Friday, August 29, 2008

Defying Sarko, The Right Caricatures Itself

At Mayenne yesterday, Nicolas Sarkozy called on the Right not to "caricature itself" by opposing his proposal to add another 1.1 pct of taxation to dividends, interest, and rent. Le Figaro promptly answered the call by caricaturing itself à outrance: in an editorial the paper called for financing the RSA by eliminating the Aide Médicale d'État, money that the state contributes to pay for the medical care of undocumented aliens who cannot pay for their own treatment: "If Nicolas Sarkozy thinks it's normal to help the poor overcome their exclusion, he might also have thought about insisting on a contribution from clandestine workers" rather than "taxing the middle classes, taxing those who work more in order to earn more."

Yves de Kerdrel, the author of this editorial, could hardly have done a more effective job of caricaturing the hardhearted skinflint Right if he'd been Siné himself. Of course he is driven not by greed but by what he no doubt sees as sound economic logic: "To tax labor is to encourage moving jobs offshore. To tax capital on the pretext that it already too well remunerated (!) is to encourage it, too, to shift to other uses." Impeccable. If neither labor nor capital can be taxed, ergo needed funds must be squeezed from stones, and ailing paupers can be left to die in the streets (or flown home if enough of them can be deprived of medical care to pay for the tickets of the rest). A staggering display of callousness. It's enough to make you weep.