When new French Socialist President Francois Holland raised marginal tax rates on the rich to 75%, the response was utterly predictable. Rich people decided to abandon France including national icon Gerard Depardieu (you can read Depardieu’s wonderful letter here).
Well, the French may have gotten the message:
France’s constitutional council has struck down a top income tax rate of 75% introduced by Socialist President Francois Hollande.
Raising taxes for those earning more than 1m euros (£817,400) has been a flagship policy for Mr Hollande.
The policy angered France’s business community and prompted some wealthy citizens to say they would emigrate.
Mr Hollande’s government said it would rework the tax, due to take effect in 2013, to meet the council’s complaints.
Welcome to the 21st century, comrades. Capital and wealth is mobile, infamy is instant and social rebellions can take place in days. I’m sure Hollande really thought he was going to get this done without any problems. And twenty years ago, he might have. But not today. Today, he had to back down almost immediately.
In fairness, the council is harping on what they see as a legal flaw, not the outright stupidity of it. But it just shows you what a poorly thought-out money grab this was. And, as time goes on, I’m sure more flaws will be found so that the French government can back away from this dreadful policy.