Various news organizations have been reporting an exodus of the superrich from France — often buying homes in England or surrounding countries to avoid the expected 75 percent tax rate proposed by the Socialist government of President François Hollande. While the rate would apply only to those making one million euros a year or more, I view it as a mistake. I admit that I tend to have great reservations about heavy tax hikes during economic crisis. We have debated the value and potential harm of such hikes on this blog. However, a 75% rate is in my view insane. As rational actors, top earners are likely to simply leave the country as they are doing. Hollande came into office on a wave of sentiment to soak “Les riches” and Hollande himself proclaimed “I don’t like the rich.” It is a bit too Robespierrean for my tastes as an economic policy.
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