Thursday, December 10, 2009

Brits and French tax banker bonuses

Posted By on Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 3:05 PM

Those wacky Europeans. They seem to think that big businesses should make an effort to show some public responsibility – or barring that, just a bit of respect for the peons. Yesterday, the British government announced that it would place a one-time 50 percent windfall tax on bankers’ bonuses that top 25,000 pounds (about $40,000). Or, as Salon’s “How the World Works” column’s Onion-esque headline put it, “Government announces a tax on exorbitantly paid bankers. American populists gnash their teeth in envy.”

Today, the French government announced it intends to follow suit, with a one-time tax forcing banks to pay a 50 percent tax on bonuses over 27,000 Euros. Bloomberg News came up with the sad-but-obvious headline, “U.S. Probably Will Avoid Matching U.K. 50% Bonus Tax,” which serves as another example of the underlying "business-friendly" government mentality that has resulted in Americans hurting more than Europeans in the current Great Recession due to our less effective social safety net.

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