ne of the foolish assumptions of the Left is that we can raise taxes sky high with no consequences whatsoever. This shows a rather remarkable lack of understanding of human nature – but, of course, if liberals understood how the world really works, they wouldn’t be liberals.
Here’s a little lesson about human nature for our friends on the Left that wouldn’t surprise a single soul who has even read any Ayn Rand.
It starts with French actor Gerard Dépardieu .
In France, the wealthy are voting against taxes–not with the ballot box but with their feet. They are moving out of the country. We’ve seen this happen here in high tax states such as New York and California but with Obama’s drive to punish the successful, the future of our nation may be similar to that of France’s– an exodus of the highest tax payers.
Yesterday French actor Gerard Dépardieu announced he was taking up legal residence in a small village just over the border in Belgium, alongside hundreds of other wealthy French nationals seeking lower taxes.
Then there’s musician James Blunt.
British singer James Blunt said he wants to become a Swiss citizen after living in the tax-friendly country for the last five years.
‘As soon as the authorities will let me, because I don’t know if I’ve been here a sufficiently long time, I would like to become Swiss,’ he told a Swiss newspaper at the weekend.
‘Verbier is my home,’ said the 38-year-old multi-millionaire who bought a chalet in the ski resort in 2005.
…Meanwhile, Blunt revealed his unusual plans for New Year’s Eve: ‘I want to run around the resort disguised as a cow.’
It might take his mind off ugly rumours that surfaced in the UK last month linking him to a tax scandal, insisting attempts to question his contribution to the nation’s finances are a ‘witch-hunt’.
The You’re Beautiful star hit headlines when it emerged his name was on a leaked list of Hsbc bank customers with an offshore account on the Channel Island of Jersey.
The list, which also contains the identities of several other high-profile Brits, has sparked a tax probe by officials at Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, but Blunt is adamant his banking practices are legitimate and insists he pays his fair share into the U.K.’s public purse.
A little closer to the home front, we find this story about Google.
Google Inc. (GOOG) avoided about $2 billion in worldwide income taxes in 2011 by shifting $9.8 billion in revenues into a Bermuda shell company, almost double the total from three years before, filings show.
By legally funneling profits from overseas subsidiaries into Bermuda, which doesn’t have a corporate income tax, Google cut its overall tax rate almost in half. The amount moved to Bermuda is equivalent to about 80 percent of Google’s total pretax profit in 2011.
The increase in Google’s revenues routed to Bermuda, disclosed in a Nov. 21 filing by a subsidiary in the Netherlands, could fuel the outrage spreading across Europe and in the U.S. over corporate tax dodging. Governments in France, the U.K., Italy and Australia are probing Google’s tax avoidance as they seek to boost revenue during economic doldrums.
Last week, the European Union’s executive body, the European Commission, advised member states to create blacklists of tax havens and adopt anti-abuse rules. Tax evasion and avoidance, which cost the EU 1 trillion euros ($1.3 trillion) a year, are “scandalous” and “an attack on the fundamental principle of fairness,” Algirdas Semeta, the EC’s commissioner for taxation, said at a press conference in Brussels.
One of the problems with “soaking the rich” is that the rich don’t wish to be soaked. Moreover, when you consider that most rich people became rich because they’re smarter than the average bear — and even if that isn’t the case, they can afford to hire people like that — you start to realize the difficulty involved in looting their bank accounts. That has always been true, but it’s doubly so in a world where you can transfer your money half a world away with the click of a button and catch up to it on a jet plane 24 hours later. You think life’s worse for Gerard Dépardieu in Belgium than it is in France? Is James Blunt suffering by living in Switzerland instead of Britain? They’re doing just fine and as we continue to raise our tax rates, don’t think that their rich brethren in the United States aren’t starting to consider going exactly the same route.