POLITICAL: France has a top rate of 75%

Friday, September 28, 2012

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/28/us-france-budget-idUSBRE88R0AK20120928

France taxes rich and business to slash deficit
By Daniel Flynn and Leigh Thomas
PARIS | Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:49am EDT

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(Reuters) – President Francois Hollande’s Socialist government unveiled sharp tax hikes on business and the rich on Friday in a 2013 budget aimed at showing France has the fiscal rigor to remain at the core of the euro zone.

The package will recoup 30 billion euros ($39 billion) for the public purse with a goal of narrowing the deficit to 3.0 percent of national output next year from 4.5 percent this year – France’s toughest single belt-tightening in 30 years.

But with record unemployment and a barrage of data pointing to economic stagnation, there are fears the deficit target will slip as France falls short of the modest 0.8 percent economic growth rate on which it is banking for next year.

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Here’s a country that’s going be a laboratory for high tax rates.

Better them than us.

The USA has growth rate below 2 and the true unemployment rate (U6) above 15%.

The Gooferment deficit, debt, and spending are spinning out of control; the Senate doesn’t even deign to do a budget.

I’m no fan of either party’s offering. But four more years of European style Gooferment is going to push the economy over the edge.

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MONEY: Understanding the tax on stupidity

Friday, September 28, 2012

http://www.ricedelman.com/cs/pressroom/pressroom_detail?pressrelease.id=3268

Against All Odds

For Immediate Release
September 21, 2012

If you insist on playing the lottery, make sure you know the true risks and downsides.

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When you step outside your home, are you afraid of being struck by lightning? Of course not. You know the chances are remote.

But you were more likely to be hit by lightning twice than you were to win the top prize in the Mega Millions lottery jackpot when it paid a record $640 million recently. Indeed, you were 176 times more likely to be struck and killed by lightning than to win that jackpot, four times more likely to be killed by fireworks and nine times more likely to die from a television falling on your head.

Just so we’re clear, I’m not a big fan of buying lottery tickets. Essentially they are a tax on the stupid. Because of the infinitesimal odds against winning, you’re giving dollars to the government for nothing in return.

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Sadly, those who spend hundreds of dollars annually hoping to become an overnight multimillionaire will never achieve the riches they seek. But if they instead placed that money into the average stock mutual fund every day for 45 years, they would indeed become wealthy.

It’s true: $3 invested every day for 45 years, assuming it grows at the historic 10% annual return that the S&P 500 Stock Index has earned on average since 1926 according to Ibbotson Associates, would be worth nearly $1 million.

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An excellent and perceptive argument against the chronic lottery player.

Some folks are “lucky”. But many “gamblers” I know, even “lucky” ones, avoid the lottery in any form because they are “not lucky at it”.

Most persuasive part of Rick’s indictment is that $3 / day makes you a millionaire in 45 years!

I didn’t realize that. Wish I had 45 years ago.

I do remember some NYC bank had the adage “small leaks sink great ships” embossed on its passbook savings. Maybe it should have been “three bucks a day makes you a millionaire in 45 years”.

Do Americans save ANYTHING any more?

I also noticed today driving through a “poor  section” of town that everyone I saw was smoking. Hmmm, a causal relation?

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