Boehner: Sure, I might support Schumer’s bill to tax Eduardo Saverin’s wealth

posted at 7:56 pm on May 21, 2012 by Allahpundit

Skip to 7:15 for the key bit. In fairness, he emphasizes that he’ll support it only if it’s “necessary.” There’s already an “exit tax” on the books, which Saverin paid, and a separate law that says an expatriate can be barred from re-entering the U.S. if the DOJ determines that he renounced his citizenship for tax purposes. Saverin quit the U.S., evidently with his tax liability in mind, because leaving before the IPO meant the “exit tax” would apply only to the gains on his Facebook shares as of his departure. (It also spared him from a potentially enormous estate tax bill, assuming the estate tax goes back into effect next year.) Schumer’s bill would build on the current legal framework. Details via TechCrunch:

It’s pretty big: any ex-pat with either a net worth of over $2 million, or an average income tax liability of at least $148,000 over the last five years, “will be presumed to have renounced their citizenship for tax avoidance purposes.” The ex-pat will have to demonstrate to the IRS that this is not the case if it is not. If there is a “legitimate reason” for that person living outside the U.S. no penalties will apply. But if the IRS finds that someone gave up their passport for tax purposes, they will impose a tax on that individual’s investment gains “no matter where he or she resides.”

The rate of that capital gains tax will be 30 percent — the same that non-resident aliens currently pay on dividends and interest earnings.

The tax detailed this act, if approved, will backdate for 10 years after its approval.

Are those new provisions “necessary”? Schumer and his co-sponsor, Bob Casey, sure think so: They’ve seized on Boehner’s comments to Stephanopoulos yesterday to demand that he bring the bill to the floor in the House. Given that Grover Norquist compared it last week to some sort of Nazi initiative, I’m guessing that would be a mighty interesting vote. In fact, given how bitterly the Schumer bill was attacked last week by conservatives, I’m shocked that Boehner even tepidly endorsed it here. His basic point is straightforward: It’s “outrageous” that anyone would value their citizenship so cheaply that they’d discard it to save money. Being an American should mean more than that. The knock from the right, though, is that Saverin was simply responding rationally to terrible tax policies; if you don’t want entrepreneurs to leave, enact tax reform that makes the U.S. more competitive globally. I think the response from NRO’s David French is more persuasive (would doves who renounce their citizenship because they disfavor U.S. foreign policy be applauded?), but unlike Boehner, even French thinks Schumer’s bill is a lame gimmick. I’d love to see a poll on the subject, but in the meantime Boehner will spend a few days squirming while his office figures out why the Schumer/Casey bill isn’t so “necessary” after all.

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Comment pages: 1 2

Will you people in Ohio please primary this clown?

rjh on May 21, 2012 at 10:17 PM

PLEASE! …or this \/
FOR SURE HAS TO HAPPEN!!!……..

I’m sure replacing him as Speaker is a possibility. He’s done nothing but give this Administration everything they asked for….

bluefox on May 21, 2012 at 10:41 PM

KOOLAID2 on May 21, 2012 at 11:43 PM

Haven’t read the first page and I’m sure this is repetitive.

The House needs a strong Republican leader who will stand up to the democrats in Congress and to the administration (even if it is a weak-kneed moderate Romney). Boehner ain’t it.

AZfederalist on May 21, 2012 at 11:51 PM

I’m sorry, but you have not lived up to your usual standards on this one. You have done what just about everyone else has — assumed that he renounced his citizenship for tax purposes. There is no evidence for this other than timing — he has denied he did it for tax purposes. And by the way, it may not benefit him taxwise. Who knows what his shares will be worth whenever they’re sold?

woocane on May 21, 2012 at 10:24 PM

I agree here. He has lived in Singapore since 2009 and apparently Singapore has a law which says that if you have another citizenship, the Singapore government can take away your Singapore citizenship. There is some contradiction as to the enforcement of this but maybe he didn’t want to take the chance. If he has been there since 2009 there isn’t even a timing issue here.

DoubleClutchin on May 21, 2012 at 11:52 PM

Any way we can all organize and contribute enough to his GOP challenger in OH to see this clown leave politics for good?

riddick on May 22, 2012 at 12:04 AM

I just think it’s pretty funny that Saverin renounced his citizenship apparently in large part because he thought the Facebook IPO was about to make him so super-ultra-mega rich that he just couldn’t bear the thought of parting with any of his newfound wealth.

Instead, the Facebook IPO has faceplanted. And Saverin probably won’t ever be able to travel to the U.S. again.

Hahahahahahaha.

Hayabusa on May 22, 2012 at 12:07 AM

Any way we can all organize and contribute enough to his GOP challenger in OH to see this clown leave politics for good?

riddick on May 22, 2012 at 12:04 AM

The problem is finding someone to run against him. He’s well known and would be hard to beat in my opinion. I think replacing him as Speaker would be easier.

