France Lurches Left

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France took a hard left turn yesterday with the election of Socialist Prime Minister Francois Hollande, the first socialist candidate to win the presidency in nearly two decades. The result, which had been forecast since Hollande’s narrow victory over incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy in the first round of voting on April 22, puts France on path of increased government spending and higher taxes even as the country’s debt climbs and its economy stagnates.

Hollande campaigned on a platform of class warfare, and all indications are that he will govern that way. While Europe’s mainstream left parties have made peace with capitalism, Hollande remains an unreconstructed tax-and-spend socialist. Showing little regard for the country’s debt problems, he has promised a government spending splurge to the tune of $26 billion over the next 5 years; this even as he improbably claims he will lower the deficit to 3 percent by next year. A self-confessed hater of the wealthy – “I don’t like the rich,” he once declared on television – he has also pledged to enact a confiscatory 75 percent income tax on the highest earners, as well as a separate “wealth tax” on assets and a bevy of new taxes on estates, banks and big corporations. Where president Obama has dressed up his redistributionist schemes in the guise of “shared sacrifice,” Hollande is upfront about his intent to soak France’s shrinking share of high-income earners. “If there are sacrifices to be made, and there will be, then it will be for the wealthiest to make them,” he announced in the days before the election.

While that message clearly resonated with Hollande’s leftist supporters, a new war on wealth is the last thing France needs. The hard truth is that France has lost its competitive edge in recent years. Symbolic of the decline is France’s rigid labor market, a persistently high rate of unemployment rate that stands at a 13-year high of 10 percent, and a yawning trade deficit that topped $91 billion last year. Debt is a major drag on economic growth. French public debt has spiked to 90 percent of the country’s annual output, with the consequence that interest payments are now the second highest government expenditure after education. France’s finances are now in such perilous shape that in January the credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s took the drastic step of stripping it of its triple-A rating. Against this bleak background, Hollande’s plans to penalize businesses and other wealth producers with crippling taxes is a disaster in the making.

The most charitable take on Hollande’s agenda is that it is a gimmick rather than a political roadmap. Some of his advisors have already said that the 75 percent tax, for instance, is mostly a “symbolic measure” that Hollande would not pursue once in office. But that is a dangerous gamble because Hollande and the Socialists could soon have a chokehold over French politics. Socialists already control all but one of France’s 22 administrative regions, and the upcoming June parliamentary elections may seal their majority status for some time to come. At that point, there would be few restraints on Hollande’s ambitions.

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  • Chezwick

    test

    • davarino

      test

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

        test

        • 2012

          test

  • Chezwick

    To site Administrator:

    On the recent thread 'Christian Slaughter in Nigeria', I had an exchange with the poster who calls himself 'Obamayomama' in which he resorted to some bizarre and disturbing sexual language and yet, you ended up censoring MY comment, which contained no such language. What is the policy here at FPM regarding acceptable and unacceptable discourse? I was temporarily banned a couple of months ago for language that was nowhere near as offensive as the language referred to above. There seems to be an arbitrariness and even capriciousness in whom you decide to censor and/or ban and whom you don't. Consistency in this regard would be greatly appreciated.

    • davarino

      I'm with ya Chez. I just posted and it has to be approved by the admin, but there was nothing in it to be offensive. Maybe something is wrong with their software that catches words that shouldnt be caught.

      • scum

        I'm not sure that the problem is one of actual censorship. It might just be a glitch in the system. It seems that some comments are randomly chosen or tagged with that line, but I'm not sure.

      • Chezwick

        Could be amigo, but my being banned was certainly no software glitch. Out of respect for David, I made no attempt to re-insinuate myself here under a different name. A couple of months went by…and suddenly, I could post again. Why I was banned continues to mystify me. Others have used language far in excess.

        • Looking4Sanity

          Would you like some cheese with that whine?

          • Chezwick

            Clever.

          • Looking4Sanity

            I felt it appropriate under the circumstances. The entire rant seemed to have as it's underlying purpose the undermining of the credibility of this site. I find that intolerable.

          • Chezwick

            Couldn't be more wrong.

            I'm a disciple of David's, have read just about everything he's ever wrote, have composed and recorded a song about his life, have written copiously on this site, and have periodically tried to defend its reputation by imploring racists and proponents of genocide posting here not to discredit it with their bile.

            I accepted being banned with equanimity, respected the decision and didn't try to return under a new personna. When I finally was able to post again two or three weeks ago, I made no effort to contend my banning…until yesterday, when my comments were deleted. Perhaps this was a software glitch, but my banning certainly wasn't.

            I've read one poster advocate the murder of children, read others advocating genocide, I've seen personal insults that far transcended any I ever dished out…and none of these were banned. All I'm asking for is a consistent policy.

