Quotes of the day

posted at 10:10 pm on May 17, 2012 by Allahpundit

Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin may not be allowed to return to the United States after he renounced his citizenship to save millions in tax

The timing of the move has raised eyebrows since Singapore does not have a capital gains tax, which could vastly reduce his bill on any [IPO] payout…

Despite leaving the U.S. behind, he will not avoid all taxes in the country.

He owes what is effectively an exit tax on capital gains from stock holdings, even if he doesn’t sell the shares, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, from the University of Michigan’s law school, told Bloomberg.

***

This will be a brief note, because the likes of Eduardo Saverin merit only the tiniest slice of our attention. I will merely note that for some people, their citizenship is worth everything they have to give. For others, such as Saverin, it’s apparently worth a few million dollars. He fled to this country to save his life; now he’s fleeing from it to save his bank account?

The Schumer bill strikes me as a gimmicky waste of time, one that ironically enough treats citizenship in Saverin-style economic terms when it means much more. Mr. Saverin, you are certainly free to leave. I would merely ask that you never come back. Your very presence dishonors the memory of the men who died to create the refuge you so desperately needed when your family fled here almost two decades ago.

***

Whatever Mr. Saverin’s motivation, the more important point is that it is his decision, however misguided. America was built on millions of similar individual decisions to come to our shores. It is precisely that ability to decide for oneself that has made America such a magnet for two centuries.

The way to continue to be a magnet for the best and brightest is not to impose Soviet-style exit taxes to punish people who want to leave the country. That is what oppressive and demagogic regimes do, and it’s humiliating to see U.S. Senators posture in such fashion. The way to punish Mr. Saverin is to make the U.S. so appealing and dynamic again that he’ll be sorry he ever left.

***

It is the foolish and counter-productive tax policies of the left that are chasing Eduardo Saverin to another country, just as they are chasing companies away in increasing numbers. It is even more foolish to punish those people for leaving — what we should do is stop punishing them with high taxes so that they stay. We need to compete against the likes of Singapore. Singapore doesn’t make enemies of its most dynamic entrepreneurs and instead adopts pro-growth policies rationally aimed at improving everyone’s living standards. Naturally, when other countries adopt rational tax regimes, those countries with irrational ones (likes us) are put at a terrible disadvantage, but it’s our own fault. In particular it’s the fault of those who now propose the “Eduardo Law.”

As for Saverin being “ungrateful” in renouncing his citizenship, he might say the same of the U.S. government. After all, isn’t the U.S. being ungrateful to him by punishing his entrepreneurship?

The “Eduardo Law” is a terrible idea, and conservatives should fight it and everything like it tooth-and-nail. This is no time for cheap indignation targeted at individuals that are only doing what U.S. law impels them to do.

***

If high taxation chases successful people out of the country, that’s the country’s fault. Daniel Mitchell at the Cato Institute likens this to a “fiscal version of blaming the victim.” Obviously, attaching the word “victim” to a billionaire in an age of class warfare is not going to do much to bolster Saverin’s case. But human beings will act in their self interest. WE can’t stop it. Surely, with every person, there are a host of reasons for making these kinds of decisions – who knows, maybe Saverin hates eating American cuisine or the weather – but once the tax code pushes people away rather than entice them to come, something is wrong…

But even more irksome is the implicit message by some of those complaining about Saverin’s departure. Paying taxes is no measure of how grateful you are. Government should have no claim to a person’s wealth. We’re not letting him “keep” anything that isn’t his to begin with even if we don’t like what’s done.

There is a myth –often perpetuated by Democrats , and most (in)famously by Elizabeth Warren – that private sector success is predicated on a robust government. The reverse is true.

***

“I’m not a tax expert,” [Saverin] said. “We complied with all the known laws. There was an exit tax.” That tax is based on the assets held by a citizen leaving America. The exit tax was intended to make sure the departing wealthy paid something before they decamped.

He professes ignorance about his taxes and refuses to discuss his finances. “This had nothing to do with taxes,” he insisted. “I was born in Brazil, I was an American citizen for about 10 years. I thought of myself as a global citizen.”

