creators.com opinion web
Liberal Opinion Conservative Opinion
Daily Editorials
16 Sep 2014
Free Speech Needs no Amending

As election season enters full swing, Senate Democrats are taking the opportunity to garner votes by … Read More.

16 Sep 2014
Don't Turn Safety Over to Government

The U.S. Forest Service was thoroughly mocked for a recent exhaustive article on the eve of National Roasted … Read More.

15 Sep 2014
Obama's New War on Terror

Early in his address to the nation about the threat posed by Islamic State terrorists, President Obama spoke … Read More.

Finally, a Nation That Appreciates the Rich. Alas, it's Russia.

Comment

Those who are not fans of French cinema can still appreciate the genius of the actor G‚rard Depardieu. To avoid the threat of a 75 percent "millionaire's tax" in la belle France, he has taken Russian citizenship.

Who needs Paris when one has seen the glories of (a) Saransk in the Republic of Mordovia and (b) the flat tax?

Depardieu, 64, heretofore a revered figure in French film and a glutton for attention, received his new passport Sunday from Russian President Vladimir Putin, who rarely misses a chance to twit the West.

One of Russia's bigger problems is its middle class fleeing the country over Putin's increasingly authoritarian rule and taking its money with them. The Russian Central Bank says $80 billion left the country in 2011.

Now the middle class can be replaced by French millionaires — Brigitte Bardot, the onetime sex kitten turned animal rights activist, is threatening to follow Depardieu if the Lyons zoo euthanizes two elephants said to be suffering from tuberculosis.

Putin has sent dissidents and troublesome celebrities to gulag-like penal camps, but so far, no protest from Bardot.

Depardieu's protest over the "millionaire's tax" planned by France's socialist government first led him to Belgium, which has a thriving colony of tax-dodging French chats grosses.

Then he became enraptured with Russia's flat income tax rate of 13 percent.

Irony abounds. The flat tax, where the wealthy pay at the same rate as the people who shine their shoes, is a dream of conservatives in the United States. But it's most popular in the old Iron Curtain nations.

Russia supplements the income tax with an equally regressive 18 percent Value Added Tax, essentially a national sales tax. So much for the worker's paradise.

But there also are 41 percent levies on oil and gas profits, which pay for the social services that Russians have become accustomed to.

Depardieu, a big favorite of movie fans in Russia, has been offered a free apartment in Saransk, an industrial city of about 234,000 southeast of Moscow. He visited Monday, but the Saransk weather forecast for today is 17 degrees and freezing fog.

Maybe France will let him visit. He may run into some visa trouble.

REPRINTED FROM THE ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM



Comments

0 Comments | Post Comment
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right:  
Creators.com comments policy
More
Newspaper Contributors
Sep. `14
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 1 2 3 4
About the author About the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month
Walter Williams
Walter E. WilliamsUpdated 17 Sep 2014
Phyllis Schlafly
Phyllis SchlaflyUpdated 16 Sep 2014
Froma Harrop
Froma HarropUpdated 16 Sep 2014

7 Oct 2013 The NSA's Social Media Snooping

2 Dec 2013 An Evolution Away From History and Toward Peace

7 Jul 2009 Dreaming of College