December 17, 2012

Lunch, taxes & Gerard Depardieu

I'm in Paris right now, and today I had lunch with a friend who has lived here for about 14 years. It was really interesting to learn about the changes in France since the new Socialist president, Hollande, was elected.

Since we talk about entertainment here on maggiewatersbooks, I wondered if you had heard about Gerard Depardieu's caper -- my friend told me about it. Apparently the super-famous French actor is so upset about the super-high tax rates on super-rich people here starting in 2013, he's threatening to give up his French passport.

The actor has already moved to Belgium to avoid the new tax rate: 75% on incomes over 1 million euros/year (which is about $1.3 million). That tax rate sounds incredible, but did you know that's what the U.S. tax rate was back in the 1950s? Granted, times have changed. There wasn't a euro back then, of course. and $1.3 million was worth a lot more then than it is now. Not that I would know, of course, but you get the idea.

Depardieu has paid about $190 million in taxes over the past 45 years, and he says he employs 85 people. Seems like he's already done his fair share, don't you think?

Oh, and I had a delicious coquilles St. Jacques for lunch. With a baguette, of course.

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