Thursday, May 12, 2011

12 May 2011: News of the day

What piques my interest as I read Le Parisien:

A report calls for a reform or the abolition of personal income tax in France. Because of various tax breaks, it is far from the progressive tax it was supposed to be. Half of all households don't pay anything. This is due in part to some 500 tax breaks worth 50 billion euros, partly to the "shares" system. Unlike the US personal exemption, a fixed amount per person that deducts income from the household's taxable income, France has a system of "shares", where the household income is divided by the number of members of the household, and the tax rates are then applied to the result. For households with children, this means that they quickly fall under the threshhold for taxable income.
IMO it's not going to happen though: those tax breaks are any government's favorite way of claiming to take action on an economic or social problem.
One of the sidebars shows that Le Parisien is, as we know, full of crap. It gives as an example of a progressive tax the income tax (true, in theory), of a proportional tax that CSG (true, it's a fixed amount of all sources of income), and of a regressive tax the VAT. That's true in terms of household income as a whole, but certainly not true in terms of the tax itself: a 19.6% VAT is perfectly proportional.

Our favorite proponent of workfare, Laurent Wauquiez, promised 10,000 job creations in call centers. Guess what! He failed. With regard to workfare, Sarkozy has given Waukie a good talking to.

The fact that potential Socialist presidential candidate Dominique Strauss Kahn was photographed driving in a Porsche continues, for some reason, to agitate the press and the political class. I don't get it.

A new law on immigration has been voted by the Parliament. It must be a very good one, since it's only the SEVENTH law on immigration made by Sarkzoy. Someday he'll get it right.

A burglar was crushed when the safe he and his accomplices were stealing from a restaurant fell on him.

Lots of noise about the choices of the coach of the French national rugby team for the World Cup selection. Poor freak Chabal wasn't chosen, which makes lots of people angry. If it helps reduce his attractiveness for marketers, I'm for it.

After the deadly fire a few weeks ago in my neighborhood, the survivors face another trauma: all their belongings have been stolen. The investigating magistrates would not allow them to return to their homes, and no security was in place, even after the first burglaries. Computers, TVs, etc. have all disappeared now. Vive la France, vive la justice.

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