          • Looking4Sanity

            What makes you think you are entitled to “ask” for anything on another person's privately owned web site? You post anonymously without an ID account and then claim to be as pure as the driven snow when you know it is impossible to verify anything you've claimed. Your story stinks to high heaven.If you were REALLY an advocate of Mr. Horowitz'…you would show more respect for him than to come on his site talking smack about it. If you're not a troll, you missed a great chance at being one.You act just like one.

          • Chezwick

            I'm not "pure as the driven snow", I'm just a guy asking to be treated the same as anyone else. I don't think it's an unreasonable request. I'm free to ask, David's site Administrators are free to disregard.

            David knows who I am. We have communicated both on these pages once or twice and via email. Would I make such a claim on his web-site if it weren't true?

            As for being a troll, the archives are ponderous evidence that I am anything but. I Don't know where your animus is coming from. Perhaps you had a bad day? If so, I hope you're feeling better..

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

            You are here, and posting.
            It seems you've been given another chance. What are you going to do with it?
            Just keep complaining, or will you focus on the issues and make interesting comments that contribute to the thread?

          • Chezwick

            You're right, Rog.

            I had some comments deleted the day before yesterday, likely due to a software glitch (though that explanation hadn't yet occurred to me when I wrote the original post on this thread), and I guess – harboring a lingering resentment for being banned earlier this year – perhaps I over-reacted, particularly in accusation of "capriciousness". I apologize to the Site Administrators. I don't know why I was banned when others weren't, but I seriously doubt caprice was involved.

            Anyway, you're right….time to move on. Thanks for the constructive input.

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

            I may not agree with a lot of people.
            But a well thought out comment with content and sources is fun to read.

            Even if I oppose the point of view.

          • Looking4Sanity

            The thought occurs to me that this guy might just be a "Disqus" operative attempting to get FrontPage to dump the Intense Debate platform. It's called corporate sabotage and it happens every day.

            You saw what this very issue did to Breitbart's sites as well as some others. Surely you don't still think that was coincidence, do you?

            Isn't it just a little too coincidental that this guy has no ID account?

          • Chezwick

            Busted!!!. The literally hundreds of comments I posted here over the last two years under the name Chezwick_Mac (all verified in the archives) were nothing but a diabolical ruse to lead up to this stellar moment where I could do the bidding of "Disquis".

            You're very deep.

          • Looking4Sanity

            It's amazing what passes for proof with dolts such as yourself. There is nothing stopping ANYONE from logging on as a guest and using the name Chezwick.

            I am done with you now, tardling. You have wasted quite enough of everyone's time. You want credibility? Grow a pair of balls and create an ID account and really go on the record…coward.

          • Looking4Sanity

            More unsubstantiated claims…how predictable. And if you had Mr. Horowitz's email, why air your dirty laundry in public? If you're such good friends with him, why not get him to fix the problem personally instead of doing what you've been doing? Once again, your BS just doesn't add up.

          • Chezwick

            Not good friends….but we have communicated personally to be sure. I would never consider bothering Mr Horowitz over such a trivial matter. My problem was with the Site Administrators.

            As for my "BS", It's all absolutely verifiable. The archives over the last two years reveal the extent of my commitment to this site, the nature of my politics, and the high regard with which I hold David.

          • Looking4Sanity

            List every article you've ever commented on in the archives and then provide proof positive that you are that same person.

            That would settle the matter for me. Nothing short of that will settle it at all.

  • Larry

    France's economy was already on the brink, be prepared for it to go down the shute in a big way over the next 12 months.

  • Simone

    Just as the Germans deserved to have half their country Stalinized for two generations as comeuppance for their crimes, so the idiotic French deserve a generation of impoverishment at the hands of their "Socialists"

    At least when they are the poorest country in Europe, the Muslim migrants will move to other countries!

  • Secotine

    Hollande was never Prime Minister, he never had a ministerial appointment he was for 10 year first sevretary ofd the socialist Pary. He is just member of the parliament and president of the GeneralConsil of Correze, the department with the highest fiscal deficit of France.
    I'm affraid that with Hollande in France and Obama in the US communism will be back.

  • oldtimer

    In another article I read that the new president of France, a Socialist, wanted to raise taxes on corporations and those making over 1million eu. Sound familiar.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    France is entering a new dark age and it portends financial downfall for most of Europe. A wet
    baguette taking control will destroy what is left of the French economy and la la land will
    be assured. How is it almost every World leader is and idiot and the people have no structure
    to anything in their lives, must be leftist success and social engenirig.

    Bonne douleur Charlie Brown, les Francais vont a' coup de pied au football et Lucy est
    tenue. Qu'est-ce qu'um spectateur de faire?………………………………….William

    • Stephen_Brady

      Did you see pictures of the victory speech? Hollande stood amid a vast sea of waving red flags.

