Our Common Good

French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s conservative government lost its majority in the Senate to the left on Sunday, officials said, in a historic defeat that deals him a blow just seven months before a presidential election.

For the first time since 1958, the right-dominated upper house swung to a left-wing majority as the body’s membership underwent a major generational change of guard.

Early results from the indirect elections showed that left-wing candidates took at least 23 seats from the ruling conservative party, securing them an absolute majority.

Freedom Taxes

monfresh:

Warren Buffett is not the only one who wants to stop coddling the super-rich. Quelques Français aussi:

16 of France’s mega-rich signed a petition urging the goverment to raise their taxes. Despite relatively high taxes and a wealth tax signatories such as the L’Oreal heir and the head of a major oil company, Total, are asking the government to raise their taxes to help solve the country’s financial issues. Original petition (French).

gonzodave:

August 24, 2011 7:47 pm
By Peggy Hollinger and James Boxell in Paris

“French president Nicolas Sarkozy has given the green light for a highly political budget, placing the burden of new revenue raising on the richest and on big companies while preserving the benefits of some tax breaks for ordinary workers.

Just nine months away from a presidential election, France’s high earners will face higher taxes as the government seeks some €12bn in extra revenue by the end of next year to help bring public finances under control.
Unveiling new austerity measures, launched after the country’s growth stuttered to a halt in the second quarter, prime minister Francois Fillon said: “We have passed the threshold of tolerance on debt.”

Though he also scaled back forecasts for growth from 2 per cent this year and 2.25 per cent in 2012 to 1.75 per cent in each of those years, Mr Fillon said the new measures would ensure France could meet its promise to cut its budget deficit from 5.7 per cent of GDP to a marginally better than expected 4.5 per cent next year and 3 per cent in 2013.

His remarks were clearly aimed at reassuring global debt markets, after investors questioned the stability of France’s triple A credit rating and its ability to cut debt amid slowing growth. Mr Fillon also pledged a further €3bn in savings in the budget for 2013, which will not be decided for another year.

However, Mr Sarkozy, whose popularity remains at record lows, also has to reassure a nervous electorate.

… Gains on property investments, excluding primary residences, will also be taxed more heavily, bringing a considerable €2.2bn in extra revenue next year.

Mr Fillon also announced plans to limit the tax breaks given to companies incurring losses. This measure will not only bring in an extra €1.5bn to state coffers in 2012, but has the added benefit of helping to harmonise French and German corporate tax systems. President Sarkozy and German chancellor Angela Merkel have made this a key element of their proposals for greater European integration.

The government will also rein in the benefits for companies of tax-free overtime one of Mr Sarkozy’s flagship measures introduced after his election in 2007. Conscious of what promises to be a difficult election, the burden of the government’s adjustment will fall on companies, which will from next year face charges on the over-time, although workers will not.

However, the poorer classes of society have not escaped totally unscathed, with a higher tax on cigarettes and alcohol.”

quickhits:

Mowed the lawn today. Still hate everything about that concept. Now here’s the news…


Gallup polling shows that the race is tight between President Obama and Republican challengers. Doesn’t mean a whole lot at this point in the game, though. Over at Rasmussen though, the report is that Sarah Palin would get her ass kicked, landslide-style.

Paul Ryan says he won’t run. I have no idea why The Weekly Standard has been pushing him, his destroy-Medicare plan has left him about as electable as Herman Cain.

President Obama on Libya; “Although it’s clear that Qaddafi’s rule is over, he still has the opportunity to reduce further bloodshed by explicitly relinquishing power to the people of Libya and calling for those forces that continue to fight to lay down their arms for the sake of Libya.” Of course, Republicans are busy being dicks about it. If they could cook up some rationale for crediting Bush with this, they would.

Meanwhile, the Libyan people thank the “Fantastic Four”; President Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and U.S. Ambassador the U.N. Susan Rice.

How would you go about making American media even worse? This would be a good start.

Wait, the AFL-CIO didn’t have a Super PAC? They do now.

Punctuality is not a Michele Bachmann trait.

Finally, Remember “Joe the Plumber?” Most people don’t. He wrote a book that sold 500 copies.