January 1, 2013
Atlas Left...with His Cheese!
One of my favorite French actors is the larger-than-life Epicurean and all-around bon vivant Gerard Depardieu. His latest role is that of Atlas shrugging -- or, more exactly, taking it on the lam. It all started with the new French Socialist government's decision to jack up taxes to an historic degree -- in a country already known for its outrageously high taxes. The Socialists raised the income tax on the wealthy to a stratospheric 75%. They also raised the rates on middle class incomes, on business, and on capital gains; instituted a "total wealth tax" on all property (including unrealized capital gains); and imposed an "exit" tax on escaping entrepreneurs. This prompted the sybaritic star to announce that he was putting his Parisian palace up for sale and moving to a Belgian town just across the border to escape the confiscatory taxes. He first prudently stocked up on cheese, however. This was hardly a unique event -- plenty of wealthy French have...(Read Full Article)