***

At a news conference this morning, Sens. Schumer and Bob Casey, D-Pa., will unveil the “Ex-PATRIOT” – “Expatriation Prevention by Abolishing Tax-Related Incentives for Offshore Tenancy” – Act to respond directly to Saverin’s move, which they dub a “scheme” that would “help him duck up to $67 million in taxes.”

The senators will call Saverin’s move an “outrage” and will outline their plan to re-impose taxes on expatriates like Saverin even after they flee the United States and take up residence in a foreign country. Their proposal would also impose a mandatory 30 percent tax on the capital gains of anybody who renounces their U.S. citizenship.

The plan would bar individuals like Saverin from ever reentering the United States again.

***


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Comment pages: 1 2 3

Flora Duh on May 18, 2012 at 1:04 AM

Hilarious.

SparkPlug on May 18, 2012 at 1:06 AM

John the Libertarian on May 18, 2012 at 12:57 AM

I thought that was what you were doing..:)

Dire Straits on May 18, 2012 at 1:08 AM

Flora Duh on May 18, 2012 at 1:04 AM

…LOL!..
.
.
.oh oh!
.
.
chit
.
.
chat!
bluegill/GrowFins

KOOLAID2 on May 18, 2012 at 1:09 AM

Seven Percent Solution on May 18, 2012 at 1:06 AM

Enjoyed it 7%..:)

Dire Straits on May 18, 2012 at 1:09 AM

John the Libertarian on May 18, 2012 at 12:57 AM

Birthers get them going, comment fair or not.

Never question the birth-er tin foil hat conspiracy or show symapthy. We must look good for townhall.
No kooks around here, stay behind the rope.

I dont know about the birth deal but its a shame I know more about Palin’s uterus then the prez college records, transcripts and so forth. Quite a joke. No rocking the boat here.

Interesting when they jump in occasionally. My buddy got banned cause of someones thin skin.

bazil9 on May 18, 2012 at 1:10 AM

So when Bill Ayers wrote obamas book he told the literary agent that Barry was born in Kenya?

Where did he get that from I wonder? Must have been a dream of barry’s father.

SparkPlug on May 18, 2012 at 1:11 AM

KOOLAID2 on May 18, 2012 at 1:09 AM

Sounds fishy.

SparkPlug on May 18, 2012 at 1:12 AM

Dire Straits on May 18, 2012 at 1:01 AM

I plead the 5th. They are the Govt mafia.
Glad we just hired 16,000 more thousand..so they can harass my small business clients over healthcare. I would link it..but I don’t need no trouble. ;)

If you aint at he poverty line..your rich! As I cut coupons. :)

bazil9 on May 18, 2012 at 1:18 AM

I request an audit of the guy from the neighborhood that launches campaigns from his living room And likes to blow up stuff.

bazil9 on May 18, 2012 at 1:20 AM

Birthers get them going, comment fair or not.

bazil9 on May 18, 2012 at 1:10 AM

We all know Obama supplied the “fact-checker” with the info. What this says is Obama is a liar. But maybe it depends on what your definition of “is” is.

John the Libertarian on May 18, 2012 at 1:20 AM

Birthers get them going, comment fair or not.

Never question the birth-er tin foil hat conspiracy or show symapthy. We must look good for townhall.
No kooks around here, stay behind the rope.

I dont know about the birth deal but its a shame I know more about Palin’s uterus then the prez college records, transcripts and so forth. Quite a joke. No rocking the boat here.

Interesting when they jump in occasionally. My buddy got banned cause of someones thin skin.

bazil9 on May 18, 2012 at 1:10 AM

This blog came about about during the Bush era when we listened to all kinds of kooks on the left going on about the Jews being behind 9/11, Bush deliberately causing Hurricane Katrina, Zarkawi’s death being timed to help Bush distract people from whatever bad thing was happening at the time, (and more generally, Bush caused X to distract us from Y, where X is any news event of any nature, good or bad, and Y is anything that Bush did wrong or could be portrayed as having been done wrong), Rove’s mind control powers, etc…

I think they just don’t want the right to become the same batsh*t crazy nutjobs we all made fun of years ago.

