A recent poll shows Socialist presidential candidate Francois Holland closing in on French president Nicolas Sarkozy.
“A poll out today continues to give Francois Hollande the edge over Nicolas Sarkozy in round one of France's presidential election, 31.5 percent to 27 percent, and a hearty lead in the runoff, 58 percent to 42 percent,” Newser reports.
This should probably concern some French voters. Well, the successful ones at least. Why?
“Should the Socialist frontrunner indeed win, here's another percentage that will likely be thrown around a lot: 75 percent,” Newser reports, “That's the income tax rate Hollande believes the biggest earners should pay, and will push for.”
Wait, how much? A 75 percent income tax rate? That's what the man said.
"Taxation for the rich has become a hot campaign issue, with tax advisers in neighboring Switzerland saying that higher taxes for the wealthy in France could spark an exodus," the BBC reports.
Indeed, considering that many of France's richest celebrities already live abroad, if elected, Hollande may find out the hard way that such an enormous tax will likely drive out the few that remain.
"Above €1 million [$1.3 million], the tax rate should be 75 percent because it's not possible to have that level of income," Hollande said, vowing to undo Sarkozy's tax breaks and later calling the 75 percent rate a "patriotic act."
"Patriotic"? Why does this sound vaguely familiar?
Apparently, even Hollande’s own campaign managers were surprised at the candidate's proposal.
"You are asking me about a declaration which, for my part, I haven't heard," said the head of his campaign's budgetary affairs when asked for a comment.
"It's a signal that has been sent, a message of social cohesion, there is an effort to be made," he explained. "It is patriotic to agree to pay a supplementary tax to get the country back on its feet."
Unsurprisingly, the Sarkzoy campaign has gone after Hollande for his proposal.
Francois Hollande "invents a new tax every week without ever proposing the smallest saving", said Budget Minister Valerie Pecresse and Foreign Minister Alain Juppe denounced the plan as "fiscal confiscation," the BBC reports.
Final thought: it should probably be pointed out that the Hollande is not alone when he says that higher taxes are “patriotic.” Who knows? He might even think the wealthy should bear a larger burden for the “privilege” of being French.