The new socialist government of France is following through on its campaign promise to tax the wealthy. A one-time wealth tax of 7.2 billion euro, including surcharges on banks and energy companies, hits next Wednesday. An extra 2.3 billion euro will be raised by an exceptional tax charge on everyone with net worth of more than 1.3 million euro. More tax increases are planned for next year toward the goal of a 75 percent marginal rate on annual incomes over 1 million euro and permanent increases in wealth taxes.
The French can't say they weren't warned. This is what president Francois Hollande promised during his campaign, and with a socialist majority in the legislature, he is sure to get his way.
Already there is talk by some French businesses of taking British prime minister David Cameron's offer of moving to Britain to escape the higher French taxes. Look for businesses that do stay to pass along the cost of their increases in higher prices, or to lay off workers. That's what always happens. It won't work. It never does. And it won't work in America either.
I'm Cal Thomas in Washington.
Publication date: July 6, 2012