Friday, February 1, 2013

2014: Too Late to Leave The United States?

Wendy McElroy, Contributor
Activist Post

The Ex-PATRIOT Act lies like a coiled snake on a table in the U.S. Senate. The longer title of this unenacted bill from 2012 is the Expatriation Prevention by Abolishing Tax-Related Incentives for Offshore Tenancy Act. Its self-description is,
A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide that persons renouncing citizenship for a substantial tax avoidance purpose shall be subject to tax and withholding on capital gains, to provide that such persons shall not be admissible to the United States, and for other purposes.
The Ex-PATRIOT Act seeks to impose a perpetual exit tax and a re-entry ban on “specified expatriates.” A specified expat is anyone with a net worth of at least $2 million or a tax liability averaging at least $148,000 over the last 5 years. A renunciation of citizenship would be automatically viewed as a tax dodge. The person would need to prove his innocence to the IRS to become exempt from a permanent and annual 30% tax on all earnings from U.S. investments. The net worth level at which the tax triggered would undoubtedly sink over time and, perhaps, quickly so.

(Even the Nazis were not so extreme. Until 1941, the third Reich used the Reichsfluchtsteuer (Reich Flight Tax) to charge emigrating Jews a one-time 25 percent exit tax. Schumer wants 30% in perpetuity.)

The Ex-PATRIOT Act would also ban “former citizens” from U.S. soil unless he received a waiver. The waiver requirements are to be determined at a later date. Current expats have no legal right to return, but they are rarely banned from doing so.

The Act was introduced in May 2012 by Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), read twice, and referred to the Senate Committee on Finance. It is likely to pass in 2013.


THE LIKELIHOOD OF PASSAGE

Reason #1. When the Act emerged from the Democrat-dominated Senate, John Boehner – the Republican leader in the House of Representatives -- was lukewarm. He would back the Act if it was “necessary,” he stated. But he asked, is this really necessary? Since then, the two parties have feuded bitterly over a budget bill, with the Republicans accused of serving millionaires at the expense of America. The mud stuck. Boehner caved; despite a vow to never do so, he allowed taxes on millionaires to rise.

If he opposes the Ex-PATRIOT Act, Republicans will be excoriated for pandering to jet-set tax evaders. Democrats will chortle with joy. In fact, they have already played the embarrassment card. A co-sponsor of the Act challenged Boehner through a press conference, “Washington needs to work together in a bipartisan manner. I request that you introduce the Ex-PATRIOT Act in the United States House of Representatives and call for an immediate vote on this important legislation.” The political dynamic favors passage of the Act in both the Senate and the House.

Reason #2. The average trapped American is resentful of expats...and, most especially, rich ones. As long as the rate of expatriation was small, it could be dismissed as an aberration. After all, who would flee from the land of the free? That was something Europeans did. But the annual rate of expatriation has been rising sharply since Obama's first term (2009-2012). In 2008, 231 Americas went through the complex and expensive process of officially leaving. In 2009, 750 left; in 2010, 1534; in 2011, 1782. These are official numbers from the Taxpatriate Lists published by the IRS.

The real numbers would be much, much higher. Consider a series of Zogby International polls conducted between 2005 to 2007. The polls focused on households, not individuals, and excluded households in which any member went abroad as a part of work for the government or a private company. Zogby found that “1.6 million U.S. households had already determined to relocate abroad; an additional 1.8 million households were seriously considering such a move, while 7.7 million more were 'somewhat seriously' contemplating it.” Zogby concluded, “If the data collected in the seven polls...are fairly representative of the current decade, then, by a modest estimate, at least 3 million U.S. citizens a year are venturing abroad."

The polls were pre-Obama. If the post-Obama rate of household relocation tracks the Taxpatriate List rate, then household relocation increased more than eight-fold from 2008 to 2011. No one knows the real numbers but the “expat problem” is now too large to ignore.

[Editor's Note: If you would like to become part of this "problem"...then take this necessary step to free yourself from the increasing burden of belonging to the US...]

Reason #3. Even if the expat numbers remained small, Eduardo Saverin was a game-changer. On May 11, 2012, a Global Post headline announced, “Eduardo Saverin, Facebook co-founder, to renounce his US citizenship ahead of IPO.” Bloomberg estimated that Saverin might well save $67 million in taxes by renouncing prior to Facebook going public.

One week later, on May 17, Schumer announced the Ex-PATRIOT Act as a direct response to Saverin's “outrage.” Even Boehner was politically compelled to denounce Saverin. Then Denise Rich – a prominent songwriter, socialite and political fundraiser – went expat for tax advantages. And, now, it is rock legend Tina Turner. The United States cannot permit mega-rich and famous people to make expatriation trendy, especially not for tax reasons.