      • WilliamJamesWard

        Soon to be a vast sea of waves of red ink they will all be drowning in, the French like
        to be color coordinated.I would have advised them to pass on the Hollandaise, when it's red it's bad…………
        William.

        • Stephen_Brady

          True!

      • Boston

        Shouldn't it be a sea of white surrender flags indicating the true nature of the French ?

        • Stephen_Brady

          Even more true!

  • StephenD

    Can anyone tell me the difference between the Socialist Hollande's approach and policies to those of Obama? For the life of me (and the USA) I can't see any difference except Hollande is up front about being a Socialist.

    • Chezwick

      Amigo, they are indeed certainly indistinguishable.

      One thing to keep in mind though,….when the Socialist Francois Mitterand won the French Presidency in 1981, he embarked on typical big-government policies for the first year of his Administration. But when France's inflation rate sky-rocketed and the deficit broke the bank, capital flight compelled him to reverse course. For the remainder of his Presidency, he was every bit as austere as any conservative government.

      A similar outcome is certainly possible over the next year or two. Question is, can France and Europe afford the interregnum of a massive new spending binge.

      Ultimately, the question for Europe AND America is: Will democracy remain a viable system of government? Can electorates that have been spoiled for years by generous entitlements be expected to vote responsibly for political parties that advocate rational fiscal and budget policies?

      I've become very skeptical.

    • pagegl

      Obama won't own up to being the socialist he is because that sort of truth would probably kill his chances of reelection. If he is reelected he won't have to admit it, it will be even more evident than it is now.

    • WilliamJamesWard

      One is stealth Jihad the other is flamboyant Jihad?…………….William

  • davarino

    Good luck France on your downward spiral. Thats what I do when I'm in debt and cant pay my bills, I get 4 more credit cards and ramp up the spending hehehehe. I thought the French were supposed to be smart people, so sophisticated. Have fun feeding off each other, as Putin starts licking his lips. How you like Obama now since he sold out Poland? You think he'll save you from Russia, after he gave Med the nod? Comrads stick together.

    Have fun with your socialism. Now everybody gets to be poor…… weeeeeee

  • scum

    It's hard to blame them after the dramatic failures of the Sarkozy regime.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

      Dramatic failures?
      Is France better or worse due to his fiscal policies? It has avoided the sovereign debt crisis that so many other EU countries are dealing with.

      And how do you see socialism solving any of the problems in France?

    • reader

      It'll be easy to blame them for the looming EU break-up, though.

  • NoIslam

    France was right?

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

      It swerved to avoid being completely left.

    • Annika

      Once socialist laws and programs have been enacted (ie : Obamacare), once people have become dependent on the state largess, there’s no “Right” to return to because leftist laws already commandeer every aspect of life. That is why leftist in Washington worked at Obamacare as soon as Obama was voted in, they only had a small window to pull in through. France is case in point. Sarkozy couldn’t really govern from the right, France’s “Right” is to the left of Bill Clinton’s second term. The French look at America's "Right" as right-wing-ultra-radical-extremist… (I'm not kidding!). That's what 50 years of state controlled education and state subsidies in media does to a People.

  • kasandra

    Any surprise that Obama has already invited Hollande to the White House.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

      I smell a state dinner and lobster feed in the works.

      • Walt

        No, probably Wagu beef. That expensive stuff ($100.00 per pound) from Japan – not the imitation stuff produced here in the U.S.

  • Linda Rivera

    This is NOT good news. France now has a socialist president. The Left cooperate with, and work very closely with totalitarian, colonizing Islam.

  • BS77

    France made another bad choice.

  • Annika

    Good article. I used to be French before I ran away from that socialist and progressively loony country – best decision I ever made! After all, Progressive-and-Loony are oxymorons… The French debt against GDP is actually higher than 90% when you include the debt France owes to Euro-zone, but who cares, the French haven’t balanced a budget since 1974! They’ll be bailed out by other euro nations, who will then be bailed out by the U.S. unless we elect someone with a backbone (hint: that wouldn’t be Obama). Hollande has said Muslim immigrants should be granted citizenship quickly, that’ll assure votes to leftists permanently. Au revoir France, California wines are tout aussi bon anyway.

  • Jane Gill

    Weel America just look over to France to see what is coming here IF WE ARE STUPID and put BHO back into office!These policies have NEVER worked ANYWHERE but since both our president and their new president have run on THE RICH ALL STOLE THEIR WEALTH ,THEY SIT AT HOME AND WATCH THE PRICE IS RIGHT WHILE YOU SLAVE AWAY…OH SORRY IF THEY HAD ANY INTEGRITY AT ALL ,THAT SENTENCE WOULD HAVE TO BE TOTALLY TURNED AROUND! But for some reason I suppose in this day and VERY SAD AGE people out there either believe these statements or just do not care..which is even worse..they just want their check!

