The Republican Party has been reduced to two types: Godless pseudo-intellectuals, who just don’t want to pay their taxes, and God-fearing anti-intellectuals, who just don’t want to pay their taxes.
August 24, 2011 7:47 pm By Peggy Hollinger and James Boxell in Paris “French president Nicolas Sarkozy has given the green light for a highly political budget, placing the burden of new revenue raising on the richest and on big companies while preserving the benefits of some tax breaks for ordinary workers. Just nine months away from a presidential election, France’s high earners will face higher taxes as the government seeks some €12bn in extra revenue by the end of next year to help bring public finances under control.
Unveiling new austerity measures, launched after the country’s growth stuttered to a halt in the second quarter, prime minister Francois Fillon said: “We have passed the threshold of tolerance on debt.” Though he also scaled back forecasts for growth from 2 per cent this year and 2.25 per cent in 2012 to 1.75 per cent in each of those years, Mr Fillon said the new measures would ensure France could meet its promise to cut its budget deficit from 5.7 per cent of GDP to a marginally better than expected 4.5 per cent next year and 3 per cent in 2013.
His remarks were clearly aimed at reassuring global debt markets, after investors questioned the stability of France’s triple A credit rating and its ability to cut debt amid slowing growth. Mr Fillon also pledged a further €3bn in savings in the budget for 2013, which will not be decided for another year. However, Mr Sarkozy, whose popularity remains at record lows, also has to reassure a nervous electorate.
… Gains on property investments, excluding primary residences, will also be taxed more heavily, bringing a considerable €2.2bn in extra revenue next year. Mr Fillon also announced plans to limit the tax breaks given to companies incurring losses. This measure will not only bring in an extra €1.5bn to state coffers in 2012, but has the added benefit of helping to harmonise French and German corporate tax systems. President Sarkozy and German chancellor Angela Merkel have made this a key element of their proposals for greater European integration. The government will also rein in the benefits for companies of tax-free overtime one of Mr Sarkozy’s flagship measures introduced after his election in 2007. Conscious of what promises to be a difficult election, the burden of the government’s adjustment will fall on companies, which will from next year face charges on the over-time, although workers will not. However, the poorer classes of society have not escaped totally unscathed, with a higher tax on cigarettes and alcohol.”
Fiscal sanity exists somewhere. And this guy is the “conservative” over there.