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Paul Krugman notes a few things about France with the hysterical screaming about the short term 75% tax rate on the wealthiest 1500 people and S&Ps downgrade.

For the plot against France — I’m being a bit tongue in cheek here, but there really are a lot of people trying to bad-mouth the place — is one clear demonstration that in Europe, as in America, fiscal scolds don’t really care about deficits
He also notes a few things everyone else tries to hide:
French workers were actually a bit more productive than their German counterparts a dozen years ago — and guess what, they still are.
Oh and those socialist policies destroying the family with LGBT rights
But France has a higher birthrate than most of Europe — in part because of government programs that encourage births and ease the lives of working mothers
Oh and the horror of universal health care
Meanwhile, France’s remarkable health care system, which delivers high quality at low cost, is going to be a big fiscal advantage looking forward.
So why the nastiness by the promoters of Austerity?
France’s seemingly exemplary fiscal policy. Why? Because it was based on tax increases rather than spending cuts
How dare they go against the trend of economic inequality and destruction of the social safety net? How dare they include the rich as part of the solution?

 His summary is spot on:

If all this sounds familiar to American readers, it should. U.S. fiscal scolds turn out, almost invariably, to be much more interested in slashing Medicare and Social Security than they are in actually cutting deficits. Europe’s austerians are now revealing themselves to be pretty much the same. France has committed the unforgivable sin of being fiscally responsible without inflicting pain on the poor and unlucky. And it must be punished.
As for the S&P downgrade, "pffft" I say. What wine goes best with that? A socialist Red of course.

8:09 AM PT: Note:

It's not negating the effects of austerity, but how evenly those effects are felt.

Austerity is still strangling the economy and some serious stimulus needs to be forthcoming in Europe as a whole

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