RINO in Name Only on May 18, 2012 at 1:22 AM

If you aint at he poverty line..your rich! As I cut coupons. :)

bazil9 on May 18, 2012 at 1:18 AM

Hear!..Hear!..We cut them too!..:)

Dire Straits on May 18, 2012 at 1:24 AM

John the Libertarian on May 18, 2012 at 1:20 AM

I know..you still can’t talk about it though..shhhh.
Question nothing. The forbidden topic.
I havent read the post but saw what your talking about on online news today.

bazil9 on May 18, 2012 at 1:25 AM

There are far better tax havens than Singapore, but if you get 4-5 billion at such a young age, WTF. It’s a lot better than landing those capital gains on our shore. What a sad thing to say …

TXUS on May 18, 2012 at 1:25 AM

John the Libertarian on May 18, 2012 at 1:20 AM

Like Elizabeth Warren being Cherokee??!!??..:)

Dire Straits on May 18, 2012 at 1:26 AM

Ward Churchill

SparkPlug on May 18, 2012 at 1:29 AM

Dire Straits on May 18, 2012 at 1:26 AM

I gotta go, because it’s late, but I remember in 2008 when Obama hired million-dollar lawyers to seal his college transcripts, my parents said it’s because he appealed for foreign student aid. I laughed at the time. I’m not laughing anymore.

John the Libertarian on May 18, 2012 at 1:30 AM

Dire Straits on May 18, 2012 at 1:24 AM

:) I buy store brand products and rarely go out and eat. Budget carefully. But I am wealthy, go figure. I guess cause i pay my own bills, dont live in sec 8 or a trailer or get any assistant of any kind. Hell, the food stamp queens eat better then I do.
I also pay for my phone and medical. Guess i am the sucker, as upper east side pointed out.

I dont have kids but half of my property taxes go to pub eduction. Which from what I hear, sucks ballz.

bazil9 on May 18, 2012 at 1:32 AM

Maybe I am part Indian, I will have to check it out. I dont have the check bones though. Sigh….
Maybe I can find anther protected class/quota to hire me.

bazil9 on May 18, 2012 at 1:36 AM

John the Libertarian on May 18, 2012 at 1:30 AM

I hear you!..Later friend!..:)

Dire Straits on May 18, 2012 at 1:42 AM

bazil9 on May 18, 2012 at 1:32 AM

Nothing wrong with being frugal and providing for yourself!!..He!! that is what I call being a red blooded American..:)

Dire Straits on May 18, 2012 at 1:46 AM

RINO in Name Only on May 18, 2012 at 1:22 AM

I can agree with you. But don’t ignore something in fear of sounding kooky. I like facts..lay them out. We can decide.
Ignoring something out of fear isnt right.
In fact, addrss it with facts and end it.
Journalism is dead, I come on line to read. Now that’s all sensitive. Oh no, we must not talk about x y or z.

I prefer a free forum, whether I agree or not.
Discuss/debate. People can make up their minds.

bazil9 on May 18, 2012 at 1:46 AM

Dire Straits on May 18, 2012 at 1:46 AM

:) Thats how I bought my first house at 28 by myself. Called priories. Unlike congress, I balance a budget. ;)

bazil9 on May 18, 2012 at 1:49 AM

It’s gotten warm early, too early

Gohawgs on May 18, 2012 at 1:49 AM

bazil9 on May 18, 2012 at 1:49 AM

I hear you!..:)

Dire Straits on May 18, 2012 at 2:13 AM

Here’s my rub with Eduardo bailing to save on paying income taxes on his expected windfall. While I don’t know about his political philosophy, the fact is that most of the hi-tech folks are to the left of the scale when it comes to government growth and its deficit-spending ways. Also, because they are part of the elite in our society, they tend to have an out-sized influence on maintaining the death-spiral spending path we are on. However, like Jobs’ Apple and Google and most of the hi-tech companies, when it comes to paying for these programs, they do everything in their power to escape paying it; something us middle-class schmucks have little opportunity to avoid.

I have no sympathy for those hypocrites.

Sailfish on May 18, 2012 at 2:16 AM

Gohawgs on May 18, 2012 at 1:49 AM

RIP Donna Summer..Thanks for the great music..:)

Dire Straits on May 18, 2012 at 2:18 AM

RINO in Name Only on May 18, 2012 at 1:22 AM

I can agree with you. But don’t ignore something in fear of sounding kooky. I like facts..lay them out. We can decide.
Ignoring something out of fear isnt right.
In fact, addrss it with facts and end it.
Journalism is dead, I come on line to read. Now that’s all sensitive. Oh no, we must not talk about x y or z.

