European Union

Debt Reduction: French Socialist Style


Ayrault Speaking to the French National Assembly

The new French Prime Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, has given a speech to the French National Assembly to outline the socialist government's debt reduction plan. Ayrault did reduce the growth forecasts, and emphasized the huge debt France had accumulated between 2007 and 2011.  Despite France's debt and the ever-worsening euro crisis Ayrault refused to consider austerity saying:

I'm calling for a national effort. But I refuse austerity

The following proposals aim to put France back on the path to fiscal stability, something that will require savings of 10 billion euros this year, and 33 billion euros next year, all while trying to limit the impact of the euro crisis.

  1. Hire more public workers: Hollande and his government are committed to hiring 150,000 new public workers including teachers and police. During the election campaign Hollande pledged to hire more public sector workers, a promise he seems intent on keeping.
  2. Tax the rich: Those earning more than 1 million euros a year will enjoy an income tax of 75 percent, a rate that makes the Buffet Rule look reasonable. The move has already seen many French millionaires moving assets abroad. Quite who is going to pay the salaries of the 150,000 new public sector workers if there is a mass exodus of the wealthy from France remains unclear.
  3. Raise the minimum wage: Hollande has raised the minimum wage, however many French unions don't think that the raise was high enough. Evidently a post-tax take home salary of 1,118 euros a month (a 2 percent increase) is not enough for public sector workers who work 35 hour weeks, have access to free healthcare, and retire at sixty-two.

France's shift to the left is the most prominent impediment to any hint of hope in this euro fiasco. Progress within the European Union only typically occurs when Germany and France are in agreement. Germany is being slowly bullied into closer fiscal union and pooled debt. With the left in Europe calling the shots the policies adopted to solve the euro crisis will probably look increasingly French as it continues. 

NEXT: Gene Healy on Playing Politics With Disaster Relief

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  1. Awesome plan! What could go wrong?

    1. I was just thinking the same thing! Hell, we should try that here!

      1. Clearly this is an example of how socialism will work if it’s just done right.

        1. come on, now; it will only truly be done right when ‘our’ socialists get to implement it.

    2. Hey! This is France we’re talking about. All they need to do is hire all those public workers and then tax them all at 110%. They’ll self finance and pay down the public debt at the same time!

      I know… I know… Don’t give them any ideas.

    3. It’s worse than you think. Hollande has also promised to lower the retirement age to 60.

  2. Wow. That’s mega delusional even for a leftest.

  3. Evidently a post-tax take home salary of 1,118 euros a month (a 2 percent increase) is not enough for public sector workers who work 35 hour weeks, have access to free healthcare, and retire at sixty-two.

    Duh. These are the people that think that a woman who decides to have a third baby should be able to take off 6 months, paid, and still earn the promotions and raises her male counterpart earns while actually working. Also, if she decides to take 2 years off (unpaid), they have to keep her job for her.

    1. You laugh, but it happens. I was on a project at a German company when the German project lead took six months off for maternity leave. We were not allowed to replace her, NOT EVEN TEMPORARILY. We were still on the hook for getting the project completed on time, however.

      1. I wasn’t laughing. I was saying that Europeans are entitled and idiotic when it comes to employment (amongst other things).

        1. entitled and idiotic

          interesting how the two go hand in hand with leftists, isn’t it.

      2. Oops, overlooked this contingency in your contract did you? My company once walked away from a French deal due to their employment policies. We heard years later than the company that did get the deal lost their shirts in the long run.

  4. I anxiously await Krugnut’s column three years hence entitled France Didn’t Hire Enough Public Sector Employees.

    1. That is the only possible reason this could fail.

      1. Well 75% is still less than 100%.

        1. “No one needs to make a million 500,000 100,000 50,000 Euros a year.”

          1. I was going to try to combine the “tall poppies” idea with a War on Drugs comment, but couldn’t crack that nut.

            1. “Don’t eat the crab dip!”

