With the Socialists now in control of France – the wealthy are again - after a long pause of tax cuts for the rich under Sarkozy - being asked to sacrifice their fair share. President Francois Hollande introduced a new budget on Wednesday – restoring pre-Sarkozy tax rates on the rich. That includes a surtax on anyone making more than $1.6 million, plus a tax on the nation’s biggest banks and oil corporations, which is expected to trim 1.1 billion euros out of France’s budget deficit.
Under Hollande’s budget, the new tax rate on any income over $1 million dollars will go back to 75%. That might sound steep here in America where the top tax rate is around 35%, but it’s actually where the top tax rate was – and for two decades even higher – from after the 1930s until Ronald Reagan, including during the non-socialist presidencies of Richard Nixon, John F. Kennedy, Jerry Ford, and Dwight Eisenhower.
That was a time when our nation could afford a strong social safety net to support a growing middle class, plus new infrastructure projects around the nation, and a robust GI Bill to send millions of Americans to college for free. Time to roll back the Reagan tax cuts, like they just did in France.