rules than France AND there is no crazy proposal to drive the rich out of there. Germany has a great mix of capitalism and socialism that fits that country well and France suit emulate it's neighbor instead of letting this nut,Hollande ruin it!

R53 The Repubs haven't done themselves favors to be honest but Obama scaled back some things here and there but didn't go far enough.With the current compromise,it's a start.

by Gerard Depardieureply 5401/02/2013

Read this link: "How the 400 richest people got so rich"...

In addition to lifting the cap (which most certainly would resolve future solvency issues)... we need to raise the capital gains tax rate significantly. At least back up to 20% ASAP, and in boom times, up to 25%.

by Gerard Depardieureply 5501/02/2013

"Their best friend Germany who has unions and a very generous social welfare program have less wacky work rules than France AND there is no crazy proposal to drive the rich out of there. Germany has a great mix of capitalism and socialism..."

Germany has a 45% tax bracket. After you make a certain amount of money, they add another 5.5% on top of that because you're rich and should be paying more. They call it a 'solidarity surcharge'. And, their capital gains tax is 25% plus that extra 5.5% if your tax rate is above the 25% level.

So, dear, why aren't the whiny rich running away from Germany?

by Gerard Depardieureply 5601/03/2013

r13 sounds like a communist. You invoke progressive tax system. Your way of thinking is not progressive. It's not even socialism. You're just a communist.

It's absolutely ridiculous that anyone would have to pay 75% tax. It was so predictable that the wealthy would flee France, and I don't blame them.

I am nowhere near cracking even six-figures, 75% is appalling to any sensible person.

by Gerard Depardieureply 5701/03/2013

R57 doesn't understand what a progressive tax system is. He thinks it's a tax system invented by progressives. Moron.

Go back to school (fourth or fifth grade economics should cover it) and figure out how a progressive tax system works and then come back. Until then, don't play with any sharp objects or walk in traffic.

by Gerard Depardieureply 5801/04/2013

r58 You're still a communist. You're as repugnant as the Republicans -- just on the opposite extreme. It's better for everyone that you're infinite "wisdom" is limited to posting on a gay forum rather than actually be in any position of power.

by Gerard Depardieureply 5901/04/2013

R56 You are mixing apples with oranges.You really have no grasp of the situation. German Unions are extremely strong BUT German work rules are relatively lax compared to France's. Aldi(one of the biggest supermarkets not only in Germany but in the world) in Germany does things that Walmart could only dream of. In France it's harder to open up a business relative to Britain, that's why French people moved there. Don't forget that moving from one EU country is almost like moving from one state to another. Especially if you're French who have no restriction of movement. So Hollande's stupidity is driving them to live in countries with a fairer tax rate.

Hollande's new tax rates would be insane compared to German's tax system. BTW I have relatives there and there are loopholes.Nothing is cut and dry there either.For your information, rich Germans would put money in Switzerland until the German government went after those people.Rich people weren't happy but they don't have a Eurosocialist in power.

In France, the corruption index is obscene when compared to Germany and even Britain's. Tons of politicians get their palms greased there. Good or bad ,Germany is a far more honest government system and corruption is rare compared to France.The services in France are not as good in let's say Germany or Britain. French expats realize this when they live in those countries.

by Gerard Depardieureply 6001/04/2013

Anyone who leaps to calling someone a "communist" because they advocate a higher tax bracket for the wealthy is too ignorant for words.

Seriously, this country was at its best when the top marginal rate was 90%. During those years we built the interstate highway system, went to the moon, and our public education system was the envy of the world, and the middle class grew by leaps and bounds, and a single earner family could live quite well.

