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Well, they are. full stop. The budgets of the state and social security are only balanced by the goodwill of lenders, half of which are foreign. But France is in no way different from US, Japan, and many other OECD nations, in that respect. Except may be in that the global tax/contribution burden is one of the highest, around 45% of GDP.

I'm not arguing here on the issue that the tax is fair or not (it is not, the burden is skewed even more heavily towards taxing individual wage labor and not capital/corporate profits/self employed labor). Simply the agregate burden is one of the highest, and still the budget isn't balanced without floating more debt every year.

Of course, Sarko is a dickhead to complain about this now, just after he cut taxes on the richest himself. But he read george w bush's "neolib political economics for dummies".

Still, raising and rebalancing taxes will not be enough: France will need to make honest assessments and cut some benefits and public labor. This will happen in the nearer future than most people think. A credit crunch has far reaching consequences. Lenders will not get fooled another time after the "Great Dollar Devaluation Heist", which is coming right now.

Pierre

by Pierre on Wed Mar 19th, 2008 at 10:19:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
heh, from italy, france looks like a miracle of organisation and intelligent governance!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Mar 21st, 2008 at 01:30:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
or from perhaps 90% of the rest of the world...

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Mar 21st, 2008 at 01:38:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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