A friend went on a weekend camping trip with his young son and “youth group.” Before the first dinner, one boy, starving from the day’s activities, opened up his bag of potato chips and started eating.
When that happened all the other boys mobbed him for a few chips. But he didn’t want to share his only bag, so he moved away from the horde.
The group leader saw what was happening and took it upon herself to “teach” the boy a life lesson (even though his parents were also on the trip). “Hey, you have to share all your potato chips with the boys,” she yelled at the kid.
In defiance, the boy folded the bag and put it away; no one got any. This is understandable behavior when someone is forced to part with personal property.
Just Shut Up!
That was a headline on CNNMoney. Responding to questions about tax rates and Warren Buffett’s obsessive support for further raising taxes on the rich, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said this about the Obama backer: “He should just write a check and shut up. I’m tired of hearing about it. If he wants to give the government more money, he’s got the ability to write a check – go ahead and write it.“
When someone demands that you part with personal property – another understandable response is to take that property somewhere safer.
The president wants to teach everyone a lesson, too. We (especially the rich) must all “do our part” and pay our so-called “fair share” in taxes. It sounds noble, but it’s just a gimmick to take away more of our money.
U.S. Taxpayers Are Disappearing… Overseas
International tax attorney Andrew Mitchel wrote that, in 2011, “the quarterly average number of expatriates continues to increase.” He defines an expatriate as an individual who renounced United States citizenship or terminated long-term U.S. residency.
National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson seconds that trend and says renunciations (U.S. citizens dropping their citizenship outright) have increased sharply. In 2008, just 146 renunciations occurred; in 2010, it jumped to 1,534. And, 1,024 Americans cancelled their citizenship in the first half of 2011 alone!
The AllGov website reports: Olsen mentions one reason for the rapid increase is the Internal Revenue Service’s “bait and switch” tactics. It tells Americans they can resolve their unpaid taxes under “older voluntary disclosure programs with the promise of reduced penalties, only to find themselves subjected to steeper penalties.“
What’s also revealing is the U.S. is just one of a handful of countries that require citizens, who permanently live and work outside of the U.S., to still file and pay taxes to the U.S. It’s almost like saying: even if you no longer live in the U.S. and all your money is earned outside of the U.S., you are still property of the IRS.
As eye-opening as the numbers are, it’s important to mention many of these renunciations and expatriations are chosen by those already permanently living abroad or holders of dual citizenship. Indeed, as the U.S. government continues to spend without restraint and put American asset holders at greater risk, Americans here in the U.S. could start heading for the exits.
We Have a Spending Problem,