The only thing more stunning than tax-hiking politicians is their unswerving faith that taxpayers, especially wealthy ones, simply will smile and surrender even more of their money. This fundamental misunderstanding of human nature is impervious to mounting evidence that taxpayers go where taxes are low.
French President Francois Hollande thought he could impose a 75 percent top tax rate and simply watch revenues flow into Paris like the Seine. Instead, actor Gerard Depardieu rushed into the loving arms of Vladimir Putin and Russia’s 13 percent flat tax. Former French President Nikolai Sarkozy reportedly may move to London to escape Hollande’s thievery.
Last year, a record 1,788 Americans renounced their citizenship, mainly in favor of countries with lower taxes and friendlier political rhetoric. Golf great Phil Mickelson generated headlines this week when he suggested that high taxes might drive him from his native California or perhaps America.