Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Joly: Tax the Rich

Eva Joly has unveiled her program for a return to "budgetary reality," and it features increased taxes on the wealthy, who she claims pay the lowest income tax rate in Europe (my italics, intended to signal the relative unimportance of the income tax in France). She calls for an income tax rate of 50% on those making more than 70,000 euros per year. She would also get rid of le bouclier fiscal, the reduced VAT on restaurant meals (does anyone think that achieved anything?), and the mortgage interest credit.

Not a bad program, to be sure, but a surprisingly modest one for a potential third-party candidate. One might have expected something bolder from this corner of the political spectrum, where the imagination is less fettered by the exigencies of coalition. Indeed, I expect something bolder from Sarkozy next year, since he has no other ammunition left. If the Left seriously wants the presidency, it should make a real effort to get there first with more. Can the PS go beyond Joly's modest start?