I prefer a free forum, whether I agree or not.
Discuss/debate. People can make up their minds.

bazil9 on May 18, 2012 at 1:46 AM

Sure, I agree in general. But AP and Ed aren’t banning people for this, unless I missed something.

And while I agree that we have the right to discuss these things, is it actually a good idea? I want to get rid of Obama because he’s a bad president, not because I particularly care about the logistics of who did or didn’t accidentally or intentionally screw up his bio.

For a lot of people this has gotten personal, and while to a certain extent, that is inevitable, it is not good or healthy at all. The kooks on the left didn’t believe stupid conspiracy theories about Bush because they just got a little confused on the facts or the logic. They believed these things because they wanted to believe them, because then they would feel like their hatred was a righteous hate.

And this is exactly the kind of story that brings that out in people.

RINO in Name Only on May 18, 2012 at 2:31 AM

Schumer is out to wax the Brazilian…

Gohawgs on May 18, 2012 at 2:46 AM

I feel sorry for the morons who will puss their money away on a social site that will soonenough follow in the footsteps of all the other social sites that have become hugely popular only to waste away when the next thing comes around.

Yahoo, AOL, myspace, ICQ, Prodigy, and many others come to mind.

Spliff Menendez on May 18, 2012 at 4:31 AM

Sailfish on May 18, 2012 at 2:16 AM

Excellent post. I agree that I would have some respect for them if they used their influence and resources to fix our nation rather than contribute to its decline.

MJBrutus on May 18, 2012 at 5:30 AM

Everything that Schumer stands for is wrong and destructive to freedom and should be opposed on that principle alone. If some jackass wants to renounce his citizenship, so be it. Just don’t grant the turd a visa to come back in…ever.

swinia sutki on May 18, 2012 at 6:09 AM

Singapore has the kind of tax policies that attract people like this and we have the kind of policies that run them off. That is how Chuckie wanted it. So why complain now?

Terrye on May 18, 2012 at 6:26 AM

If some decide to invest with Facebook, you are essentially donating money to Barack Obama’s Campaign. John Corzine’s IMF International = Facebook Initial Public Offering (IPO).

jjnco73 on May 18, 2012 at 6:50 AM

good morning!

mikaand halperin grilling the president of the superpac…wish they would grill the libs in the same way….

hypocrites

cmsinaz on May 18, 2012 at 6:53 AM

“fiscal version of blaming the victim

the dem’s M.O.

blame, blame, blame

cmsinaz on May 18, 2012 at 6:56 AM

Couldn’t the case be made that Chuckoff Schumer isn’t the Patriot here?

Mmmmmm,yes.

PappyD61 on May 18, 2012 at 7:33 AM

Senator Schmuckie, playing the part of the Sheriff of Nottingham, seeks to add to the existing and growing tyranny. Something is moving, so tax it.

The progs will never learn.

Mr. Saverin identified himself for what he is. That is its own consequence. Beyond that, he is free to make that decision, there is no iron curtain here. Creating laws with the intent of punishing one’s freely made (and harmful to nobody) decision is un-American.

Freelancer on May 18, 2012 at 7:59 AM

So Mr. Saverin has decided to starve the beast, eh? Sounds like this smart young man might have the makings of a good conservative. Hopefully he will do more good with that extra 67 mill than our government ever would have. Run Eduardo, run!

lynncgb on May 18, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Yes, we SHOULD ban for life anyone who renounces their citizenship, no matter what the person’s reason (or perceived reason) for renouncing. I’m all for it! Debates about tax rates are good to have, but all I need to know here is that someone slapped our country in the face by renouncing citizenship. US citizenship is a big deal (and something many immigrants wait a LONG time to get), and once you throw yours away like a piece of garbage, don’t expect us to welcome you back again… EVER.

What, are we just supposed to sit here and let some people use our country when it suits them before they casually throw us in the trash and minimize the value and insult the meaning of US citizenship. Sorry, but that’s not how it works… or, at least, it shouldn’t work that way.