R57/R59 is deeply ignorant and brainwashed by ideology, and could really stand to learn a thing or two.

by Gerard Depardieureply 6101/04/2013

Struck down for now, it will be back.

by Gerard Depardieureply 6201/04/2013

R59 is so hilariously stupid. It's like talking to a petulant teenage who knows NOTHING.

by Gerard Depardieureply 6301/04/2013

This tax is what's stupid, albeit not in a hilarious way.

by Gerard Depardieureply 6401/05/2013

R16, etc. is the most stupid though, but only in a pathetic way.

by Gerard Depardieureply 6501/05/2013

R61 The competition internationally wasn't what it was back then. Rich people had write offs that allowed them to not pay anything close to 90 percent. So you are comparing apples and oranges.Not to mention that the society was far more racist,sexist and homophobic as well. It was a far less inclusionary society.

by Gerard Depardieureply 6601/05/2013

The core issue with France is that tax levels are not the problem. The economic difficulties there are related to a highly-centralised statist economy, huge levels of public spending in order to maintain the privileges of pampered civil servants, rigid labour laws, an anti-enterprise environment and, especially now, a government attitude that scares off foreign and domestic investment. This stupid 75% rate is just one more element of their juvenile amateurism.

by Gerard Depardieureply 6701/05/2013

R67 I agree with you to a certain degree. Germany is extremely successful at having a statist economy mixed in with capitalism and having an export intensive economy.It's shocking to see such a small country be the one or two country in exports in the world. France also has a debt problem that is more like Italy and Spain's than like Germany low debt level. Sarkozy won on making France more Americanized however when The French found out that it meant slaying some sacred cows they got scared shitless.

by Gerard Depardieureply 6801/05/2013

R67, let me guess, you're a libertarian? The free market is a panacea for all that ails the world, right? Idiot.

by Gerard Depardieureply 6901/05/2013

R67 is a first class idiot. May I remind you that France has had a higher percentage growth than the USA since 1945 (doubtless due to that "stupid" statist economy). Their current problems are that in the last ten years they've let Germany attack that economy in the name of European unity.

by Gerard Depardieureply 7001/05/2013

R69, I'm a European who is far more aware of the situation in European economies than you and so have no need to romanticise Francois Hollande from far, far away. No one in Europe or France has ever even thought let alone suggested that Germany has been attacking France's economy, and only a complete moron who is utterly ignorant of anything going on in Europe would make such a comment. What is understood by many in France and other European countries is that the French economy is in a rut and its productivity is not what it could or should be. Unfortunately, the current indicators of what the Hollande/Ayrault government is doing only seem to suggest that this rut will continue and grow even greater. As a European, I want to see a strong, dynamic France, in partnership with a strong, dynamic Germany, as that is what has helped and guided our continent for the past 60 years.

I would also expect that all those supporting this stupid tax rate are aware that it has been struck down by France's Constitutional Court and that it is not such a popular tax in France. You do realise there is a debate going on in France too and that it doesn't make anyone who doesn't like what Hollande is doing a "liberatarian"? Hollande's current popularity rating is around 30%, same with Ayrault. Does that mean 70% of French are "libertarians" (whose views, presumably, should thus be ignored in favour of r69's opinions on the fate of their country)? If you know anything about the debate in France right now you would be fully aware that Hollande and the Hollande/Ayrault government is being criticised for amateurism right across the political spectrum, from right to left. The very fact that they pushed such a measure which they would have realised was unconstitutional if they had bothered to think it through properly is glaring evidence of this amateurism.

But, what would one expect from Arnaud Montebourg fans, such as r69 and r70.

by Gerard Depardieureply 7101/06/2013

R71 The pro-Hollande forces don't realize what a rank amateur he is. They are in another country mythologizing taxing the very rich. Then again this what France wanted and when they found out how crazy he really is, they have reacted accordingly.

R70 You're a complete idiot. France had a debt level that was six to seven points higher than Germany yet the Germans attacked Greece! Greece is relatively unimportant in the scheme of the EU BUT the Germans acted like they were the most important. You also didn't see Germany attack a strong economy like Italy who is an important import/export partner to Germany.

by Gerard Depardieureply 7201/06/2013

That's because Greece had passed Germany in living standards R72, so they were ripe for attack.

Obviously you know nothing R71. Europe is run from Basel, not Brussels.

by Gerard Depardieureply 7301/06/2013

Anyone who writes "That's because Greece had passed Germany in living standards" cannot accuse someone else of knowing nothing.

