Great news: 2013 is going to be a banner year… for expatriation

posted at 3:41 pm on November 14, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Two data points for your consideration. One, via CNS News:

The latest Monthly Treasury Statement, which was released on Wednesday afternoon, relies on the estimate made by the White House Office of Management and Budget to say that federal tax revenues will top $3 trillion for the first time in the nation’s history in fiscal 2014. …

If the White House is correct that total federal tax receipts will hit $3,023,004,000,000 in fiscal 2014, that would represent an increase of $123,359,620,000 in constant 2013 dollars over fiscal 2007’s record tax haul of $2,899,644,380,000. Real tax revenues this year, according to the White House estimate, will be 4.25 percent higher than they have ever been.

And now, number two: The WSJ reports that, after adding up the expatriation numbers in just the first through third quarters of 2013, the United States has already surpassed its 2011 record by at least 33 percent. Already.

The Treasury Department published the names of 560 people who either were U.S. citizens renouncing their citizenship or long-term residents who turned in their green cards during the third quarter.

That brings the total so far this year to 2,369, according to Andrew Mitchel, a tax lawyer in Centerbrook, Conn., who tracks the data. For all of 2011, the number of published expatriates was 1,781, he said. …

“Nothing has changed in immigration law that would make people want to renounce,” said Freddi Weintraub, an immigration specialist and partner at Fragomen Worldwide, a New York-based law firm. “Current or anticipated changes in tax law and enforcement are driving this increase.”

People who renounced last year might have avoided higher taxes on income and estates—including those on long-term capital gains—that took effect in 2013. …

“The fact that renunciations have increased sharply is not surprising, given increased U.S. scrutiny in this area,” said Fran Obeid, a partner at Obeid & Lowenstein LLP in New York, who specializes in offshore-account issues. “Renunciation can be expensive, but it may be easier than staying in compliance with U.S. tax laws that can be onerous for citizens of other countries.”

Record-high tax burden. Record-high expatriation. Coincidence?

You can always rely on populist progressives to pounce on greedy, selfish, unpatriotic, tax-dodging millionaires and billionaires who have the audacity to put any of their cash in offshore accounts and whatnot, but who’s really to blame here: The people who, like all other rationally self-interested human beings of any level of economic means, endeavor to save more of their own money; or is it the fault of our convoluted, clunky, uncompetitive tax code that makes it worthwhile for them to participate in such schemes? Wake up, America, and remember that this is what happens when the Democrats inevitably come a-callin’ for still more “revenue increases,” especially via even more steeply graduated taxes on those ill-begotten, out-of-touch rich people. Yes, the expatriation rate seems like a minutely small number in and of itself, but it’s a reflection of the type of punishing consequences and incentives currently at work in our tax code for individuals and businesses alike.

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Wife and I thinking of selling everything and moving to Australia. They’re moving to the right.

msupertas on November 14, 2013 at 3:50 PM

… if only I could.

M240H on November 14, 2013 at 3:50 PM

Tina Turner gave it up yesterday…she is now Swiss…

PatriotRider on November 14, 2013 at 3:54 PM

We don’t have the money to leave, but even if we did, this is my country. I’d rather stay and fight for our liberty and our Constitution.

If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth. And this idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except to sovereign people, is still the newest and most unique idea in all the long history of man’s relation to man.

–Ronald Reagan, A Time For Choosing

Growing up my dad often told me, “When we faced oppression in Cuba, we had a place to flee to. If we lose our freedom here, where do we go?”

–Ted Cruz

There are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands by it NOW deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.

–Thomas Paine, The American Crisis

INC on November 14, 2013 at 3:56 PM

I’m currently looking for jobs in Australia. They seem to have come to their senses recently.

Charlemagne on November 14, 2013 at 4:01 PM

Personally, I am happy to pay the taxes in the country I reside in. I am using their services. US taxes on all global earnings, which in an ever-increasing global economy is pretty jerky.

It’s not just taxes. US are being d*cks with respect to bank accounts as well. They’re forcing banks to out their customers to such an extent on the continent that some banks will not give an American an account, too much trouble.

