Johnny, Please Come Home


Lest his early successes be overshadowed by fits at Lake Winnipesaukee and a disconcerting relationship with Bulgarian nurse-snatcher Muammar Gaddafi, Bloomberg points out that Nicolas Sarkozy is actually making good on some election promises:

Nicolas Sarkozy is rolling out the welcome mat for thousands of rich French people who fled one of Europe's most onerous tax regimes. Few may heed his call.

In his first economic act as president, Sarkozy is pushing a tax law to lure back exiles such as rock star Johnny Hallyday, 64, and members of the Mulliez clan, who control the French retailer Groupe Auchan SA. The measure will increase exemptions on the "fortune" tax–the bete noire of rich expatriates–and cap the total individual tax rate at 50 percent of income.

London and the U.S. are preferred refuges for younger people. Switzerland, with about 200,000 French residents, attracts the retired and stars like Hallyday.

Angry at paying more than 72 percent of his income in taxes, he moved to the ski resort of Gstaad last December in a storm of publicity. After Sarkozy's May election, Hallyday hinted he might come back. His press attache Catherine Battner says he has yet to make up his mind.

A few years back, French model Laetitia Casta was chosen to be the newest "Marianne," the symbol of French libertié—though she quickly outraged her fellow countrymen by picking up sticks and moving to London, where her piles of cash would be treated with more dignité. Sweden, a country synonymous with high taxes, recently abolished its 1.5 percent tax on personal "fortunes" totalling more than $200,000, after realizing that one needn't hire Inspector Art Laffer to locate the country's uber-rich in Monaco.

Full story here.

Hilarious picture of Sarkozy and Gaddafi, looking like Edward James Olmos, here. And yes, he is wearing an enormous Flavor Flav-ish Africa broach.

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  1. Lest his early successes be overshadowed by fits at Lake Winnipesaukee

    Yeah, that story got way too much play. It’s not like he did a head-butt on the photographer.

  2. I love it. “You’re nothing but a Bulgarian nurse-snatcher!”

    I think I’ll switch to yelling that in traffic, so the little one won’t pick up my vocabulary.

  3. Edward James Olmos?

    nah…more like Tony Shalhoub.

  4. Oh…Gaddafi is Olmos…well then maybe Olmos and Shalhoub could make a movie about Sarkozy’s African adventure with Gaddafi.

  5. Shouldn’t the title be:
    “Jean(ny), Please Come Home”?

  6. This may be too obscure, but I thought Gaddafi looked a lot like Andy Sirkis’s portrayal of Factory producer Martin Hannett in 24 Hour Party People.

  7. I loved Al-Qadhafi in Blade Runner!

  8. They’re going to roll back their income tax to a mere 50%? How very generous! How could anyone resist a deal like that?


  9. Another article on Sarko’s first “Hundred days.” So far he has accomplished a lot more than I think many expected.

  10. We export our surplus Baldwin brothers to France, they export their millionaires here.

    We really got the sweet end of that deal.

  11. JCR,

    The French income tax (if I recall correctly) at its highest rate it was approximately 57%.

  12. Didn’t Jean Bart move to Vermont a couple of years ago? I wonder what his net worth was. 😉

  13. crimethink,

    I miss Jean Bart. H&R has no good villians anymore. Trolls don’t count and JB’s incarnations got progressively nicer.

  14. I am sure that socialists will explain that if people are leaving the country to avoid taxes, that just means that it is far too easy to leave the country.

    If you simply don’t let people leave the country, then you can charge them a fair %90 tax rate.

  15. Ah, memories of Jean Bart and Evita:

    “Don’t cry for Jean Bart, Kohlrabi
    The truth is he neeeever left you…”

    (it’s not me, mind you, but I think JB is still arou… hey! We have the same initials! Crap, now everyone’s going to think we’re the same person for sure.)

  16. Jake,

    Oh, I know he’s here, and I know who, but he’s just not Jean Bart anymore…

  17. Qaddifi looks more like Gene Simmons of KISS then Edward J. Olmas.

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