So Francois Hollande, Socialist candidate for President of France, is calling for tax increases on the wealthy. Under normal circumstances, this would be enough for me to insist that the French people elect anyone not named Francois Hollande.
However, this being France, nothing is normal.
I still think Hollande’s policy will greatly damage his country, but his likely run-off opponent, incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy, has spent the last few years laying waste to much of the continent with his bizarre behavior over the eurozone’s economic troubles. While his insistence on balanced budgets for nearly all EU members sounds wonderful, there are no spending limits required, meaning Europe is in for endless rounds of tax increases that will crush their economies and come far short of revenue projections. Hollande, for all his problems, at least understands that the Fiscal Union (the name of the agreement described in part above) has serious flaws and needs to be reworked or scrapped.
Of course, Sarko, promptly mitigated even the Hollande-tax-hike issue by calling for French who invest abroad to have all their income outside the country taxed; so the wealthy in France gets slammed ether way.
France has two rounds in its elections, and we don’t know who has qualified for the first one yet.
There is a center-right euroskeptic trying to get on the ballot, and if he makes it, he’s my guy. UPDATE: that candidate, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, says he qualified, so he is my guy. However, barring a miracle, the second round (run-off) options will be Sarkozy and Hollande (UPDATE: Dupont-Aignan would still need a miracle to reach the run-off); and if that’s the choice the French people will face, I still insist change is better.
So, as of now, I’m still on track to make my first ever left-wing endorsement for head of state/government on the afternoon of April 22.
Cross-posted to Bearing Drift