ExPat on November 14, 2013 at 4:01 PM

is this an attempt to make the O-care sign-up #’s seems meaningful by comparison?

More people get impaled by tripping on a rake each year.. why is there an article about it?

gatorboy on November 14, 2013 at 4:01 PM

You can see this in Maryland. I know of 20-30 people who have retired or are about to retire out of state due to the high taxes. Its no different Federally I guess, other than the expats being of better means.

ManWithNoName on November 14, 2013 at 4:05 PM

In Washington’s Crossing David Hackett Fischer gives us the circumstances of the writing and impact of Thomas Paine’s pamphlet, The American Crisis. After George Washington’s debilitating military defeats in New York from August to November 1776, described by Fischer as a “A Cataract of Disaster,” Washington retreated across New Jersey into Pennsylvania as Cornwallis pursued him. Thomas Paine had joined the army in July of that year. In his chapter, “The Crisis: Thomas Paine and the Black Times of 1776,” Fischer writes:

…The army was shrinking before his eyes, and the people of New Jersey were not turning out to support it. Paine concluded that something had to be done. “It was necessary,” he decided, that “the country should be strongly animated.”

On November 22, when the army was crossing the Passaic River, Paine came to a decision. He resolved to write another pamphlet, like Common Sense but with a different message….

A rough draft was more or less complete by the time he crossed the Delaware River. He carried it to Philadelphia, but when he reached the city, he was shocked to find the houses shuttered, the streets deserted….The air of panic in the town increased Thomas Paine’s sense of urgency. He remembered, “I sat down and in what I may call a passion of patriotism, wrote the first number” of his new pamphlet in a final draft.

He called it The American Crisis. The first sentence had the cadence of a drumbeat. Even after two hundred years, its opening phrases still have the power to lift a reader out of his seat. “These are the times that try men’s souls,” Paine began. “The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands by it NOW deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.

…Such was the panic and chaos in Philadelphia that it took Thomas Paine ten days to get his essay into print. Finally, the first number of The American Crisis appeared in the Pennsylvania Journal on December 19, 1776. Four days later it was published as a pamphlet. Paine insisted that it be sold for two pennies, just enough to pay the printer’s expenses. The author asked nothing for himself and encouraged printers everywhere to copy it freely. It traveled through the country as fast as galloping horses could carry it.

Within a day of its first publication it was circulating in the camp of the Continental army along the Delaware River. Even Paine’s bitter political rival James Cheetham testified to its impact. Cheetham wrote that The Crisis was “read in the camp, to every corporal’s guard, and in the army, and out of it had more than the intended effect.” The troops used its first sentence as a watchword and later as a battle cry….

There is an old American folk tale about George Washington and the Crossing of the Delaware. It tells us that the new American republic nearly failed in the winter of 1776, that George Washington crossed the Delaware on Christmas night, and that his victory at Trenton revived the Revolution. All of this story is true, but it is not the whole truth. There was more to it. The great revival did not follow the battles of Trenton and Princeton, important as they were. It preceded them, and made those events possible (though not inevitable). Further, the revival did not rise solely from the leadership of George Washington himself, great as he was a general and a man…it emerged from the efforts of many soldiers and civilians, merchants and farmers, leaders in the army and members of Congress. Most of all it rose from the acts and choices of ordinary people in the valley of the Delaware, as Thomas Paine’s American Crisis began to circulate among them.

This great revival grew from defeat, not from victory. The awakening was a response to a disaster. Doctor Benjamin Rush, who had a major role in the event, believed that this was the way a free republic would always work, and the American republic in particular. He thought it was a national habit of the American people (maybe all free people) not to deal with a difficult problem until it was nearly impossible. “Our republic cannot exist long in prosperity,” Rush wrote “We require adversity and appear to possess most of the republican spirit when most depressed.

INC on November 14, 2013 at 4:10 PM

Growing up my dad often told me, “When we faced oppression in Cuba, we had a place to flee to. If we lose our freedom here, where do we go?”

–Ted Cruz

If we all go to Guam, the place will capsize.

