Putting Tax Rates and “Socialism” in Perspective
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.
In its ruling on Saturday, the Constitutional Council said the new tax rate "failed to recognise equality before public burdens" because, unlike other forms of income tax, it was to be applied to individuals rather than households.
For example, that meant a household in which one person earned more than 1m euros would pay the tax, but a household in which two people earned 900,000 euros each would not have to pay.
This is interesting for a variety of reasons (not the least of which being the interplay between various branches of government, which is the kind of thing that I find interesting).
However, one cannot see such a headline/story and not immediately note the rather stark contrast between US and French politics, insofar at the upper limit on top earners supported by a president frequently called a “socialist” in the US is under 40%.