France wants higher taxes on beer, new tax on Google

You know, just when I thought the situation in France couldn’t get any worse, President Francois Hollande just proves me wrong.  It seems the socialist leader believes taxing every single item will bring prosperity, the levels of taxation he is advocating for and the actual objects he wants taxed makes me hang my head in shame.

It seems as if this guy has no clue what he is doing and has never read a free market, capitalist book in his life.  I presume he has just read government published material that calls for taxation, regulation, statist expansionist policies and how to ruin an economy.

Perhaps, Hollande has read Peter Schiff’s “How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes” and decided to do the opposite of what it talks about.

Oh well.

Yesterday, I reported on how Hollande wants legislation imposed that would tax Google for having links to French media outlets.  Apparently, the tax would be quite hefty.  But what is Google doing?  It said that it would simply remove French news organizations from its list of news results.  Ah, the unintended consequences of supposed good intentions.

Here are some excerpts from the article:

“French Socialist President Francois Hollande warned Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt that the government may tax the web search giant for displaying links to news articles unless it agrees to a deal with French news outlets.

“Le Monde first reported Tuesday of the French government possibly imposing legislation that would tax Internet search engines for posting French media content. Hollande apparently made these remarks during a meeting with Schmidt at the Elysee Palace this week.

“The Google executive responded that it would simply omit French media organizations from its list of links to news websites if France would force companies to pay for links. President Hollande noted that he hopes the matter can be concluded by the end of the year.”

This morning, I was browsing around Reason and I came across another outlandish French policy.  Hollande is pushing new legislation that would raise the beer tax by 160 percent.  The purpose is to help social programs, but this would affect about one-third of beer that the country drinks and the many local breweries.

Here are some excerpts from the New Zealand Herald piece:

“The change means the price of a beer will increase by about 20 per cent in bars and supermarkets, said Jacqueline Lariven, spokeswoman for the French brewers’ federation Brasseurs de France.

“The Brewers of Europe trade group called the measure a “kick in the teeth” yesterday, especially since brewers have seen beer production plummet by 6 per cent and consumption by 8 per cent in the EU since the region’s economic crisis began in 2008.

“Outside France, Belgium and Germany would be worst affected once the new legislation kicks in, said Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, head of the Brewers of Europe.”

I wonder what would happen if Hollande calls for 160 percent taxes on cigarettes, baguettes, wines, looking at the Eiffel Tower and drinking espressos…

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  1. Ricky Myles (@fourmenterian) says:

    Oh yes it can get worse — just as everywhere else in Europe is recognising a new demographic and raising the retirement age, guess what? M. Hollande is rolling back Sarkozy reforms and re-instating retirement at age 60 for 100,000 retirees each year. It will ‘only’ cost €3 billion over 5 years. Nice work, if you can get it (usually as a fonctionnaire.) And who is paying for this government largesse? Step forward the usual conscripts employers and employees. France – turning LaLaLand into reality.

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