Reason #4. The Ex-PATRIOT Act is another in what seems to be an irresistible juggernaut of repression against expatriates and Americans abroad.

Some of the totalitarian measures are well known, such as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. Others fly under the radar. For example, a provision was buried in an unrelated and 1676-page Transportation Bill entitled “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act” (MAP21). Section 40304 allows the IRS to unilaterally revoke the American passport of anyone it believes "owes" $50,000 or more in taxes. There is no hearing or due process. The IRS can now prevent Americans from fleeing abroad by slamming shut the exit door. And that's that.


Reason #5. Expats and unobtrusive Americans abroad have no hand. Politicians do not care about exiles who do not vote or about people who expose “America, the beautiful” as a lie. Politicians need to demonize them as being greedy, unpatriotic, and thieving elitists. By accusing expats of their own sins, the politicians create a scapegoat.

CONCLUSION

As it is currently written, the Ex-PATRIOT Act would not be retroactive in its tax provisions. But 2013 may be the last year to use the old tax code. If you are thinking about leaving the U.S., THEN DO IT NOW! The legislative pipeline in Congress has been clogged during much of 2012. Do not wait until measures like the Ex-PATRIOT Act or another Section 40304 pass the blockade and land directly into your life. 2014 may be too late.

Wendy McElroy is a renowned individualist anarchist and individualist feminist. She was a co-founder along with Carl Watner and George H. Smith of The Voluntaryist in 1982, and is the author/editor of twelve books, the latest of which is The Art of Being Free. Follow her work at http://www.wendymcelroy.com.

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38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not a surprise that Chuckie Schmoozer would think of more ways to punish freedom. He has been a bane on the state of NY and the US Constitution too long, only he is not a superhero or fictional character. He is a traitor who consistently stomps on the Constitution. If we ever have another election, I sincerely hope the people of NY will finally vote him out. That will be a great day. Keep in mind all you ex-pats that no matter where you go, whatever is coming will soon catch up to you, wherever you are. You can run, but you cannot hide.

T. Elkins said...

Well, seeing that my income is INCREDIBLY low, and I have no taxable assets in the US, I guess living in Germany, and eventually, applying for German citizenship won't be a problem. I think this bill is aimed at billionaires, not teachers.

Anonymous said...

So it is OK for politicians [Romney for example] to keep millions in tax free offshore hidden accounts but individual citizens must pay thru the nose?
Also there is a big difference in "expats" who just choose to live abroad and those who renounce citizenship. USA is one of few countries that expect you [and your foreign born spouse] to pay taxes on COMBINED income even if not earned in US. Then you also pay to the country you are living in.
Many retirees are moving to places like Costa Rica because they can not only live cheaply but eventually get residency or even dual citizenship. Also CR does not tax you on money earned abroad. If you are living on SS ; why would you renounce citizenship ? This of course assume there will be some left to collect.

Anonymous said...

If you are sure the goverment is failing , why not just go on an extended vacation and convert all your wealth on arrival ? Considering the goodwil america has built up in the last two decades. Just about anyplace you go , you will be an ala carte menu item to the natives. Good luck , you will need it

Anonymous said...

Im not sticking around for the shit to hit the fan. I dont owe squat, and screw their plans to make us slaves.

ShootyMcBang said...

Typical of the type of thinking that comes out of the cesspool known as the 535 club.

Anonymous said...

.....tax freedom or no, the story line here is to leave the usa.
to go where?

Anonymous said...

To go where? The world is a huge place, get off your ass and do some exploring. I take it you probably haven left the US much or even seen what other countries have to offer. The world is ripe with opportunity, check out anywhere in Latin America, Brazil, Chile, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, South Africa etc... The list goes on and and on. There are governments out there that welcome expats, respect privacy, and encourage economic progress rather than strangle it in bureaucracy. Just give up some if your creature comforts, get out of your safety net, and make something happen. Or keep calm and slave on...

Anonymous said...

Once again our elected officials and the IRS have over stepped bounds and apply our laws ment to protect us from tyranny have been turned against We The People. Our law states that we are to be innocent UNTIL proven guilty. When our law does not apply equally to all it applies equally to none.

Anonymous said...

"(Even the Nazis were not so extreme. Until 1941, the third Reich used the Reichsfluchtsteuer (Reich Flight Tax) to charge emigrating Jews a one-time 25 percent exit tax."

