Skip to comments.France: Royal faces another attack in French campaign (underreported property value)
Posted on 03/11/2007 3:35:29 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
Royal faces another attack in French campaign
Reuters Published: March 7, 2007
PARIS: Ségolène Royal, the French Socialist Party presidential candidate, has disputed allegations that her tax returns underestimated the value of her properties, saying the tax authorities would have intervened if there had been grounds for concern.
Le Canard Enchaîné, a satirical weekly in Paris, said Royal and her companion, the Socialist party leader François Hollande, had declared their properties to be worth 933,000, about $1.2 million, compared with market values of a bit more than 1.8 million, thereby sharply reducing their tax exposure.
"I have confidence in the tax office," Royal said Tuesday on France 3 television when asked about the newspaper article. "If it estimates that this declaration did not conform with the value of the property then it would have rectified matters." She said the couple's taxes had been done by an accountant.
Their vacation home in the south of France was estimated to be worth more than three times the amount declared in their tax form, the newspaper said.
It was not the first time that Royal and Hollande's taxes have been dragged into the presidential campaign. In January she published a list of her assets after charges that they were trying to limit their fiscal exposure. The documents showing that she was paying a wealth tax hurt her image among some that she was the candidate of the "working class."
(Excerpt) Read more at iht.com ...
Le Canard Enchaîné
This magazine is known for sinking many politicians' career. Their specialty appears to be digging out financial irregularities of aspiring politicians.
For some reason, property scandals are a big deal in France. They always get pols in touble. The whole thing is goofy. It´s a French thing.
"La Gauche Caviar aka Limousine Liberals".
They live like, forgive the expression, Royals, and want to raise your income taxes, confiscate your property, and tax your possessions while you're alive, then take 75% when you die.
I am hoping that Royal will finish second in the elections, so the run off will be between her and Sarkozy, not him and the recently popular centrist candidate François Bayrou, mostly because of people realising Royal´s unelectability and unability to fullfill her promises. The left that hates Sarkozy so much would rally around Bayrou, but if Royal finishes second, the supporters of Bayrou would in greater numbers choose Sarko I beliewe.
That beeing said, it seems to be that Bayrou is mostly a candidate that will be a good president, realistic and not to confrontational thus implementing changes slowly, the only way that ensures success for the long time (coservative changes so to speak).
But that is maybe also his flaws, as the France system is so entranched that they would need a stronger willing man like Sarkozy to move it even a little. And he is a man with conservative principles and enough of a classical liberalist (libertarian) for me it seems.
If France chooses Sarkozy it will show in my opinion that maybe not all is lost for western civilization (at least in Europe), that we are willing to stand for what we are and defend it.
I hate the fetid french and don't imagine that anything substantive will change with these disgusting people... BUT, I find myself hoping Sarkozy wins this thing.
For the first time since I can remember a french election is mildly interesting to me.
"For some reason, property scandals are a big deal in France. They always get pols in touble. The whole thing is goofy. It´s a French thing."
It is a French thing, but it is not goofy.
Americans are obsessed by the sex lives of their politicians, even though pre-marital, extramarital and other forms of sex are not illegal (other than, perhaps, minor local ordinances which are never enforced anyway). The Americans demand the appearance of sexual purity from their candidates.
The French could not care less about that, but they DO care, intensely, about financial impropriety. Financial impropriety is stealing, it's tax fraud, it's a very impersonal, calculated criminality aimed at self-enrichment and the power that having wealth brings.
The French don't think that people's sexual pecadilloes are a threat to much, but they DO think that people willing to manipulate financial reports and tax forms in order to steal money for themselves are a threat to the social order. Countries are supported by taxes, and taxes are heavy. Nobody likes taxes, but everybody has to pay them. Politicians fix the tax rates. If politicians, then, evade the taxes, that is an extremely serious crime.
Everybody knows that money commands the world. Everybody knows that those with more money are able to enjoy more of life, but also able to exercise greater power over other peoples. The tax codes and financial reporting are aimed at at forcing disclosure of this source of power, and at taking the same proportion of that money power from everybody in a similar situation. So, when somebody lies on financial reports and seriously underpays taxes, what he is doing is hiding power, and hoarding power unfairly: most people pay their taxes because they have to, it is deducted automatically. The taxes are needed to run the state. Very wealthy and powerful people have greater discretion as to how they report and pay, but they must pay their legal share. If they do not, they are hiding power illegally, and they are also amassing a differential of power illegally and unfairly: those who properly declare and pay obviously have less money, and therefore correspondingly less power. But those who cheat and do not pay gain a margin of power to which they are not entitled, because that money does not properly belong to them; they have stolen it by evading taxes.
The French take this very seriously, and they hammer people whom they catch at it. Top capitalists and politicians, because they have a greater degree of autonomy as to how they report and pay than everyone else, tend to get themselves into trouble with this because quite a few of them decide they are going to steal from the country and they are going to amass an even greater differential of power by not paying their due share of taxes. Powerful people in France go to jail more often than elsewhere because the French don't have much of a sense of humor about stealing money, and because the French pay high taxes and viciously resent any powerful person who tries to get away with not paying HIS share of the taxes too.
And actually, the French are right about this.
They are right that money is power.
They are right that lying on financial reports and cheating on taxes is both stealing from everybody else and is hoarding power illegitimately.
In France, Bill Clinton would never have been bothered about his sexual escapades, but Hillary Clinton would have gone to jail while Bill was in the White House over her cattle futures trading. "I'm sorry I don't recall" doesn't cut it in an investigation of finances. Where are your records. If you don't recall, it's because you are guilty, and hiding money, stealing power, and you need to be in a cage.
Tonight Chirac is going to declare his intentions about the presidential elections, and as he has little support still, and not of his own party, he would be foolish to run again and propably won´t do it.
Hopefully he will declare his support for Sarkozy, but I am afraid he won´t, because of the enmity between them, and now I am very afraid that he will try to sabotage for him and use the recent surge in support by the center candidate François Bayrou to take revenge on Sarkozy for "stealing" control of his party.
Also is Chirac against Sarkozys foreign policy agenda and in fact the rest of his true blue conservatism/classical liberalism.
"But America is much more lax for practical reasons: human nature is what it is. And you don't want to encourage byzantine tax shelters or capital flight with overtaxation and prosecutions.
So the French may be right on principles. But they shoot themselves in the foot by discouraging the creation of wealth for the entire society. Who wants a perfect equality of poverty and economic stagnation?"
I am unpersuaded, mainly because there is not a great deal of capital flight from France and never has been. The French are very financially conservative. They tend to pay off mortgages, for instance (which are short-term, with more down). But they don't tend to leave, much, and French capital, although it may go abroad, tends to do so under the control of French "champions". Sure, there are young, relatively unskilled people who emigrate, but the well-educated and the capital classes do not do so very much.
Nor do I look at France and see a place where there is not wealth creation. The wealth is obvious, and it is everywhere. France grows, GDP-wise, slower than America, but France also does not suffer the vicious downturns that America does. Growth is slower, and the downturns are more controlled.
I just don't think that we have to allow corruption among the wealthy as a "price" of doing business.