January 10, 2008 1:32PM

More Statism from Sarkozy

France’s President is supposed to be a conservative, but most of his proposed policies are designed to increase the size and burden of government. The latest example is a proposal for more taxes — including levies on the Internet — to finance France’s government‐​run television network. Perhaps this is the French version of compassionate conservatism? Tax​-News​.com reports:

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in a speech on Tuesday, unveiled new proposals for an internet‐​based tax, as part of a range of new levies to fund France’s state broadcasters. …Sarkozy outlined plans [for] a tax on internet connections, mobile phone usage and a levy on the advertising revenues of commercial television stations. Sarkozy promised that any tax on internet users would be “infinitesimal”, but his idea is controversial, and some observers see the plan as taxing the new media to help fund the old. France would also stand out as one of the only countries to raise revenues from taxing internet access, something which other governments have so far shied away from.