Dave Hodges, Contributor
Would you renounce your U.S. citizenship if it meant you’d be sending less of your hard-earned dollars to Uncle Sam? Do you want affordable health care? Do you desire to live a long and healthy life? Do you want your children to have an affordable college education? Do you want to retire in relative comfort? Do you desire live your life in relative freedom and not have to worry government harassment?
If you answered in the affirmative to most of these questions, it might be time to start packing your bags and looking for greener pastures.
Americans Are Voting With Their Feet
Are you tired of living under relative tyranny where every email is read, every phone call is listened to and your every movement is tracked by a number of electronic devices?
Americans are leaving the country at breakneck speed and the annual rate of expatriation is growing as over 150,000 Americans departed the former land of liberty for greener pastures overseas in the past year. In total, over five million Americans are choosing to live outside the United States. Just why are Americans leaving this land of “freedom” and opportunity in record numbers, with no end in sight?
Unaffordable College Education Costs
The Education Policy Institute assessed the affordability of higher education costs and found that the United States ranks 13th in higher education affordability.
To those who think your children can borrow their way to a degree, think again. Today’s U.S. college loan practices, which serves to underwrite much of the cost of a college education, are the most predatory in the world. As of last year, bankruptcy cannot cancel out a student loan debt, and delinquent college students can now go to jail for nonpayment. In fact, several federal agencies have even “SWAT teamed” many delinquent student loan defaulters. Nowhere else in the world can we find evidence of these types of predatory practices being used against college students as we do here in the United States.
Even if young adults obtain their degree, those who are degreed and/or skilled in fields such as engineering or information technology skills, are really wasting their time working in the United States. Eight of the world’s ten highest-paying countries for information technology (IT) managers are in Western Europe, according to a new survey by Mercer Human Resource Consulting. The survey found that Swiss managers are paid the most, followed by those in Germany and Denmark. In fact, IT management is another field where U.S. workers fail to crack the top ten in income, the United States ranks 14th in IT management compensation. Even debt-ridden Spain, Italy and Greece pay their IT managers more than what Americans earn on average.
Americans Retire Comfortably
Nothing could be further from the truth. America, you are not getting the best pension package compared to other Western nations as America ranks dead last in overall pension benefits. And this is in the backdrop of the nothing-to-lose, second term Obama Administration, is preparing to seize your 401k pensions.
America, your money is not even safe in the bank as witnessed by the fact that the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals who just ruled that banks can steal the money of its depositors and it is legal! This would have been a SHTF moment in every other Western country, but Americans are taking this grand theft on their backsides, sipping a beer and rooting for their favorite American Bachelor.
There are no golden years in America unless you are in the infamous 1%.
Americans Have the Most Freedoms
Anyone who believes this fiction needs to turn off their TV and start reading the summaries of Executive Orders and passed Congressional legislation.
With the PATRIOT Acts, the NDAA and several other draconian pieces of legislation designed to protect us from the bogey men we call terrorists, we have lost Habeus Corpus, we are losing our free speech rights to the United Nations and every form of due process that we once cherished under our Constitution. And if you don’t like the unfolding criminal enterprise which suddenly appeared before our collective eyes, the bankers have rolled out a technocratic police state which would make Stalin and Hitler envious. Both the police state and impending martial law are bolstered by the fact that the Department of Homeland Security has purchased 1.6 billion rounds, oops, make that 2.2 billion rounds of high tech bullets engraved with the names of citizens who dare to oppose this tyranny!
America Is Still the Land of Opportunity
First and foremost, Americans no longer live in the highest salary paying country in the world. In fact, the United States does not even crack the top ten list of the highest salary paying countries on the planet in which Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Japan, Norway, Austria, Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom round out the top ten and pay their workers more than workers in the United States. In fact, the United States only ranks 20th in terms of overall gross pay! One would be very naive to call America the land of opportunity.