Saverin is not permanently entitled to all the rights of US citizenship. I hope he has a lovely life in Singapore and never steps foot in this country again.

bluegill on May 18, 2012 at 8:02 AM

Beyond that, he is free to make that decision, there is no iron curtain here. Creating laws with the intent of punishing one’s freely made (and harmful to nobody) decision is un-American.

Freelancer on May 18, 2012 at 7:59 AM

Nor is it particularly American to sit back like a bunch of wimpy patsies while we are taken advantage of and insulted. Renouncing one’s US citizenship is a deeply offensive, drastic action that should come with equally drastic consequences.

bluegill on May 18, 2012 at 8:11 AM

bluegill on May 18, 2012 at 8:11 AM

Outrageous outrage is a waste of time and energy.

America is still a quasi-free country. He is free to leave it and take his money with him. It’s his life and his money. Meh.

Fallon on May 18, 2012 at 8:32 AM

At a news conference this morning, Sens. Schumer and Bob Casey, D-Pa., will unveil the “Ex-PATRIOT” – “Expatriation Prevention by Abolishing Tax-Related Incentives for Offshore Tenancy” – Act to respond directly to Saverin’s move, which they dub a “scheme” that would “help him duck up to $67 million in taxes.”

We are just sacks of money to people like Schumer and Casey.

We are not free people. We are just sacks of money to support them and to support their supporters: the unions, government class, and other “takers.”

And for those who will get the reference: They are Panem. We are the Districts. And yes, I’m with Mockingjay.

HeatSeeker2011 on May 18, 2012 at 8:58 AM

Yes, there have been differences between America and Europe. No doubt, there will be differences in the future. But the burdens of global citizenship continue to bind us together. ~ Barack Obama, Berlin 2008

Chucky Schumer furiously trying to shut the barn door after the horses have already bolted. How petty and foolish.

I wish Congress would stop writing stupid reactionary laws with unknown future consequences.

Fallon on May 18, 2012 at 9:07 AM

Next thing you know, Obooba will renounce his Kenyan citizenship…

Akzed on May 18, 2012 at 9:18 AM

Of course, ChuckU Schumer had no problem with the pardon of Marc Rich, the biggest tax evader in American history.

Resist We Much on May 18, 2012 at 9:41 AM

No law can be passed at this time to target Saverin for keeping his money outside the US and to avoid paying taxes on it legally. Schumer is not very bright. I’d feel better about Congress if they would start cutting spending and start reducing government interference and just mainly get out of the way.

dahni on May 18, 2012 at 11:37 AM

As a former Ex-Pat meself, I don’t blame him one bit … but SINGAPORE?
Come on, there are other places, much better btw, to where he can escape.
No imagination. Which pretty much sums up Facebook too.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on May 18, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Photo of the Day: Stupid, Ignorant, Smelly…And Geographically-Challenged

http://predicthistunpredictpast.blogspot.com/2012/05/photo-of-day-stupid-ignorant-smellyand.html

Resist We Much on May 18, 2012 at 12:11 PM

I just don’t understand where facebook is going to make money. It’s free to join and I don’t know of a single person that has purchased an item or service advertised on facebook. I certainly have not clicked on any of their ads.

Someone please clue me in on their long term strategy and prospects of making money.

metroryder on May 18, 2012 at 1:07 PM

I tried it once before, but I waited too long and was second. I vowed then that the next time I made a jackass out of myself, I would do it decisively and without hesitation.

RINO in Name Only on May 17, 2012 at 11:39 PM

On the plains of hesitation lie the blackened bones of countless millions, who – at the dawn of victory – sat down to rest; and resting, died.

Solaratov on May 18, 2012 at 2:31 PM

If some jackass wants to renounce his citizenship, so be it. Just don’t grant the turd a visa to come back in…ever.

swinia sutki on May 18, 2012 at 6:09 AM

Why? If he comes back to visit, it’ll be as a tourist – and he’ll spend money.
Which will add to the GNP.

And his money is what schumer and the rest wanted in the first place. What difference whether they get it in taxes or as tourist dollars?

Or is his money no good if he renounces his citizenship?

*********************************************************

People might do well to remember that Lee Harvey Oswald renounced his citizenship and went to live in the USSR. When that became to onerous for Lee, he came back to the USA and was given his citizenship back. And his wife got a green card and eventually became a citizen as well.

Solaratov on May 18, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3