Anyway, r73 etc. is just some stupid little juvenile ideological fool who is ten million miles away from the things he spouts off about.

by Gerard Depardieureply 7401/06/2013

Nonsense R74. You're the ideologue, and not in a pleasant factual way.

by Gerard Depardieureply 7501/06/2013

R73 What the fuck are you smoking? You're completely idiotic. Greece has the lowest per capita income of any of the original EU countries before expansion. There are plenty of Greeks living in Germany for work,nearly none living in Greece for that purpose.I've been to Greece and to Germany and it's like the difference between Canada and Mexico!Greece being Mexico of course.....

by Gerard Depardieureply 7601/06/2013

[quote]"That's because Greece had passed Germany in living standards"


by Gerard Depardieureply 7701/06/2013

So many stuck up Germans. Like Americans, they think their nation is wealthier than it is.

by Gerard Depardieureply 7801/06/2013

R78 How many French,Italian or British supermarkets are around the world? Have you heard of Aldi from Germany they are all over the world. Mercedes,BMW and Wolkswagen? They also own Rolls Royce and Bentley.They are always in the top five of exporting nations in the entire world with a population of 80 million.The Germans don't think that they are the richest and most powerful nation in Europe,they know it!You're another one that has been doing meth quit while you're ahead.

by Gerard Depardieureply 7901/06/2013

R71, why do you keep calling yourself a European? What country are you from?

And, you didn't answer the accusation about believing that the free market will fix everything.

Also, why don't you educate us on why the economies of the world worked much better when there were tax brackets in the 50-70-90% ranges?

Also, on how societies throughout history have failed due almost exclusively to huge disparities in wealth finally taking the ultimate toll?

by Gerard Depardieureply 8001/06/2013

R80, sorry, I don't have twenty hours to give you an analytical lecture of the type you demand and would not even understand. Just because you take a few random figures out of your head and then try and present them as some kind of indisputable solid evidence for whatever your position is, doesn't mean you have any serious argument. The only significant facts and figures for this thread are related to its subject matter: the 75% tax rate on individuals that the Hollande/Ayrault government tried to introduce is unconstitutional. The French government have indicated they will not attempt to reintroduce it and opinion polls in France oppose such a rate. The favourability rating of both Hollande and Ayrault has now dropped to around 30%, record lows, primarily because of their economic policies. Why have YOU not addressed those issues?

I call myself a European (I don't "keep" doing it, I've done it once in this thread, but generally, yes, that is how I identify myself) because I am a European. What is so difficult to comprehend about that? I was born in one EU country, grew up in another and now live in a third EU country (which just so happens to be Greece). My partner is from yet another EU country, which lies very close to the now non-existent border with another EU country (this now dead border just happens to have been the Iron Curtain): whenever she flies to her home town she in fact flies in to the neighbouring country because that's where the nearest airport is, barely an hour away. She works in yet another EU country, and I spend half my time there. On occasion, she also has to work in yet another EU country and will be living from the end of this year for a few months, and I will also have to spend half my time there. Her colleagues are all from various other European countries, and that's our main social environment. That's about seven EU countries that play a role in my life, so why the fuck should I only identify myself by some kind of national/ethnic identity? You do realise that a lot of people in Europe see ourselves as European and see Europe in general as our home, not one confined space with national borders that in most cases don't even exist in practice anymore. Certainly, we are all proud of our own national cultures but our individual countries don't have much of a future unless we are all working together. Is that too difficult for you to understand?

More to the point, Europe is not America. Any American wishing to understand Europe will not be able to if they try and see it through the framework of the situation in America and debates going on in the US. Our public spending is very different to yours, as are our taxation systems and many of our labour laws and, thankfully, we do have proper welfare systems, albeit in much need of reform. Whatever is going on in the US budget debate has nothing to do with Europe.

by Gerard Depardieureply 8101/07/2013


This is off-topic, but is it safe to travel in Greece now? When I was living in Italy, I was tempted to make the jump from Bari for a few weeks, but the protests, fires, etc dissuaded me. I'm moving back to Italy this Spring for another year, so I have another opportunity.