    • WilliamJamesWard

      "If we are stupid" maybe "if we are suicidal"……………………….William

  • AntiSharia

    People get the government they deserve. They voted the lunatics in now let them suffer the madness.

    • Chezwick

      Good point. Tragically, we may be saying the same thing about America in November if Barry is re-elected.

  • Stephen_Brady

    @Anti-Sharia
    That includes "voters" who stay home on election day, or vote "third party".

  • Looking4Sanity

    "France Lurches Left". When have they NOT?!?

  • Looking4Sanity

    I anticipate this will result in France getting even further into bed with Iran as a result of their upcoming national penury. What a nation full of sorry ingrates and traitors.

  • KarshiKhanabad

    The Socialists will be cuddling up with the Muslims more than ever before. Meanwhile France will be quickly emptied of its remaining Jews who will have decided that surrounded Israel with its suicide bomber & Qasam rocket attacks is nevertheless a safer place to be.

  • tagalog

    Too bad the American economy isn't treated in such a way that we could say, "Come on over here, French entrepreneurs and innovators, and take advantage of the lower taxes and pro-business environment of the United States." We could be moving into economic leadership in the world. But no…

    The decision to go socialist and abandon austerity is a decision to continue living in Cloud-Cuckoo Land and spend France into oblivion.

  • salty

    I'll bet there is still enough stimulus money left in the slush fund for obama to bail out the french communists!!!!!!!!!!!

    • salty

      Yes just as I thought:
      (CNSNews.com) – President Obama wasted no time inviting French President-Elect Francois Hollande to the White House, suggesting a meeting in Washington just days after France’s first socialist leader in 17 years takes office next week

  • Fred Dawes

    A hell is coming the European is doomed to see that hell, the only way-out is to stand up by the millions and that will never happen. You can bail that system out And like our system, " it is dead."

  • ahmadnb

    "France lurches left"??? France has ALWAYS been on the left. Sarkozy would be considered to be a liberal here in the USA. They just decided that he wasn't "far left" enough. And the French people deserve every bit of economic disaster that is coming down the pipe for them. Especially after "the rich" decide to take all their fortunes and go where the grass is greener…more power to them. Let the brainwashed rabble whine and complain as a result of the "unfairness" of it all. Question is: Will they ever learn? If so, WHEN?

  • Terry

    France will get what it has voted for. The chance to become like Greece.

  • http://apollospaeks.blogtownhall.com/ ApolloSpeaks

    VIVA LA FRANCE! LET'S PUNISH THE RICH LIKE HERBERT HOOVER

    The French people who in the 18th century gave us history's first egalitarian revolution that butchered hundreds and thousands of innocent people and sent the country into utter turmoil and ruin replaced Nicolas Sarkozy with Francois Hollande a big spending tax-the-rich-to-death socialist liberal who has vowed to punish the nation's greedy rich with massive tax hikes to pay for new government stimulus programs for reviving the sagging French economy.

    In other words, for Hollande fixing the problems caused by socialism requires greater and more aggressive socialism as past failures need a redoubling of effort to succeed.

    continued

  • http://apollospaeks.blogtownhall.com/ ApolloSpeaks

    Instead of keeping in place Sarkozy's sensible austerity measures on runaway government spending and debt Hollande is going to punish France's employers, producers and investors to pay their fair share to fix everything-much like Herbert Hoover did in 1932 when he said "the trouble with capitalism is capitalists" and signed into law a punitive millionaires' fairness tax that raised top marginal rates from 25% to 52% and sent the jobless rate soaring to an all time US high of 25% the following year. Viva La France! Socialism is in a death spiral in Europe and the election of Hollande will hasten its end along with the European Union.

    Google ApolloSpeaks at Townhall.com to read the rest of this piece.

  • Rosine Ghawji
  • Don

    I have been to France many times, and I've lived in Europe for a total of ten years (but not now). France is trending toward becoming another Greece or Portugal, however the French probably have those countries beat in abandoning Christianity and welcoming Islam. Good luck, France, but you won't be the country I visited in 1963, 1976, 1982 . . . much longer. Socialism and communism don't work. How many times must various nations have to prove that fact?

  • http://www.maghrebchristians.com Youssef

    Muslim Brotherhood’s presidential candidate Mohamed Mursi vows to apply Islamic Law as Egypt’s next president; Prominent cleric Safwat Hegazi throws weight behind Mursi campaign.

    Read more: http://www.maghrebchristians.com/2012/05/08/broth

    Youssef