zerohedge.com / By Tyler Durden / January 6, 2013, 14:20
Back in July, when news of what we dubbed the French “Fairness Doctrine” first emerged, i.e., the new socialist government’s intent to tax the evil millionaires at a 75% tax rate, we had two observations: i) that “we are rotating our secular long thesis away from Belgian caterers and into tax offshoring advisors, now that nobody in the 1% will pay any taxes ever again” and, somewhat contradicting the above, ii) that “The good news is that with the entire world set to adopt 100%+ taxes on “wealthy” individuals as defined arbitrarily by Ph.Ds, there will be no place to hide.” Well, the US promptly followed France into a lite-version of the Fairness Doctrine, which proved us half right, yet one place that has refused to increase its tax rate for the poor or rich, keeping it at the flat 13% for individuals is Russia, which explains why following last week’s news that Russia had granted famous French expat millionaire Gerard Depardieu citizenship, the actor best known as Obelix and Rasputin, eagerly rushed to accept his new red passport in Sochi following a bearhug from none other than Vladimir Putin.
And with there being a first fully vetted case study showing that in a world in which not everyone is ready to tax the rich at the same time, the cracks in the French proposal (which in a broke world is inevitable, it is just early: sooner or later a tax on all financial assets everywhere will be imposed, but just not yet) are starting to be visible. Sure enough, minutes ago in a radio interview on France Inter, French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said that any measure replacing the 75% income tax (that was deemed unconstitutional by the way) will be “exceptional and temporary”, like the original, and not be imposed to “punish those who have succeeded.” Just like the Greek ELA program was temporary? Or like the Fed’s monetization of Treasurys is exceptional? Or like the immediate response by Depardieu claiming, objectively, that the tax is precisely to punish those who have succeeded?