It’s not often that a Frenchman becomes a hero to conservatives, and extremely rare when he happens to be an actor. But even some Frenchmen have a threshold of pain when it comes to the confiscatory state.
In this case it has been Gerard Depardieu, France’s best known thespian, who has announced that he won’t pay one cent more to his rapacious government, and will leave France rather than be taxed further.
By playing the lead role in this real life Atlas Shrugged, Depardieu is showing would-be taxers all over what happens when you inflict too much pain on the people. Washington, which is at the moment agonizing over just how much more to tax already over-taxed Americans, should take notice of the consequences.
Rather than raise taxes because of a fiscal cliff Members of Congress themselves created, our most enlightened politicians should, in fact, be offering Depardieu a green card, so that he can bring and invest his millions here—putting people to work. It would be another example of life imitating art, as Depardieu was the star of the 1990 hit Green Card about a Frenchman who overstayed his visa in the U.S.
In an angry letter, Depardieu addressed the Socialist government of President Francois Hollande, which wants to raise taxes to 75 percent for French people who make above $1.31 million annually.
“I was born in 1948, I began working at the age of 14 as a printer, as a store handler, then as a dramatic artist. I’ve always paid my taxes, whatever the level and under all serving governments.
“At no moment have I avoided my duty,” Depardieu went on. “I am leaving because you consider that success, creation, talent, in fact, being different, must be punished.… I am a free being, Sir.”
Depardieu has turned in his passport and is moving to Belgium, which has no wealth tax.
Follow Mike Gonzalez on Twitter @gundisalvus.