For context it should be noted that the Nazi's originally had a policy of not allowing any German money to leave the country to maintain the economic balance in Germany, regardless if they were Jews or "pure blooded" Germans.

The 25% "Reich Flight Tax" was only implemented after the 1934 Transfer Agreement which then allowed German Jews to take money with them when leaving Germany, in some cases actually receiving money from the German government to assist in purchasing land/homes in their new setting(Palestine at that time).

So the Nazi's actually loosened the laws to assist Jewish emigration and then implemented the 25% tax on all monies the Jewish emigrants took with them as some Germans correctly or not believed that the sums of money being removed from Germany by emigrating Jews would negatively impact the German economy.

In this case the Jews actually had more rights than non-Jewish German citizens who were still barred from taking any German money outside of Germany.

Saying the Nazi's "changed the laws to slap Jews with a 25% exit tax"(as I've come across numerous times) implies that this was an oppressive move to persecute Jews by those "evil" Nazi's.

To be truthful and objective such statements should say "the Nazi's changed the laws to allow Jews to take money out of Germany while non-Jews were still not allowed to do so, but countered this policy by instituting a 25% tax on all monies taken out of the country by the emigrating Jews".

Objective facts vs propaganda is all in the context.

See "Zionism in Naziland" by William Zukerman, Canadian Jewish Chronicle of August 9, 1935 -

"The government even relinquishes it's ironical law against permitting currency to leave Germany, and has entered into a special transfer agreement with the Zionists enabling Jews emigrating to Palestine to take out some cash from Germany."

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=0e1OAAAAIBAJ&sjid=XEwDAAAAIBAJ&pg=2471%2C4486107

The modern NWO rulers of the U.S and Europe and Asia have no interest in "relinquishing ironical laws" for anybody's benefit(except maybe their own), to even compare the Nazi policies to these modern policies is illogical in my view.

Peace,
Jonny

Anonymous said...

Where to go? How about Russia?

No GMO food
No wars
An economy that's still growing
Lots of natural resources
On 9.5% government debt to GDP
A half trillion dollars in reserves
Stable government (unless you listen to Russian protest groups paid by the US State Dept.)
13% flat tax on income
No laws against drinking real milk or saving rainwater and
Freedom (unless you listen to western mass media)


Anonymous said...

The ONLY reason to leave the US is when you have a nutjob right wing warmongering war-profiteering Zionist idiot like Bush or Romney in power. Because of demographics, the last election proved that no amount of money will ever be able to put one of those bastards in power ever again. The current administration has an obviously arm-length approach to major huge unwinnable but highly profitable wars of choice, the Middle East in general, and our "ally" there Israel. As far as assault weaponry and arsenals? Get over them, before the rest of us get over you and your family in a tank.

Anonymous said...

When I saw that evil grin on Schumer's face at the first press conference at Sandy Hook, it told me everything I ever wanted or needed to know about that schmuck.

Anonymous said...

^ the problem, see them and get rid of them

Anonymous said...

THESE POLITICIANS in the whorehouse in washington DC,are stripping YOUR freedom,and terrorists like chucky are PROOF,the police in NEW YORK are nothing but cheap whores OR CHUCKY WOULD BE IN JAIL CHARGED WITH TREASON,but of course every "LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER"( hard to call animals a human sounding name),in the state of new york should be trying to arrest these criminals,THEY TOOK AN OATH ,to protect the US CONSTITUTION,are they "NO",if your a RICH criminal in any state, you can rob and murder all you want and the very bastards who swore an OATH,will kill you for bothering the traitor pieces of shit,SO WHATS NEW....................................

Anonymous said...

I hate to break it to you Anon @ 2:55pm, but Obama is much more of a war-monger than Bush ever was. Take a look at how many innocent civilians he's killed with drone strikes. Take a look at the kill list, where he's judge, jury, and executioner to US Citizens. Remember Libya, Syria, andIran soon? He's racking up a larger body count than any of his nutjob rightwing warmongering war-profiteering predecessors.

The "change we can belive in" has shown us that taxpayer money is best spent killing people in other countries, not taking care of people in thier own.

Anonymous said...

I HATE TO BREAK IT TO YOU ANON @ 3:51 but Obama is a peace president and the only reason you right wing nuts dont like him is that becuse he is black he has done the nation good and brought people togather thier is no more war in iraq and finialy a prez who is helping the middle calss and the poor. so get of your racist horse and open your eyes this country does not belong to you racist anymore so please do us all a favor and leave the NEW COUNTRY.

Anonymous said...

