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France's rich keen to pay more tax as PM Fillon announces 'rigour package'
The idea follows a similar suggestion from the American billionaire Warren Buffett, which has been picked up and supported by Maurice Lévy, the influential head of the advertising and marketing group Publicis, and Pierre Bergé, co-founder of the fashion house Yves Saint Laurent. Buffett had criticised the fact that he was paying less tax than many of his employees.
French Millionaires: We Should Pay More Tax
L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, the head of Air France and the boss of oil giant Total are among those who have signed a petition calling for a "special contribution" from the wealthy. "When the public finance deficit and the prospects of a worsening state debt threaten the future of France and Europe and when the government is asking everybody for solidarity, it seems necessary for us to contribute," the signatories said.
This is less surprising when you consider what motivates business people and rich people in terms of where they want to be.
Right wing conservatives say taxes but studies and surveys say stability, security and quality of life-- and more for business -- social infrastructure. In that context-- they may be speaking from their priorities as much as anything else. This is an indication that the concentration of wealth and income is getting to the point it is threatening civil society and they know it.
"This is an indication that the concentration of wealth and income is getting to the point it is threatening civil society and they know it."
The idea follows a similar suggestion from the American billionaire Warren Buffett ...
Warren Buffett. The guy that has structured his affairs so that he'll never pay taxes on his income (and the government will never control how his wealth will be spent).
Rule 1. Donate your money to charity.
By product of rule one. A massive tax deduction. And since it's based on the market value of the gift, it has nothing to do with what the donor "paid" for it. Better yet, it doesn't reflect the impact of dumping that much Bershire stock on the market. No taxman so far.
Second by product. No inheritance taxes so that's another place the taxman doesn't get to go.
Third by product. The funds go to a charitable trust so the investment income isn't taxable. Still no taxman.
Fourth. The trust gets to decide who gets the proceeds of the trust, not the government.
Fifth by product. Most (all?) of the recipients of the money in the trust will pay little or no taxes. No taxman.
So what am I missing? One of the richest people on the planet has organized his affairs so the tax man can't touch him (and employed an army of tax attornies to minimize his remaining tax bill) but he still has the nerve to claim that other people should be forced to pay more taxes than they do. [As a complete aside, if he really feels he's not paying enough in taxes he's free to doante to the government.]