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Article posted Jul 08 2008, 8:58 PM Category: Big Brother/Orwellian Source: MainStreet Print

There's A Law That Takes Away Money If You Leave U.S. Citizenship?

by Terry Savage

A lot of people probably can't understand why someone would voluntarily give up American citizenship -- but if someone wanted to do that, they'd now incur financial penalties for it.

Congress just passed a new law that will stop your capital -- or at least a good portion of it -- at the border, should you decide not to be a U.S. citizen anymore. Is it, perhaps, in preparation for the possibility that Americans might rebel at the debt and taxes incurred by their government by leaving for lower-tax locales?

You probably didn't notice this little provision inserted into the Heroes Act of 2008, passed by Congress on June 17. The headlines in the press release about the law were about the increased benefits for veterans and families of deceased military.

But Richard Kohan of Price WaterhouseCoopers drew my attention to one section of the act, which states that anyone voluntarily giving up his or her citizenship will be taxed on all of his assets as if he or she had sold them -- paying capital gains on assets that have increased in value, even though they have not been sold.

That's right. While everyone in the media is focused on keeping aliens out of America, Congress has voted to lock its citizens - or at least a good portion of their assets -- into America! Maybe they're thinking that patriotism won't be enough to keep the smart money from recognizing the coming increases in the tax burden.

Patriotism and Debt

We expect our elected leaders to be patriotic, to wear flap pins on their lapels? But how patriotic is it for our elected officials of both parties to drag our country into debt?

This year the Federal budget deficit will be a record $400 billion. That astonishing number will be added to our existing $9 trillion national debt. It's money that our government spends in excess of what it collects in taxes.

[For an instant update on our National Debt go to the moving numbers at -- a nonpartisan watchdog group on the national debt.]

Government officials say they're shocked at the record number of American consumers who are filing for bankruptcy. Yet those same politicians are spending America into an effective bankruptcy -- building a burden of current debt and promises of future debt that can never be repaid. Now, how patriotic is that?

Patriotism and Taxes

Do you consider it your patriotic duty to pay your taxes? Do you feel unpatriotic because you spend some time trying to figure out how to reduce your tax burden, by maximizing deductions whenever possible?

If that's not unpatriotic for you, is it unpatriotic for wealthy people, or corporations, to try to reduce their tax burden? Where do you draw the line? Perhaps it's most unpatriotic for our elected officials to construct a tax system that doles out benefits to special interest groups, pitting one group of Americans against another.

What's really unpatriotic, in my opinion, is trying to divide Americans through the politics of envy. Our country has moved forward because of our optimism and our belief that any American can build a better financial future. It has been our nature to honor those who have been successful, and seek to emulate them, not to destroy them because they have more assets or income.

Of course, that presupposes that the successful people accept their patriotic responsibility to give back to the society that made their success possible. And the facts show that Americans are the most charitable and generous people on the planet.

Think of Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, literally giving away their fortunes to help humanity. Or think of the people who filled sandbags along the Mississippi this month to save the homes of strangers.

When a government encourages the best in its citizens, by its policies and its example, patriotic citizens rise to the occasion. And when a government burdens its citizens, it inspires dissent and departures.

The Beatles famously left Britain, and Bjorn Borg left Sweden, when their governments raised taxes to such high levels that even these national icons departed. Are American lawmakers preparing for that kind of scenario with this new law?

Now in America, you can love it, or leave it -- but you can't take it all with you. And that's the Savage Truth!

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Comments 1 - 11 of 11 Add Comment Page 1 of 1

Posted: Jul 09 2008, 6:28 PM


RIP, Fourth Amendment:
Senate passes FISA revision 69-28 --

Posted: Jul 12 2008, 7:34 PM

<But Richard Kohan of Price WaterhouseCoopers drew my attention to one section of the act, which states that anyone voluntarily giving up his or her citizenship will be taxed on all of his assets as if he or she had sold them -- paying capital gains on assets that have increased in value, even though they have not been sold.>
I actually like that, the state has created so many logical implosions for itself it switches from bully mode mind control to crazed irrelevant nut case. I instructed an accountant in the UK for all taxes to be reclaimed with interest, rather difficult for the chap as all accountants work for the state though there are times when a choice has to be made between a chain of command and humanity. This is the timeframe where the state itself should be internally fracturing, this means increasing absurd extremities from the diehards.

Posted: Jul 12 2008, 7:53 PM

I don't normally advocate, I just mention options to try to stir up imaginations to set the grey matter rolling to try to empower the individual.