The Highest Taxes In the World
Overwhelmingly, the number one reason that Americans are fleeing the country is because of high taxes.The income tax rate rose this year to 39.6% from 35% for individuals earning more than $400,000 a year and married couples earning more than $450,000. As of this year, 77% of Americans will pay higher federal tax rates because the cuts in Social Security payroll taxes expired when Congress passed its tax package on New Year’s Day. The Tax Policy Center estimates that those who earn more than $1 million would pay an average of $170,341 more in taxes.
State taxes are also rising as evidenced by the state of California which enacted Proposition 30, that effectively raised state income tax rates to 10.3% from 9.3% for individuals making at least $250,000 and 13.3% from 10.3% for those earning at least $1 million. Golfer Phil Mickelson publicly voiced his concern over the tax increases and threatened to leave California because of the higher rates.
Expatriation does favor the rich. Consider the following examples. If you are wealthy and make, say, $1 million per year, you would save $396,000 in annual taxes by relocating to Monaco based upon the highest tax bracket of 39.6%. However, if you are a person of average means and only make about $50,000 per year, you would save $12,500 in annual taxes based upon being in the 25% tax bracket. If tax reduction is your primary reason for putting the U.S. in the rear view mirror, you will be financially ahead regardless of your income. Of course, one has to have an income to benefit from a potential move. In other words, if you are the owner of an Obama phone, you are better off staying in the country.
To rub salt in the proverbial wound, the U.S. is one of the few nations that taxes its citizens regardless of where they live in the world. As long as you remain a U.S. citizen, you will be taxed on your income even if you’re living abroad.
At Least We Have Our Health
Our education is substandard, our earning power is substandard, our tax rates are exorbitant and we increasingly live in a rapidly emerging police state. But at least we have our health. Unfortunately, that is not quite true as the United States spends more than the next 12 nations for health care. However, it seems as if we are spending more and enjoying it less as, despite our exorbitant spending on health care, the United States ranks 50th in the world in life expectancy. Cuba, Puerto Rico and Spain have higher life expectancies than the United States. Americans live in the only country in the world where its citizens cannot bargain shop for its medicines in foreign countries because the pharmaceuticals have convinced Congress to establish a pharmaceutical monopoly over U.S. citizens. Death by doctor has increased to 225,000 per year.
And with Obamacare death panels looming on the near horizon, things can only get worse.
Some Things To Consider Before You Leave
As Americans face crushingly higher taxes and increasingly draconian enforcement tactics, an increasingly greater number of Americans are choosing to flee for greener pastures. It is actually fairly easy to renounce one’s own U.S. citizenship.
The U.S. Department of State regulations state that the potential expatriate must “appear in person before a U.S. consular or diplomatic officer, in a foreign country and sign an oath of renunciation. One should consider their renunciation action carefully because it is irrevocable once declared.
However, nothing is quite as simple as it appears when dealing with our criminal government that has been hijacked by the bankers. If you try and leave America, your will be assessed a 15% exit fee. Yes, that is correct, you are penalized for exercising the privilege to leave the country. Do you remember as children we were taught to make fun of the Soviet Union for building fences to keep their citizens in? By the way, Russia has a flat 13% tax rate.
Where To Go?
I predict that under this pathetic president and our insider-trading Congress, millions are going to be looking to leave the country. It is my belief that if the number of expatriates grows much beyond present levels, the government will enact policies to make it increasingly more difficult to leave the country.
Where would you go? What factors would you consider when choosing a relocation country? Leave a comment below and let’s begin a dialogue on if, indeed, it is time to leave the former home of the free?
Dave is an award winning psychology, statistics and research professor, a college basketball coach, a mental health counselor, a political activist and writer who has published dozens of editorials and articles in several publications such as Freedoms Phoenix, News With Views and The Arizona Republic.
The Common Sense Show features a wide variety of important topics that range from the loss of constitutional liberties, to the subsequent implementation of a police state under world governance, to exploring the limits of human potential. The primary purpose of The Common Sense Show is to provide Americans with the tools necessary to reclaim both our individual and national sovereignty.