Deafdog on November 14, 2013 at 4:11 PM

On December 18, 1776, George Washington wrote to his brother, John A. Washington, and to another relative, Samuel Washington. This is the letter to his brother. The bracketed phrase within it was part of his letter to Samuel Washington.

I have no doubt but that General Howe will still make an attempt upon Philadelphia this Winter. I see nothing to oppose him a fortnight hence, as the time of all the Troops, except those of Virginia (reduced almost to nothing,) and Smallwood’s Regiment of Maryland, (equally as bad) will expire in less than that time. In a word my dear Sir, if every nerve is not strain’d to recruit the New Army with all possible expedition, I think the game is pretty near up, owing, in a great measure, to the insidious Arts of the Enemy, and disaffection of the Colonies before mentioned, but principally to the accursed policy of short Inlistments, and placing too great a dependence on the Militia the Evil consequences of which were foretold 15 Months ago with a spirit almost Prophetick….

You can form no Idea of the perplexity of my Situation. No Man, I believe, ever had a greater choice of difficulties and less means to extricate himself from them. However under a full persuasion of the justice of our Cause I cannot [but think the prospect will brighten, although for a wise purpose it is, at present hid under a cloud] entertain an Idea that it will finally sink tho’ it may remain for some time under a Cloud.

Those letters were written the day before The American Crisis was published in the Pennsylvania Journal and five days before it was printed as a pamphlet for widespread distribution. Washington did not know the events that would follow in the days after he wrote those bleak words. But that great man persevered.

INC on November 14, 2013 at 4:14 PM

On Christmas Day, George Washington ordered that The American Crisis by Thomas Paine, published as a pamphlet only two days earlier, be read to the troops….

Sergeant R. described what happened almost a week later on December 31.

Three or four days after the victory at Trenton, the American army re-crossed the Delaware into New Jersey. At this time our troops were in a destitute and deplorable condition. The horses attached to our cannon were without shoes, and when passing over the ice they would slide in every direction and could advance only by the assistance of the soldiers. Our men, too, were without shoes or other comfortable clothing; and as traces of our march towards Princeton, the ground was literally marked with the blood of the soldiers’ feet. Though my own feet did not bleed, they were so sore that their condition was little better.

While we were at Trenton, on the last of December, 1776, the time for which I and most of my regiment had enlisted expired. At this trying time General Washington, having now but a little handful of men and many of them new recruits in which he could place but little confidence, ordered our regiment to be paraded, and personally addressed us, urging that we should stay a month longer. He alluded to our recent victory at Trenton; told us that our services were greatly needed, and that we could now do more for our country than we ever could at any future period; and in the most affectionate manner entreated us to stay. The drums beat for volunteers, but not a man turned out. The soldiers, worn down with fatigue and privations, had their hearts fixed on home and the comforts of the domestic circle, and it was hard to forego the anticipated pleasures of the society of our dearest friends.

The General wheeled his horse about, rode in front of the regiment and addressing us again said, “My brave fellows, you have done all I asked you to do, and more than could be reasonably expected; but your country is at stake, your wives, your houses and all that you hold dear. You have worn yourselves out with fatigues and hardships, but we know not how to spare you. If you will consent to stay only one month longer, you will render that service to the cause of liberty and to your country which you probably never can do under any other circumstances. The present is emphatically the crisis which is to decide our destiny.

The drums beat the second time. The soldiers felt the force of the appeal. One said to another, “I will remain if you will.

Others remarked, “We cannot go home under such circumstances.

A few stepped forth, and their example was immediately followed by nearly all who were fit for duty in the regiment, amounting to about two hundred volunteers.

An officer enquired of the General if these men should be enrolled. He replied: “No! men who will volunteer in such a case as this need no enrollment to keep them to their duty.

On January 3, 1777 Washington and his men and the forces of those generals under him captured the British garrison at Princeton….

Paine wrote of times “in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive.” Summer and sun never try men’s souls—only the cold and dark of December and January nights.

INC on November 14, 2013 at 4:17 PM

And to switch to Shakespeare:


What’s he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin:
If we are mark’d to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour….
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England:
God’s peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more, methinks, would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made
And crowns for convoy put into his purse:

We would not die in that man’s company
That fears his fellowship to die with us….
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

INC on November 14, 2013 at 4:24 PM

Record-high tax burden. Record-high expatriation. Coincidence?