I'll never understand those that refuse to leave the USA. Where does this misplaced sense of patrioitism and loyalty come from? Because you were born on this certain patch of dirt behind these certain arbitrary lines, you feel you have some sort of allegiance to that plot of land? It makes no sense that arbitrary lines on the earth determine where one's loyalties lie. If you dont like your plot of land, or the rules that come with it, go out and find a new one.

This ass-backward sense of patrioitism people have about the USA is from those who are totally ignorant of the rest of the world. You declare your patch of dirt as the best in the world, and you'll stay and fight to the death in order to protect it, but why? What sense of honor is there in fighting to protect your arbitrary piece of earth, when there are others readily available that are already suited to you.

Someone please explain to me why people feel this sense of loyalty and patriotism towards a country that clearly doesnt feel the same about its citizens.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 4:39 GOVERNMENT AND COUNTRY ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS!

Anonymous said...

Obama is a peace president? You have to be kidding me, I nearly puked up my soup I'm laughing so hard. That nobel peace prize should be taken back and the committe should issue a formal apology for issuing it in the first place. It has nothing to do with race Anon@4:35, it has everything to do with simple facts and numbers.

More troops have died under Obama than Bush. More innocent civilians have died under Obama than bush. More US citizens have been executed under Obama than Bush. More drone strikes have been ordered under Obama than Bush. More wars have been started under Obama than Bush. That fact has nothing to do with the race of either person. I couldnt stand Bush either, and never once voted for him. I did vote for Obama unfortunately, I even donated money to his first campaign. I wish I could get that money back, and my vote....

Just so you cant counter with more race fueled arguments, take a look at the facts.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/obamavsbush

Anonymous said...

Render unto Ceasar what is Ceasers, and to God what is his.
What else can you say- let them have it and choke on it as they lay their putrid lives down.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to add my 2 cents worth to this post.
I left the USA in 1995 and lived in a few different non-English speaking countries and loved them all. By 1999 I went to Russia and I am still here.
The poster of 1 February at 11.58 asking about Russia is 169.6% correct. Everything in that post is correct.
However, there is also chemical and hormone free food on top of non GMO. The crime rate is so low that I cannot tell you any statistics. I do not live in Moscow or St Petersburg - I am in the very heart of Russia on the western slopes of the Ural Mountains.

Anonymous said...

I love how people are trying so hard not to talk about race, this has nothing to with race, blah, blah. GET REAL PEOPLE. The Ex-PATRIOT Act has everything to do with race. The government fears White Flight on a large scale. And if America does go to the dogs taxes won't keep people in and they won't care if they can come back or not. Putin's Russia could easily take in 100 million White Americans with out a problem. There so much unpopulated regions in Asian Russia. Putin would have no problem with all those Whites moving in. He's even hinted at it before.

Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 4:39

There are several reasons:

Fear of the unknown
Family ties
Cognitive Dissonance
Brainwashing
Narcissism

Anonymous said...

I believe that the people the television says are the leaders are just a group of perverts being blackmailed.
Either that or all the sexploits of the Secret Service and the likes of Larry Craig who sought sex in public toilets ,or the latest the Menendez guy(he at least like girls).The people in Washington the television says are our leaders are probably ful of VD and crack.
Ladies and Gentlemen...we must look at the crux of the issue and that is that this is the result of allowing foreign money to be donated to campaigns.
Sure...we couldn't stop it then and now.However this is what the problem is.This is what happens when you let our enemies pay for the selection of weirdoes that try to pass themselves off on the TEE VEE as some kind of real government.
The same money owns the TEE VEE and filthy sex perverted media.
I say we all vote not to seceed...but to nullify the so called leadership or what the TEE VEE says is our leadership on the basis that their actions of late are ridiculous,and they are actually committing crimes upon crimes (Holder's hearing getting a delay ?He's too busy? Doing what? Committing MORE crimes is what.)
We vote no confidence in this bunch of foreign invested gaggle of goofballs which makes us stupid for believing they are legitimate.
A real protest would be to have everyone turn in their Cable TV boxes and boycott Hollywood,Pro Sports,the Entertainment Industry which is the same industry that feeds us the so called elections.
I can't believe that people are actually going to go to Stupor Bowl.
This is the result of foreign investors who have given campaign money and we want a do over.

Anonymous said...

