The president-elect of France, Francois Hollande, is a socialist who wants to impose a 75-percent tax on the wealthy. No wonder President Obama immediately invited him to the White House.
You can't spin economics. If you harm production with high taxes you will get less production and, thus, less revenue. And the rich won't stand for it. They will either become less productive or move to a more business-friendly country.
There is something else. Addictions to government are difficult to break. Outgoing president Sarkozy had only begun to reverse the welfare state, raising the retirement age to 62 from 60. This prompted violent demonstrations by young people who won't be 60 for four decades.
The fact is Europe can't continue down a socialist path. It doesn't have the money and won't get it by spreading the wealth around. That's because if you take from the successful to subsidize the unsuccessful, there will be fewer who are successful and less wealth to spread around. That's Economics 101, which the socialists ignore.
I'm Cal Thomas in Washington.
Publication date: May 9, 2012