You can always rely on populist progressives to pounce on greedy, selfish, unpatriotic, tax-dodging millionaires and billionaires who have the audacity to put any of their cash in offshore accounts and whatnot, but who’s really to blame here

Blame suggests disappointment with the outcome. Taxes have risen, and spending has been cut, and as a result the deficit has slimmed. If people want to leave, that’s fine, but I don’t see a problem with deficit reduction. A lot more is still going to need to be done on Social Security and Medicare, but at least the GOP has finally started getting things moving in a slightly better direction.

Stoic Patriot on November 14, 2013 at 4:30 PM

In January 2017, you’ll be able to add Barack Obama to the horde leaving the country. Too bad he doesn’t leave now.

In all of his past “jobs”, he was able to leave before any mess was uncovered.

GarandFan on November 14, 2013 at 4:38 PM

Belize is everything Costa Rica is purported to be. For people looking for a young unspoiled nation, Belize has to be one of the choicest expatriate destinations imaginable. The language is English. The people are friendly. The government is an absolute anomaly for Central America. It is a true democracy, operating under the parliamentary system it adopted from Great Britain (which until 1981 upheld Belize in colonial status.) There is absolute freedom of the press. Little, if any serious corruption. An intelligent attitude towards business and an absolutely astounding respect for ecology. It is in our opinion a world leader in its efforts to create a balance between tourism and sound principals of ecology. There are few countries towards whom we feel a greater degree of respect.

Murphy9 on November 14, 2013 at 4:42 PM

It’s not just taxes, it’s the way everything appears set to continue unraveling at an ever-increasing pace.

I looked seriously into emigrating after the 2012 election but ran up against the fact that the countries that look good don’t want me because I have a disabled dependent. (Also, I’m too old to go in under a work visa.) They might relent if I was swimming in cash, but I’m not.

If I were younger, without the dependent, I’d be gone.

I’m now encouraging my kids to go to college in another country, with an eye toward then getting employment and citizenship there. Of course, that means major separations from us old folks in our declining years.

This is a bitter development, considering what this country has always been, not to mention that my family has roots in America going back to Jamestown, with an ancestor who signed the Declaration, people who served in wars, etc. All because feeble-minded left-wingers thought they had a new idea.

fatherspledge on November 14, 2013 at 4:43 PM

You can see this in Maryland. I know of 20-30 people who have retired or are about to retire out of state due to the high taxes. Its no different Federally I guess, other than the expats being of better means.

ManWithNoName on November 14, 2013 at 4:05 PM

you can add another to the list. My wife and I decided we’re outta here the year after next. I can finish my work life remotely for a couple more years then retire….in Texas.

RedInMD on November 14, 2013 at 4:51 PM

IF things continue to decline… I may well be among those leaving the nation for better climes.

If Obamacare is not repealed… if a Democrat is elected in ’16… if immigration law is not enforced and the border remains porous and/or there is another amnesty and ‘legal’ immigration is tripled…if the rampant and obvious corruptions in our elections isn’t cleaned up… et al… I may be forced to leave my country.

It’s far too painful to watch the entire nation become Detroit.

thatsafactjack on November 14, 2013 at 5:27 PM

We moved to the Philippines in August, but certainly not because of anything going on in government.
There’s a lot of need here, as you can imagine.

There’s nothing like fulfilling a decade-long dream.
We’re finally here!
By God’s grace, we’re making a difference.

The sole purpose of this post is to make someone out there think,
“Hmmm…If an average guy like John can live his retirement years as a missionary, maybe I can, too.”

itsnotaboutme on November 14, 2013 at 5:27 PM

post comment

itsnotaboutme on November 14, 2013 at 5:28 PM


DarkCurrent on November 14, 2013 at 5:29 PM

I’ve thought about Australia. I heard it is harder to get there now. I don’t know.