by Gerard Depardieureply 8201/07/2013

Certainly it's safe! It was never not safe, regardless of what you see on tv. Come and enjoy! We are a bit of a mess right now but Greece is still a great place to visit - lovely beaches, great food, great weather (bit cold at the moment though). I fly between Athens and Italy all the time, it's an easy trip to make. Get the boat from Bari, you'll love it.

by Gerard Depardieureply 8301/07/2013

R81 I have relatives in Six EU countries and I agree to a certain degree and disagree with you as well. Yes the welfare states operate differently in the US vs Europe BUT the US is far from libertarian. Also like Germany we have a federal system. So things are not centralized a la the French system. In effect the US has national, state AND county governance. For example Medicaid is healthcare for the poor.The Federal government mandates it, the state is involved in the process and counties are increasing footing the bill for it.Spending in the US is a problem like it is in Europe BTW. THe US spends more per capita on healthcare than any other country in the world, the problem is that it's only for the poor and the older folks. The US government can't do a proper job as it is on that can you imagine what will happens with Obamacare?

Greece is a mess. Their agricultural sector is bad, their manufacturing is non existent and there are too many chiefs and too few indians.Greeks have this ideal of being an individual or every man out for himself.They also have a high level of self proprietorships relative to the rest of Europe. On sort, their economy is unlike any other of the EU countries. They are fucked because they are not only overspending but don't have the tax base/economic activity to export.Unlike a country like Italy that has a diversified economy,it's hard for them to weather the storm.

As for France, Hollande is insane.If his ideas actually pan out, France will be fucked. France needs growth and economic expansion NOT contraction!

by Gerard Depardieureply 8401/07/2013

R81, bloviating as a way to avoid answering the factual statements I made above at R80 (read a history book if you think I pulled them out of my ass) makes you look like a fool.

Why are you trying so hard to avoid telling us what country you were born and raised in? Does it hurt your argument? Is it one of the non-EU countries?

Your insistence on your "one Europe" argument being unquestionable goes directly in the face of what my friend from Sweden argues. She defined herself as Swedish, not European. The discussion began because she didn't understand why so many Americans still refer to their ancestry as part of who they are when their ancestors left, say, Italy, three generations ago. Just as she was Swedish, she saw them as only American. So, really, speak for yourself.

by Gerard Depardieureply 8501/08/2013

I was born in Cyprus, raised in the UK and now live in Greece. What the fuck does it have to do with you where I'm from? I'm not "insisting" on one Europe, I just call myself a European because that is what I am. What the fuck is wrong with that and what the fuck does it have to do with you? Most people in Europe have multiple layers of identity, from the local, the national, the European, to even the region of Europe they are from (north, south, central). So you met one person from a peripheral European country that isn't even in the eurozone and you think you can dictate what 350 million people are allowed to say about themselves? Ask your friend if she feels Scandinavian.

And, where are you from? I doubt you are from anywhere that has anything to do with France or Europe. I use the same currency as the French, can travel to France without a passport, have rights in France as an EU citizen and much of the legislation I live under is developed in conjunction with countries such as France, Germany, Italy, etc. Whatever happens in other EU countries has a high impact on me. In fact, the country I live and work in is only kept going because of the aid of other eurozone countries.

The things you claim are in history books aren't. Otherwise, enlighten me, tell me which history book I should read to see the things you claim being stated.

But, why are YOU avoiding the issue of just why the French constitutional court struck this 75% rate down?

by Gerard Depardieureply 8601/08/2013

We'll start with why they struck it down. The same reason as in America. Rich people own everything and dictate the rules of everything, even the courts.

You're the one who made your origin a big deal by continuously dancing around it like it was some big secret.

Look up your own history books. You can start your research online. Plenty of facts out there, as long as you can tell the difference. You can work your way up to books and journals.

It's just a simple fact that economies work better when the rich paid higher rates and the classes weren't at stratified and separate. When we had a 70-90% tax rate in the US (until fucking Reagan), the disparity between CEO and lowliest worker's pay was 30/1, just like the rest of the industrialized world. After Reagan, with the top rate now under 40% (and, as Romney proved, actually under 15%) for the super-rich, the ratio is about 400/1. It's the same all over the place.

