France: wealthiest ask government for special tax on the super-rich

"When the public finances deficit and the prospects of a worsening state debt threaten the future of France and Europe and when the government is asking everybody for solidarity, it seems necessary for us to contribute."

-Quote from an open letter calling for a "special contribution" by France’s super-wealthy

This is a temporary tax proposal to demonstrate solidarity in tough times. It reminds me of the solidarity tax Germans paid to deal with their reunification. Of course, France is a socialist country. So you expect this kind of thing, right?

That is not the attitude in the United States except for by the ‘socialist’ Warren Buffett. In the US, regardless of whether one believes taxes should be lower or higher, a common attitude amongst the wealthy is that calls for taxes for the wealthy is ‘class warfare’ – soak the rich. Instead, discretionary spending and entitlements should be cut and taxes should not be raised – even temporarily – except when those taxes are on working Americans. In fact, raising taxes on the rich is a good reason to threaten to default on US financial obligations – what I call the Ecuador risk factor, a hallmark of Banana Republics. But, of course, the US is a capitalist country. So you expect this kind of thing, right?

Source: France’s richest say: Tax us more – BBC News

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Edward Harrison is the founder of Credit Writedowns and a former career diplomat, investment banker and technology executive with over twenty years of business experience. He is also a regular economic and financial commentator on BBC World News, CNBC Television, Business News Network, CBC, Fox Television and RT Television. He speaks six languages and reads another five, skills he uses to provide a more global perspective. Edward holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA in Economics from Dartmouth College. Edward also writes a premium financial newsletter. Sign up here for a free trial.