France: Liberte, Egalite--Mais Verite?

"Every Frenchman," by ancient axiom, "is willing to die for his country; but none is willing to pay for it." So passionately do the French pursue their democratic ideal of representation without taxation that cheating le Fisc, as they call the income tax bureau, has become the most pervasive and engrossing national pastime after love-making—and a far less risky one. As a result of the centuries-old duel between chronically strapped governments and perennially poor-mouthed citizens, France in theory imposes higher income taxes than almost any other Western country, and in practice collects less:...

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