And, I find it striking that you failed to disagree with my belief that you believe the free market will fix everything. I bet you are rich.

Start with looking into income inequality ending empires. You can start with the Roman and Ottoman and move on from there. You can also read the book linked below.


by Gerard Depardieureply 8701/08/2013

The competition internationally wasn't what it was back then.

Oh, god. I absolutely love this canard, R66. Yes, there was less competition because Europe was devastated, but that also meant that European markets that actually bought American products were devastated. International competition is not a zero-sum game.

by Gerard Depardieureply 8801/08/2013

R87 The Carter years were terrible here in the US and they had high tax rates. In addition, the rich NEVER really paid 70 to 90 percent of their income in this country you had to be really stupid to pay that amount. There were tax shelters that allowed you to bypass giving away all of your income.You can mythologize how great things were but they weren't. In addition, gays, women and minorities were treated like garbage in that so-called "golden age."

R88 It's not a canard it's a fact. The US was the big kahuna on the block until Japan,Germany, Italy etc so on got their economies revving up . Unlike today you didn't have a Brazil, China, India or Russia competing with the US on an international basis.Look at how important Brazil and Canada have become in the oil exporting economy as well.

by Gerard Depardieureply 8901/09/2013

The US spends more than twice as much as a percent of GDP on health care and education than Europe, and so how is it we're all stupid and sick?

You USA USAers riddle me this.

by Gerard Depardieureply 9001/09/2013

R90 The US healthcare system is mismanaged by the government(remember that Medicaid and Medicare are not universal like in the European systems)and the education system has become a joke. Now they are gearing teachers towards mastering this standardized tests what do you expect?School is much tougher in Europe, there's more pressure in the secondary school level. In essence, one should see what European kids learn vs American kids they would be shocked.

by Gerard Depardieureply 9101/09/2013


We may have had a 70-90% marginal tax rate, but I can assure you--having known and in knowing many rich people--no one paid it.

by Gerard Depardieureply 9201/09/2013

"The Carter years were terrible here in the US and they had high tax rates."

Oh, well then, that ends that discussion. You do know there were just a few other things going on during those years, right?

"In addition, the rich NEVER really paid 70 to 90 percent of their income in this country you had to be really stupid to pay that amount."

If you have a top tax rate of 90% and the rat bastards find loopholes to get out of paying half of it, they are still going to pay 45%. Now, they start at 36% and use all the same loopholes to pay next to nothing if not zero. Weren't you paying attention when Romney ended up paying 12% or so...and that was on the one he released. You can imagine all the goose eggs he paid in the prior 20 years he didn't show us.

Put it at 90, let the fuckers think they are winning by paying half of their required taxes and then we'll get what they should be paying now. It's really not that difficult.

And, as I say in every thread about taxes...remove the fucking SS contribution cap and means test everything!

by Gerard Depardieureply 9301/09/2013


by Gerard Depardieureply 9401/10/2013

R93 There were tons of things going on before Carter like Vietnam and the like BUT that was the pits. A terrible President mixed in with a bad economy,then you got yourself an actor called Ronnie Raygun.

Where the rich paying 46 percent back then? I don't think so. With all of your long term investments being tied up you could write off quite a bit. You want capital gains raised?Fine raise them like Obama wanted the top rate up to 39 percent. On the other hand,the economy is still in a bad state and it will only be a drawback. If the economy was going gangbusters by all means raise everything to Clinton rates BUT it's not.

by Gerard Depardieureply 9501/12/2013

Bullshit R95. The rates should be raised to LBJ levels and we need to abandon the gospel of free trade (which is a childish lie).

by Gerard Depardieureply 9601/12/2013

[quote] And, as I say in every thread about taxes...

Why do you limit your outpourings to "threads"? Be courageous and run for public office or write a column where you actually sign your name.

Or are you afraid you'll be pelted with rotten veggies?

by Gerard Depardieureply 9701/12/2013
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