Josh Mandel is the Ohio Treasurer and he’s running for the U.S. Senate against the Dem. Sherrod Brown. I hope Mandel can pull it off. Funny thing is I haven’t heard of any support for Mandel from the Republicans.

bluefox on May 22, 2012 at 12:37 AM

I wonder where all the morons who told us that Boehner caving into the Dems on every issue last year was part of a “sooper-secret plan” are now? I’ve noticed no proponents of that argument are commenting on this thread.

Wonder why.

Can you imagine Boehner as Speaker with Mitt as President?
With Boehner remaining as speaker, there will be no opposition to anything Mitt puts before the congress….they barely oppose anything Obama puts in front of them, I can’t imagine anything being opposed from a President with an “R” after his name….

including SC justice nominees….
http://www.wnd.com/2012/01/romney-judicial-record-liberals-running-wild/

And, just changes to ObamaCare instead of total repeal.

tencole on May 21, 2012 at 9:05 PM

This is why I’ve been warning people who blithely insist that we’ll “force Romney to the right after the election” are dreaming. The entire Republican leadership has been compromised and they only thing they will be doing is working to destroy the Tea Party while ramping up spending as fast as humanly possible.

Doomberg on May 22, 2012 at 2:38 AM

What I don’t get is why so many here see this fool of a Speaker the GOP rewarded us with after handing them victory+mandate in 2010, and think the remedy to this would be to hand victory yet again to the GOP by electing to the Presidency an even bigger disaster in Mitt Romney.

You’re disappointed in Mumbling Boner now, imagine what you’ll feel towards Romney in two years should he win. You know how you’ll feel in the morning, yet you’re still going to drink that. You don’t have to do it.

Either way I’m out.

sartana on May 22, 2012 at 3:41 AM

Boehner just does not impress me.
The guy goes through the motions looking forward to hitting the 19th hole at the golf course.

albill on May 22, 2012 at 6:14 AM

Perhaps Boehner’s staff can research the legality of bills of attainder and ex post facto laws for him.

Nomas on May 22, 2012 at 6:15 AM

Walking the thin line between love and Bill of Attainder and Ex Post Facto Laws.

John Kettlewell on May 22, 2012 at 7:30 AM

I don’t want anyone who gives up their citizenship for friggin’ money to get it back. Ever.

That said, Boehner should have kept his mouth shut. Showing any support for idiots like Schumer just sinks the right in this country further.

avgjo on May 22, 2012 at 7:41 AM

Ah yes. The United States where you are no longer a citizen with rights and freedom, but a subject of the crown and live based on the whims of you rulers.

RIP a once great and free nation that men have fight and died for to protect.

traye on May 22, 2012 at 8:05 AM

Boehner (D-OH)

mankai on May 22, 2012 at 8:22 AM

The guy made his money in the U.S., he should pay his share just like the rest of us need to pay our share.
All of the resources, that people before him created, he used and leveraged to create his wealth, his wealth should be taxed the same as the rest of us.
Now if he wants to skip town and not pay, fine, just don’t come back.
The streets you drive on, the water that flows to the house, etc., all came from investments from taxes, some of it past, some present, and some future, he is taking away the future and we are left holding the bag…we are subsidizing his taxes.
I don’t want to subsidize anyone’s taxes, the poor or the wealthy, we all have to pay our share, whatever that is…and to some it should be more, and others less…but, right now, it is what it is and you and I can’t skip town and not pay, so we have to stay here and pay his share. Sorry, he made the money, he pays the piper, just like the rest of us.
Or, he leaves and doesn’t come back unless he pays his tax bill…

right2bright on May 22, 2012 at 8:47 AM

On behalf of Ohio,

I’d like to apologize for Boehner.

The_Livewire on May 22, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Boehner is clueless.

I just think it’s pretty funny that Saverin renounced his citizenship apparently in large part because he thought the Facebook IPO was about to make him so super-ultra-mega rich that he just couldn’t bear the thought of parting with any of his newfound wealth.

Instead, the Facebook IPO has faceplanted. And Saverin probably won’t ever be able to travel to the U.S. again.

Hahahahahahaha.

Hayabusa on May 22, 2012 at 12:07 AM

Saverin owes no tax on his Facebook until he sells any shares. In fact he never has to pay any tax on it he so chooses. He can borrow against it to the tune of millions a year and then write off the interest charge against other income. It is a method used by all the Warren Buffett’s of the world so they pay less tax than the paperboy. For this you can thank the Congress for writing a 78,000 page tax code. Saverin leaving has nothing to do with taxes.

patrick neid on May 22, 2012 at 9:39 AM

Walking the thin line between love and Bill of Attainder and Ex Post Facto Laws.

John Kettlewell on May 22, 2012 at 7:30 AM

No we’re not; we’re explicitly calling for an Ex Post Facto law to deliberately target a single person with a Bill of Attainder. There is a line, but we can’t even see it from where we’re at right now.

But we have good intentions; and we love the road paved with good intentions and we’re sure it leads someplace nice.

gekkobear on May 22, 2012 at 11:53 AM

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