Gatekeeper on November 14, 2013 at 5:31 PM

High taxes here, high taxes back there… hmmm…

If you’re going to get taken by the tax-man either place, you might as well be enjoying the green, green grass of home.

Marcola on November 14, 2013 at 5:59 PM

I spent 4 years as an expat. I see another 12 coming up.

Giving up my passport? Oh, yeah.

The USA is not REMOTELY what it was, and it’s dying. Coughing up blood.

Other countries are looking toward the future. Brazil.

Goodbye USA. Nice ta know ya.

Socialist, demoretard c*nts.

thejackal on November 14, 2013 at 6:05 PM

I didn’t leave my country. My country left me.

antisense on November 14, 2013 at 6:28 PM

Let’s not make a bigger deal of this than what it actually is. Last year 750000 people became US citizens through naturalization, 150000 more than 2 years earlier.

The crowd of “we want to be Americans even though we were not born Americans” still beats by a huge margin the crowd of “we don’t want to be Americans anymore”.

This is the type of idiotic and artificial controversy that gives conservatives a bad name.

p_incorrect on November 14, 2013 at 7:03 PM

I didn’t leave because of Clinton, and Im sure as h**l am not leaving becuase of this crowd

This is MY country…my home. For all the good, bad, etc lumps I’ve been put through, there is nothing short of a roundup of like minded folks that’s gonna force me out.

I will stay to fight, by all legal and political means at my disposal, because the United States IS worth it.

And frankly, if we lose here, there isn’t a damn place on Earth left TO go to.

BlaxPac on November 14, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Record-high tax burden. Record-high expatriation. Coincidence?

It has more to do with the success of corporate America than anything else. Expats leave for lucrative contracts and assignments overseas. A great deal of the rise of corporate equity is directly related to corporations successfully expanding into new and existing markets.

Erika has a bad habit of reading charts upside down as illustrated by the particularly idiotic graph allegedly showing electricity price divergence between Europe and the US. That divergence took place in the 50’s. The chart she showed illustrated forex divergence… unless you really believe that electricity prices in Japan have gone down as much as that chart suggest.

So where are these record numbers of Americans going. Panama, Jamaica, Macedonia? They are probably going to developed nations with mature economies… and probably the same tax burden. If they go anywhere where there is not a mutual tax treaty they are likely paying more tax than if they had stayed. Where is this ‘record tax burden’?

lexhamfox on November 14, 2013 at 7:20 PM

I currently live in Europe due to my husband’s job. While we love it here, it’s very expensive and we are losing a lot money by living here. We are here of course for the experience, especially for our children, but we get reamed on taxes, both here and in the US. And watching our country is being destroyed makes living here more attractive. I feel a definite movement to the right among the people here.

ktrich on November 14, 2013 at 7:27 PM

is this an attempt to make the O-care sign-up #’s seems meaningful by comparison?

More people get impaled by tripping on a rake each year.. why is there an article about it?

gatorboy on November 14, 2013 at 4:01 PM

It’s not so much the numbers, but rather the $ they take with them. Also, I doubt these are the last to do this.

But I also do suspect that they’re going to get robbed eventually regardless of what country they reside in, if not through direct taxation and fees, then through the hidden tax of inflation.

Dr. ZhivBlago on November 14, 2013 at 7:41 PM

Tina Turner gave it up yesterday…she is now Swiss…

PatriotRider on November 14, 2013 at 3:54 PM

But the Swiss are now looking to pass laws that guarantees every person $2800 a month or $33,600 a year. That sounds like the Swiss are hoping to beat Bieber Obama over the fiscal cliff!

RJL on November 14, 2013 at 8:22 PM

I have lived outside the United States for thirteen months now and I currently have no plans on returning anytime soon. If and when I do decide to return I will be very particular in which red state I decide to move to. I can no longer accept the disaster that is my home state of Maryland.

I have no given up my citizenship as of yet, that might be due to the fact that I currently live in an actual dictatorship. And I will hope that maybe one day America will wake up and head in the right direction.

Barovan on November 14, 2013 at 11:57 PM

Did Tehran offer O’bozo asylum early???? I was out of town!

WryTrvllr on November 15, 2013 at 10:10 AM