RUSH: Gerard Depardieu left France. He announced publicly he's leaving France, moving across the state lines, or the country line to Belgium because he's fed up where the top tax rate is 75% on the rich. Now, Gerard Depardieu is not the first Frenchman to announce that he's leaving France because of this.
The first French citizen to announce that he was leaving was a huge, well-known, big-time, corporate executive. Nobody cared whether he left, because big-time corporate executives are hated and despised everywhere. So when one of those announces they're leaving, the population of France applauded and said, "Not only are you leaving, stay away. Screw you!" But it didn't work out that way with Gerard Depardieu.
He was criticized.
He faced a mountain of criticism.
But Gerard Depardieu responded to it.
I'll tell you how and what happened (and what it may mean for me) when we get back.
RUSH: So it's one thing when a wealthy CEO, corporate exec tycoon leaves France. Nobody cares. In fact, good riddance. But a very popular actor, Gerard Depardieu, leaves France, and he was criticized at first. He was called greedy at first by government officials and members of the public. But then Gerard Depardieu published an open letter on Sunday in French newspapers. "'I was born in 1948,' he wrote.
"'I started working aged 14, as a printer, as a warehouseman, then as an actor, and I’ve always paid my taxes.' Over 45 years, Depardieu said, he had paid 145 million euros in tax, and to this day employs 80 people. Last year he paid taxes amounting to 85% of his income," and he's had it. "'I am neither worthy of pity nor admirable, but I shall not be called "pathetic",' he concluded, saying that he was sending back his French passport."
And today, after this open letter, Gerard Depardieu has 70% support of the French people. "An online poll conducted by the popular Le Parisien tabloid showed almost 70% supporting" Depardieu and his quest to lower taxes in France. What did he do? He left. He left the country. Which, as I say, how does it apply at me to me? Well, maybe if I move out to avoid taxes and explain how much I pay and how many people I employ and all this, people will love me more!
Maybe women will feel less threatened.
If it worked for Depardieu, who knows? But I find it interesting. He turned it around with one letter explaining, "Hey, don't confuse me with some wealthy, fat cat tycoon. Last year, I paid 85% in taxes. I've had enough."