After his breakup with fellow Hollywood star Winona Rider, and following the drug-induced death of River Phoenix on the street outside Depp's Viper Room nightclub in Hollywood after a night of jamming and partying, the sensitive Mr. Depp decided America wasn't good enough for him anymore. He had his tattoo changed from "Winona forever" to "Wino forever," grabbed his jacket and bonnet, and headed for La Belle France. Ever since, Depp has spent most of his time in his mini-Versailles mansion, returning to the US for visits and hob-nobbing with his fellow Hollywood intellectuals such as Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, and Julia Roberts.
In an Esquire Magazine article some years back, the expatriate Depp told the interviewer that he moved to France because the French are so much more civilized and cultured than Americans (razors, baths and deodorant to the contrary notwithstanding). He denigrated almost all things American (except movies, of course), and was particularly horrified by all the guns floating around among the American masses. In summary, Depp believes America to be an uncultured, violent nation--unlike France where everybody is a budding Rousseau or Montesquieu, and what little violence there is occurs only in the "Asian" banlieues.
Post-Sarkozy, the new socialist government is tightening its belt--around the throat of the rich. Programs sounding very Obama-like are being instituted such as 150,000 government jobs for youth, a return to shorter work weeks and longer vacations guaranteed by the government, and, oh, eating the rich with a top-tier tax rate of 75%. Vive la France! France has replaced the guillotine which lopped off the heads of the aristos and the rich with the noose of punishment for success.
As American royalty and a member of the super-rich class, Prince Johnny has decided it's time to get the hell out of Paris. French entrepeneurs and investors are fleeing France almost as fast as those fleeing California. Unless they move Hollywood to Switzerland or Germany, the Hollywood elite will mostly remain in California, but they know better that to stick around in France. Depp is no exception.
Under the new French tax plan, Depp would have to pay the highest French income tax rate with no credit for taxes paid back in the States. Culture and civilization be damned, Depp ain't a gonna pay those taxes. Depp told the Guardian UK: "France wanted a piece of me. They wanted me to become a permanent resident. Permanent residency status – which changes everything. They just want… Dough. Money." Depp goes on to say: "If I spend more than 183 days a year in France I will have to pay income tax in both Europe and America" He concludes with: "So you essentially work for free." I don't expect Depp and his ilk to join the Tea Party anytime soon, but at least he has had a minor epiphany.
Will he come back to America, only to face the possibility of an Obama reelection and a tax rate that would not be as bad as France's, but still very punitive? Will he come back to a Romney America where income taxes will not be nearly so onerous, but still in need of major reform? Or will he simply cut to the chase and move to "communist" Hong Kong where he'll get to keep most of his income?
Let me know what you think, and don't hesitate to tie it to Obama's acceptance speech and the Democrat agenda.