Well, the French have pretty much f’d themselves. (Go figure.) Now, let’s fasten our seatbelts and watch as the other Euro-dominos roll. GE.
Francois Hollande defeated French President Nicolas Sarkozy as voters handed control of the second-biggest European economy to the Socialists for the first time in 17 years. Rather than face the pain of cuts to entitlements and other government spending, the French people opted for the “ruby Slipper” solutions – RAISE taxes, RAISE government spending, INCREASE entitlements. You know, the same policies that have doomed France and Europe to perpetual malaise. Socialist Hollande’s simple solutions include:
*Impose a tax on financial transactions.
*Impose a 75 percent income tax on earnings above 1 million euros ($1.32 million) and raise the rate to 45 percent for the income bracket between 150,000 euros and 1 million euros per year.
*Repeal 29 billion euros of tax breaks over the next five years.
*Increase total tax level to 46.9 percent in 2017 from 45.1 percent in 2012 (payroll and profit).
*Increase tax on biggest companies to 35 percent.
*Scrap Sarkozy’s 1.2 percent VAT increase.
*Raise state spending by 20 billion euros over five years.
*Allow those who have worked more than the legal minimum of 41.5 years to retire from the age of 60.
*Limit pay of executives at state-owned companies to 20 times the lowest wage.
*Hire 60,000 teachers and school employees and 5,000 police officers over next five years.
*Hire 150,000 youths in state-subsidized jobs over the next five years.
*Cut French president’s and Cabinet ministers’ pay by 30 percent.
*Pass legislation to split banks’ retail and investment activities as early as July or early August.
*Impose a special tax on banks (no details given).
*Curb bonuses, ban “toxic” financial products, ban French banks from operating in tax havens.
*Create a French public bank to support industry.
*Double the Livret A saving ceiling deposit to 20,000 euros and use the deposit to fund new social housing construction.
-European Central Bank and European Union:
*Request that the ECB expand its mandate to support growth, lend directly to states and give the European Stability Mechanism a bank license or allow the ESM to lend directly to states.
*Renegotiate the EU’s fiscal accord to allow for the issuing of joint euro bonds and for funding industry and growth measures.
*Amend the fiscal treaty to add growth measures and oppose European policy that’s based only on austerity measures.
*Opposition to balanced budget “golden rule.”
*Impose a carbon-emission tax at EU borders and create an EU energy policy.
*Cut France’s nuclear energy share of total electricity output to 50 percent in 2025 from 75 percent today.
*Freeze gasoline prices for three months after elections.
*Restore a “floating” fuel tax to allow prices to drop when the price of refined fuel products falls.
*Close the Fessenheim nuclear power plant, finish construction of the Flamanville nuclear reactor and abandon construction of Penly nuclear reactor.
*Suspend sales of state-owned shares of companies.
*Impose limits on leveraged buyouts to exclude participation by financial firms.
*Build 500,000 housing units per year of which 150,000 are rent controlled.
*Creation of a public rating agency.
*Amend the constitution to make it say that France is a secular state.
Apparently, Hollande’s economic adviser is Glenda, The Good Witch From The North because it is going to take sorcery and plenty of pixie dust to make this work.