Sunday, May 20, 2012

We Don’t Get It?

Democrats are fond of saying that Republicans and conservatives “don’t get it.” That usually comes after they’ve come up with another one of their hare-brained schemes to destroy the economy or launch some new class warfare. The latest chapter in Democratic nonsense comes from Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) who wants to punish a super-entrepeneur for abandoning the highest business taxes in the developed world.

So what has Chuckie’s panties in a bunch? Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin renounced his American citizenship and headed for a more tax-friendly environment just before Facebook’s public offering. I personally don’t much care for that myself. He came to America from Brazil looking for an education and opportunity, and got both in spades. But Schumer and fellow Democrat Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania) show that they don’t understand cause and effect or even the doctrine of unintended consequences.

The gold dust twins Schumer and Casey got into high dudgeon over Saverin’s move, and decided he must be punished. They even had their P.R. team go into high gear to come up with a name for the hysterical legislation they’ve proposed. It’s the Ex-PATRIOT Act (Expatriation Prevention by Abolishing Tax-Related Incentives for Offshore Tenancy). Aw, gimme a break.

The Democrats have done a great job of driving business out of the country with destructive tax policies and regulation. President Barack Hussein Obama has punctuated the belief that America is just another choice among many nations by saying that American exceptionalism is jingoistic. After all, Brits and Greeks think their countries are exceptional too, says The One. So they have to explain to me why someone who doesn’t even claim native birth as part of his citizenship shouldn’t take the money and run. Saverin found a new country that was exceptional--in its ability to let him keep most of his own money.

The Act would directly punish Saverin and anyone like him with an expansion of a tax-penalty already contained in the thousands of pages of IRS rules and regulations. It comes close to a combination of ex post facto law and a bill of attainder, both of which are forbidden by the Constitution. Essentially, if the IRS (or Chuck Schumer) determines that someone has renounced his citizenship to avoid taxes, a stiff penalty would be imposed on the taxes already owed. No penalty of course, if the reason was a conversion to Islam or a newfound love for communist rule.

Schumer is miffed because Saverin would avoid paying the feds an initial sum of approximately $67 million in taxes. Even though Facebook was not the sensational IPO originally expected, it was still one of the biggest of all time, so I suspect Schumer may even be underestimating the tax. So here’s the real penalty Schumer wants to impose: A 30 percent additional capital gains tax on all future earnings made in the United States on all expatriates with either a net worth of more than $2 million or who have a tax liability of $148,000 over the previous five years. Note that this would be chump change for Saverin, so Schumer is proving he’s an equal opportunity socialist. The only thing more evil than the rich are the expatriate rich.

Schumer himself isn’t exactly poverty-stricken, but he isn’t even playing in the same ballpark as a Saverin. On the other hand, Schumer didn’t get what money he has by coming up with an innovative idea which ended up worth billions. Mostly, he just lives off the public trough.

And just in case Saverin or someone else who made the same decision had a change of heart, Schumer is planning to take care of that too. The bill provides that an expatriate who renounced his citizenship for tax purposes within the prior ten years would be barred from ever entering the United States again, even as a tourist tossing money around and stimulating local economies. Mr. Saverin, in the unlikely event you should have another brilliant money-machine idea like Facebook, don’t come back here flaunting your money. Build that wealth somewhere else. You’ve wounded our feelings, and we don’t want you back.

What a great man. Says Schumer: “We simply cannot allow the ultra-wealthy to write their own rules.” I guess that is Congress’s sole prerogative. He then inexplicably says that Saverin leaves the US taxpayers with the bill. What bill? Even after heading for more fertile pastures, Saverin and his corporation will still pay PLENTY of taxes. And then there’s the final Democratic mantra: “Renouncing citizenship to simply avoid paying your fair share is an insult to middle class Americans and we will not accept it.

Maybe if Schumer and the Democrats understood the results of their own business-crippling tax policies and learned what “fair” really means, people like Saverin wouldn’t be renouncing their citizenship in the first place. In the words of the 60s rock group Ten Years After “tax the rich, feed the poor, till there are no rich no more.” I’ll forgive the grammar because unlike Schumer, they understood that eating the rich will give you a case of permanent indigestion.

17 comments:

LawHawkRFD said...