Quoting from the above shill.
"you right wing nuts dont like him is that becuse he is black he has done the nation good and brought people togather thier is no more war in iraq and finialy a prez who is helping the middle calss and the poor."
--------------------
This is probably an outsourced shill
Isn't it sad to see the pathetic tactics of hatred which is race baiting?
The one who accuses in the race game is the real hater.
Then once you get past the racist spew the rest was 100% Bullsh@t
That's how you know it was a shill.
Brought more people together than anyone else?
Is that why the US is breaking all records of buying guns while Barry Soetero or whatever his real name is tries to take them away?
I mean the guy has a Fantasy name....and we're all supposed to play along with that.Hehehe
Yea sure.
Just call me Easter Bunny now cuz I wanna.No records of this character and a fake name.
And ummmm you're a racist if you notice the guy who got foreign donations for alleged President with a fake name is outta control and he has the same investors who own the media keeping the BS
<~Barry Soetero train going.
It's come down to this.
The Presidency is infiltrated for 2 terms now,and if you notice a hater racist calls you a racist ! IT"S TOO FRIGGIN FUNNY !

Anonymous said...

ill let someone else complain about the out of control totalitarian ideology in office. What this tells me is there will be more of a demand in wanting to leave the country in the coming years/months. the race thing.. remember facebook and other online forums like this have paid CIA 'trools' that misguide discussions.

Anonymous said...

The window is closing fast. Take this from someone that lived through Fascist Communism. However, the problem is where to go? Nobody wants to take anyone in and the countries that are willing to do so (Panama, Costa Rica, etc.) are nothing more than banana republics and puppets of the empire with as many problems and danger as within the empire itself. The reality is that the entire world is doomed by the same dark forces. There's no place to run!

Anonymous said...

"The Ex-PATRIOT Act seeks to impose a perpetual exit tax and a re-entry ban on “specified expatriates.” A specified expat is anyone with a net worth of at least $2 million or a tax liability averaging at least $148,000 over the last 5 years."

I nearly peed in my pants laughing when I read that. As if the US weren't owned by such rich people. As if the oligarchy were going to impose restrains, rules and hardship on themselves. I think that was a typo and it was supposed to actually read "anyone with a net worth of LESS THAN $2 million" -- We sheep don't count yet are the source of income so it's us they want to keep in not the Romneys & Kerrys, et al. who have amassed vast fortunes on the back of the poor and carefully stashed them in the Cayman Islands and Swiss banks.

Mike n Lisa said...

No it doesn't seem to be aimed at middle class people who emigrate to work abroad, just millionaires and on up who are basically tax dodgers.

Mike n Lisa said...

A secondary thread is running through this one, basically the question "Why do we or should we stay in a country/state/region where we were born instead of choosing where we will live based on who we are, one that resonates with who we want to be?" It's actually a good question. If we can find a way to answer that we may find ourselves enjoying our lives rather than feeling like we need to change the world around us.

Anonymous said...

What the US does to its own citizens or former citizens is its own business but it had better not force other countries to do its dirty work as this proposed bill does. It isn't up to other nations or their banks to keep close track of American expats. It is none of their business to do so. If the US persists then I think every other country should require the withholding of 30% of American citizens' holdings within that country, just like the US is threatening to do to other nations with this bill!

Anonymous said...

I do indeed wonder if this Ex-Patriot Act will be passed or something even worse like Congress passing a law that might make U.S. personhood impossible to shed for tax purposes. They could even be nastier and retroactively restore U.S. personhood to those who renounced years ago, thus making them eternally liable to the IRS and consequently vulnerable to steep fines for not filing tax returns.

At the very least, I could see consulates becoming obstructionist and ignoring requests for expatriation appointments or making waiting lists many years long with far more stringent exit taxes on worldwide not just U.S. assets with thresholds well below the current $2 million threshold...:/

Anonymous said...

I am Black, and I have to say that you are 100% wrong about Obama. he is a very dangerous person.

Anonymous said...

why dont you come and take my assault weapons? I think not, because you, like most liberals, are a coward.

Anonymous said...

One really has to wonder at the sanity of anyone that would advocate the use of heavy military equipment against citizens of their own country. What next, concentration camps for reeducation?

Anonymous said...

Well said

Anonymous said...

"Anyone that refers too the Magic Negro in the White House as a Peaceful Nobel Prize Winner is a Plant no doubt, isn't this the same Negro that stated "War is for Peace" Whatever or Whomever this Magic Negro really is, He is not Our Lord and Saviour (according too Jamie Fox and Chris Rock) and NO all Black People are not totally Fooled as too where his True Allegiance lay, just look at the Totality of his Administration, Poor BlackPeople, We are sometimes so Embarrassingly Starved for the Magic Negros attention, when he obviously only Thinks of Us as an After-Thought, Oh Yes some of Us Black People can actually see him for Whatever or Whomever this Magic Negro really is, Uncle Tom Foolery" the chamy.

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