French actor Gérard Depardieu justly condemned his nation’s 75 percent marginal tax rate, explaining that, in France, “success, creation, talent—difference, in fact—must be punished.” Depardieu renounced his French citizenship and moved to Belgium, where taxes are lower.
Although various French politicians and commentators have harshly criticized Depardieu, the actor deserves praise for his courageous decision to renounce his citizenship in protest of France’s obscene tax rates. Depardieu has produced an extraordinary body of work (IMDB lists his 194 titles) including a version of Cyrano de Bergerac; he has created great wealth in the process; and he has a moral right to keep the product of his effort and to use it as he sees fit.
Depardieu’s panache recalls that of Rostand’s Cyrano, who says, “I know you now, old enemies of mine! Falsehood! Have at you! Ha! and Compromise! . . . Surrender, I? Parley? No, never!”
Image: Wikimedia Commons