This morning, long after writing the article, I found Saverin's statement about his citizenship. I have no reason to believe or disbelieve what he says, but here it is: “My decision to expatriate was based solely on my interest in working and living in Singapore, where I have been since 2009. I am obligated to and will pay hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes to the United States government. I have paid and will continue to pay any taxes due on everything I earned while a U.S. citizen. It is unfortunate that my personal choice has led to a public debate, based not on the facts, but entirely on speculation and misinformation.”

BevfromNYC said...

Oh yeah, did i forget to report about Chuckles' bill yesterday? I was so embarrassed to admit he is our e-steamed Senator from the Tax Me state. I wonder if this is the reason we lost 2 Congressional districts in the last census?

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: Well, he shares his idiocy with the Senator from Pennsylvania, and you couldn't be expected to do a New York post about a Pennsylvania Senator. So all is forgiven. LOL

rlaWTX said...

"...if he [Shumer] only had a brain..."

Tennessee Jed said...

One of the problems with our corporate tax system is that the big boys, i.e. Fortune 1000 don't really care because they have so many ways of getting around it. It is the smaller job creators that are discouraged by our tax structure. The ex post facto is straight for the annals of FDR. Orwellian. As for Scumer, he's like plugs Biden. "My dad had dreams too, you know." These guys are asses.

LawHawkRFD said...

rlaWTX: If only Schumer had the brain of the Scarecrow, before seeing the Wizard. But he doesn't even have that. Instead, Schumer's head is filled with popcorn soaked in urine (I stole that line from Alexander Wolcott).

LawHawkRFD said...

Tennessee: Who ever suggested that poor dads don't have dreams? Biden loves to attack ideas that don't exist. It's easier than dealing with reality. Biden's father had dreams, but he sired a nightmare.

T-Rav said...

If I remember correctly, a few years ago the great Sir Michael Caine made news by saying he was considering immigrating to the US, because he was tired of giving the British government more than half of everything he made. Too bad Schumer, Casey et al. don't understand this basic principle of economics: People tend to do whatever is in their self-interest. Maybe they should focus on making our tax system more attractive to the prosperous.

Individualist said...

... and exactly how will we know that someone has renounced their citizenship for tax reasons......

Why Washington politicians will tell us so.....

the real probelm with this is not the after the fact taxation (which is wrong). It is the subjective nature of it. Even if the IRS initiates this ruling the rich guy will most certainly tie this up in court. IF he is politically smart like Immelt he will bribe the politically correct politicians first.

This law is just dumb

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: That's sad. He had been ill for some time now, so at least his suffering has ended.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: Enlightened self-interest and human nature are not included in the liberal handbook. The reason socialism doesn't work is it denies that human beings have hearts and souls as well as brains.

Another facet of this reversal of American exceptionalism is the intellectual arena. In the 60s, there was a huge "brain drain" from England to the United States because researchers here were allowed the freedom to do their research and development unhindered by constant government oversight and interference. They found what they found, not what the government wanted them to find (global warming, for instance?). In England then, like America now, entrepeneurship was discouraged and government-run research was the largest source of funding. I wonder how many of those scientists are soon going to be looking elsewhere to develop their talents fully.

LawHawkRFD said...

Indi: It's pure banana republic law. The administration will tell the IRS whom to go after, since the IRS only looks at numbers, not intent. And just as you said, those crony capitalists who export jobs and money overseas for politically-correct green projects (like Immelt) won't be touched if they decide to get out of Dodge permanently. Just keep those campaign contributions coming.

Tehachapi Tom said...

Hawk
What do the Dems think when they are doing by setting up onerous taxes and the being offended by the reactions of tax payers?

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: And their most common excuse for failure is not that the program(s) was bad, but that we just didn't spend enough taxpayer money on it.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tehachapi Tom: The problem is they don't think at all. As I said, they have no understanding of cause and effect, action and reaction. What the government does is for our own good, and we should just accept it. They know best, even if they don't have a clue what they're doing or why.

T-Rav said...

LawHawk, you know very well only the enlightened are allowed to exercise their First Amendment rights, not the bigoted, backward Catholic Church or anyone else of that stripe.

Libertarian Advocate said...

What else could possibly be expected from the guy who is most well known in Washingtoon to be a grave physical danger if you find yourself between him and a TV camera and also the long-term mentor to Anthony (look at my) Weiner.

Birds of a Feather, I'm guessing.

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