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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 1, 2013/ 19 Teves, 5773

Gerard Depardieu, tax refugee

By Rich Lowry




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | French actor Gerard Depardieu has learned how to go from a beloved symbol of a nation to enemy of the state in one easy step. All it takes is wanting to keep some meaningful portion of his income.

Depardieu is a quintessentially French figure. Appearing in more than 150 films, he has played Cyrano and Obelix. He is a Chevalier du Legion d'honneur. He eats and drinks -- a lot. He rides a scooter. It would take a diagram to follow his romantic entanglements with models and actresses. It's all very French, except for the fact that he has earned too much money.

At least he has according to the accounting of the Gradgrind socialists who govern France. Elected earlier this year, President Francois Hollande has imposed a 75 percent marginal income tax on top earners. To this prospect, Depardieu said, "Non, merci." He announced his intention to move to a little village over the border in Belgium where the government imposes plenty of taxes but doesn't aim to impose a punishing tax rate on the wealthy as a matter of justice.

For his offense, Depardieu has been denounced from the commanding heights of the French state. The prime minister called him "pathetic." The budget minister sniffed that his move would be a boom to Belgian cinema. Hollande urged "ethical behavior" on the part of French taxpayers. They all agree that it's wrong of Depardieu not to stand still so that the government can drastically lighten his wallet.

The "temporary supertax" applies to incomes of more than 1 million euros (roughly $1.3 million). It is said to be no big deal since it hits only about 1,500 people and is set to last for only two years. But it comes on top of an already- onerous tax burden and is shocking in its own right.

American actor Will Smith had a common-sensical reaction when he was in France to promote a movie and asked by an interviewer if he would be willing to pay higher taxes. Of course, he said. Then he was told of the top French rate. "Seventy-five?" he gulped. "Yeah, that's different, that's different. Yeah, 75. Well, you know, G0D bless America."

The tax is less fiscal policy than confiscatory policy motivated by unabashed disdain for the wealthy. Hollande is on the record saying, "I don't like the rich."

One wonders what they have ever done to him. Hollande believes that the wealthy owe the state. He is like Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren on steroids, in a political culture with a much higher tolerance for leftist class politics. For a perpetual creature of the state like the career-politician Hollande, the natural order of things is that he gets to live off the government and Depardieu gets to fund it. That's the definition of "fairness."

Depardieu's critics bash his patriotism. But why is it patriotic to accept financial chastisement by a government headed by someone who is avowedly driven by animus toward you as a member of a targeted class?

It's not as though Depardieu is a scofflaw. He claims that he has paid 145 million euros in taxes during the course of his career and paid an 85 percent rate in 2012. Maybe Hollande should go all the way in the tradition of his hero President Francois Mitterrand -- the old school socialist who brought the French economy to its knees in the 1980s -- and nationalize Gerard Depardieu.

The French constitutional court ruled against the supertax the other day on technical grounds. The government promises to make adjustments and forge ahead. It can shame Depardieu all it likes, but that won't stop the flow of other, less-famous tax exiles. Hollande doesn't like rich people, and he will duly rule a country with fewer of them. Gerard Depardieu wrote the prime minister to say he's leaving "because you believe that success, creation, talent -- difference, in fact -- must be punished."

He's right. May he -- dare we say it? -- prosper in his new home.

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© 2012 King Features Syndicate

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