PQ leader Pauline Marois.
Credits: PHILIPPE-OLIVIER CONTANT/QMI AGENCY
The war on the rich is alive and well in France right now where the newly elected socialist President Francois Hollande wants to tax those who earn more than one million euros at an historic high rate of 75%.
And like all bad French policies, it might get copied right here in French Canada where the also newly elected Parti Quebecois premier, Pauline Marois, promises to increase taxes on the rich. It’s all worthy of union slogans of the 1970s: “Make the fat cats pay more!”
Unfortunately for our socialist friends, the rich scapegoat is not as easy a target as they would like. Bernard Arnault, said to be the fourth richest man in the world and the richest one in France, decided to apply for Belgian citizenship to escape the greedy taxman. His move is now being imitated by hundreds of others.
Arnault’s decision to protect his assets has outraged the political and media left. An article in Liberation, one of the main leftist papers, entitled “Casse toi riche con!” (Get lost, rich bastard), showed a huge picture of Arnault leaving with his Louis Vuitton luggage full of cash.
Presidential candidate for the radical left, Jean-Luc Melenchon, called Arnault a “parasite,” while the spokesman for Lutte Ouvriere (Labour Struggle) suggested Arnault be deported and added, “Good riddance, but we keep your wealth.”
Elected officials of the left are not pleased when creators of wealth run away from their misguided policies.
In their minds, the money of the wealthiest is stolen money and they do not deserve it. They deny the wealthiest create their fortunes and they thereby attack the foundation of our economic capitalist system.
On this side of the Atlantic, the war has not become as aggressive yet, but we are following the same path slowly but surely.
Premier Marois got elected last week with a program of increasing taxes on the rich. The PQ proposes to increase taxation of those earning more than $130,000 by an extra 3%, and taxes on earnings of more than $250,000 by an additional 7%.
Let’s not forget that Quebecers are already the most taxed citizens on the continent and our top 3% of high-income earners pay more than one third of all taxes collected.
In the face of such fiscal abuse, the so-called “nasty” rich will, like it or not, react in one of three ways:
1) Work less and enjoy life instead of employing more people and creating more common wealth; 2) Find a fiscal scheme to escape the highest tax bracket; 3) Move elsewhere where politicians are not as greedy.
Socialist and communist politicians live in wonderland and ignore these hard facts. They seem to think overtaxing the rich could pay for their mismanagement of public funds. They also somehow believe that wealth is created by our society, not by entrepreneurs, while ignoring that poverty could clearly be the result of their tax policies.
If Marois keeps following Hollande’s lead, she could well become the main economic developer of small towns in Ontario and New Brunswick, located just near the border of La Belle Province.