Tony Katz

It turns out that not everyone who is French is a Socialist, wealth-redistributing hack. Amongst the sane is legendary French actor Gerard Depardieu, who has rejected this position not solely because of taxes but rather because France has chosen to punish "...success, creation, talent." Americans are following suit.

France's new president, Francois Hollande, and his Socialist government is imposing a 75% marginal tax rate on income over 1 million Euros, or $1.3 million. Depardieu has decided to move to neighboring Belgium, which has no personal income tax. He purchased a home in the neighboring town of Nechin. 25% of the town's residents are French nationals.

It's like people from California moving to Texas. Only closer.

French politicians immediately moved to vilify the star. Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault called Depardieu's move as "pathetic" and "unpatriotic." Depardieu responded in a letter to le Journal du Dimanche:

Pathetic, you said pathetic? How pathetic is that?...I am leaving because you believe that success, creation, talent, anything different must be sanctioned

America held an election on whether to raise taxes on the wealthy to pay for our gluttonous ways. Class warfare was the centerpiece of Obama's campaign, with wealth (and the wealthy) being vilified at every turn. The now-defunct Occupy movement contributed the concept of the 99% vs. the evil 1%, a new twist on the Marxist lie of the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. (Not to say that it's the only Marxist lie. Everything Marx said was a lie!)

While class warfare won the day, many Americans (especially small business owners who have worked hard and achieved some level of success) are left with a bitter aftertaste. President Obama's odd claim of "You didn't build that" and his objective of "spread[ing] the wealth around" along with his (unsolicited) opinion that at some point "you've made enough money" unsurprisingly elicited the wrath of many hard-working Americans.

Tony Katz

Tony Katz is a radio talk show host, writer, public speaker and cigar enthusiast. His show can be heard on 93.1FM WIBC in Indianapolis, and at