Daniel J. Mitchell

Even though he is a foolish statist, I wanted Francois Hollande to win the French presidency. Sarkozy was a statist as well, after all, and my “Richard Nixon Disinfectant Rule” says that it’s better to have the out-of-the-closet statist prevail in such contests in hopes that the supposedly right-of-center party can then regroup and offer voters a true choice in the next election.

But I have another reason for wanting Monsieur Hollande. Simply stated, we need role models. Not only role models to show the effects of good policy (like Estonia and Hong Kong), but also clear-cut examples of nations that do the wrong thing.

I fully expect France to be that kind of role model over the next few years. Particularly if Hollande follows through on his scheme to push the top tax rate to 75 percent.

I’ve already written about the experiment America conducted in the 1980s, when Reagan lowered the top tax rate from 70 percent to 28 percent. Hollande wants to conduct a similar experiment, but in reverse.

Indeed, we’re already seeing the potential impact of class-warfare tax policy in France. Here are the key passages from a report in the Financial Times.


Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell is a top expert on tax reform and supply-side tax policy at the Cato Institute.