  5. The cheese-eating surrender monkeys have just surrendered their economy.

  6. France’s shift to the left…

    Wait, when did this happen? Was it before or after the Paris Commune?

  7. I’m French! Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!

  8. Judging by the list of 3 proposals, I’d say socialist France = U.S.A.

  9. OT:
    “The report also goes on to describe right-wing “terrorists” as those who are reverent of individual liberty and suspicious of centralized federal authority.”…..sts-again/

    1. “The ‘Missouri Documents’ also said potential domestic terrorists might like gun shows, short wave radios, combat movies, movies with white male heroes, Tom Clancey Novels, and Presidential Candidates Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and Chuck Baldwin!” ALIPAC wrote.”

  10. Is this some kind of joke?

    Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

    -H. L. Mencken

    1. He’s not joking

  11. So France is threatening Germany? Is that wise?

    1. They’ve learned that it’s better to be the aggressor.

    2. As usual the German approach will be “Der Kl?gere gibt nach”, the government will give way to France, thinking this was wiser than confrontation, sometimes its wiser to just say no.

      1. Until an economic crisis hits Germany and they look for other, more final solutions.

      2. After a long history, the French have learned it is never good to show industriousness around the Germans who might get the idea French make for good hard working slaves (they don’t).

        1. An excellent point. I accept correction. France’s economic suicide is simply a rational course of action taken to avoid a more tangible form of suicide.

  12. As everyone knows France lacks public servants, this plan will work. Tony and Shrike can’t be wrong.

  13. This plan is utter GENIUS! Why didn’t Obama think to do something similar four years ago when we were in the throes of the Great Recession?!

    1. if only the stimulus had been bigger

      1. That’s what she said.

        1. The stimulus is a grower, not a shower!

    2. He had the chance to save us. If only he could’ve looked into the future and seen what France is doing.

  14. I have absolutely no sympathy for the French, and I look forward to the day when those French who attempt to flee the soon-to-be-established Faranjistan have to deal with our hellish immigration system.

    1. Maybe they can all go to Quebec? It tries to be socialist enough for them.

      1. No. Poutine is too good for them.

        1. Some luscious Quebecois putain is also too good for them.

          1. They can go to Russia. Putin is not too good for them.

            1. Thread winner.

      2. Is the Canadian immigration system any better? I’ve never really dealt with it.

  15. The only good commie is a dead commie.

  16. Yeah, like I’m going cut government spending and lower taxes in a 5.000 Euro suit. Come on.

    1. I was just about to post a complaint about alt-text austerity, but I think that possible caption made up for it.

    2. He’s a member of the Inner Party. The Inner Party must have certain comforts to keep their minds relaxed and untroubled so that they can coordinate and plan the People’s Revolution.

  17. In other news, Airbus is building a plant to assemble A320 in Alabama because Gulf Coast labor rates are lower than France.

  18. To quote Picard, in one of the few time that character deserved anyone’s respect, “Fine. Destroy yourselves.”

    1. Be careful. Insulting Picard on the internet is a bad life choice.

  19. “I don’t want to hear denunciations of confiscatory taxes from the same people who authorise executive pay that is beyond all decency,”

    If the shareholders don’t have a problem with what their executives are being paid, why does Joseph Fortuit Socialiste have his dander all up about it?

    1. socialists hate it when someone makes a dollar more than anyone else, particularly when that someone A) earns it and, more important, B) isn’t them.

      1. Or

        C) Doesn’t contribute to their campaigns/give them lavish gifts

  20. Brilliant. I love the French. Not only do they bravely stare disaster in the teeth but they also bravely sharpen disaster’s teeth and floss his gums and then bravely season themselves with salt pepper.

  21. I say, good for the French. Time to stop pretending a Eurodisaster can be avoided, and just plunge in and get it the fuck over with.

    1. Very Thelma and Louise of them.

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