I would not like to see people enduring the same implosions as corporates, in view of impending circumstances particularly in the UK and US I would like to offer some financial advice, a genuinely sound investment proposition.

The threats to energy supplies that are most critical to human beings are water and food, these are threats to survival. I would suggest people who have sufficient funds make the following purchases:

1. gravity fed water filtration systems
2. grain, the real kind, not the kind the british and american proxy governments are forcing farmers to buy (Monsanto self destructive gm crops). All the nutrients to survive long term are afforded by this measure in a sustainable fashion.

I have other suggestions but it is relevant to consider that supplies should be based on not just personal requirements but for the local community as a) that is the decent thing to do and b) people who are not catered for will go in search for food giving rise to conflict plus conflict of the order that could be used to invoke military intervention which could in turn seek to seize food stocks.

Posted: Jul 12 2008, 8:09 PM

If enough people undertake the above measures sufficiently this also helps create the environment whereby there can be a hand over of most of the military assets to public service.

Neither mob nor minority rule serve mankind, that is why we are at this point in history, all current systems are being utilised as a threat. As power is asserted it fractures, human beings are effectively held prison by the structure of the pyramid. The only reliable military combatant is psychotic according to official research, most people have their humanity in tact but need an environment in which to be human. The public are in a very good position to rescue the state which is currently set up for the opposite purpose.

The state has an unbroken track record of lying for the last hundred years, they are not there to tell the truth. A new world will have to be rebuilt and caring about this one lights the way.

Posted: Aug 17 2008, 9:47 PM

66172 Our nation only represents a market to those who have benefited the most from America. Accepting the rules of the game is a prerequisite to doing business in any market and it behooves those at the top to preserve the market that made them wealthy. The real problem is one of perception by those who have never worked for their wealth nor known anything but wealth. If we were truly a country of equal opportunity our "death tax" could be 100% and justification could be made for that rate. While I wouldn't advocate such a rate, I would like to see such redistribution that challenges each generation to take advantage of that opportunity and allow the opportunity of America to once again become a reality for everyone instead of a slogan that protects the unmotivated and unaccomplished. Wealth's number one product is politicians. Those politicians would be better able to guide America toward it's promise if they had been tempered by the same flame of need and ambition as the middle class.

Moving assets out of the country to escape taxation should result in the removal of all the assets in question, but that will never happen in a country where only the holders of the lion's share of wealth are allowed to influence the legislative process. The IRS code isn't thousands of pages long to benefit the poor or middle class. In spite of all the advantages that can be written into the code short of inciting revolution, we still lose $100 billion per year in "illegal" transfer of funds offshore. Those who would choose whatever small measure of the wealth that may be at question over the better good of the country that so benefited them should be forcefully removed and made destitute, not allowed to leave with their assets intact.

Posted: Aug 25 2008, 10:14 PM

2077 Why wouldn't you just sell off your assets slowly and then move your liquid assets offshore. Then hop on a plane and collect your assets when you are in your new country.

Posted: Nov 24 2008, 4:36 PM

12203 Turn your back on America, pay the price!
We need our jobs! America is finally getting smart after letting half of our decent American jobs were practicaly given to Mexico, India, Malaysia, CHINA! It's about damn time!

Posted: Dec 08 2008, 3:31 AM

122108 This doesn't affect most people. It does not affect workers under mortgage stress, it does not affect newly unemployed with negative assets, it does not affect ordinary internet-using folk throughout the US.

Corporations who leave the country, or who sell jobs overseas, are the problem. Focusing on anything else will not help you. This law might, though it's really not the point.

Importantly, what corporations do *does* affect the hundreds of millions of workers that this law doesn't. Most directly, I think the govt. has realised just what kind of shit they're in if they let corporations just up and leave like that - because the kind of people who currently work for corporations have some sense that the government *should* be in control.

Remember, the New Deal was the product of a strike wave, not of government generousity.

Posted: Dec 26 2012, 9:20 AM

67176 Ha! Joke is on them. They way they have been treating the economy like piggy bank I don't have anything left for them to tax! Don't worry though I'll drop my pocket change at the toll booth on the way out. lol.

Posted: Oct 23 2014, 8:27 PM

72219 Actually, it makes perfect sense. If the asset has increased in value while it was based in the US, then the govt should be able to tax that improvement, after all the company benefited from the American economy, rules and protections. And they didn't have to pay taxes on that increase while they were here, so it seems perfectly reasonable that you pay it when your withdrawing from the country .

Posted: Aug 25 2015, 4:49 PM

24139 Note to self: cash out investments *before* leaving the good ole u. s. of a.
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