The left's and right's plan to create fortress America

A government that is powerful enough to stop people from coming into the country is, of course, also powerful enough to stop them from leaving. And Sen. Chuck Schumer’s Ex-Patriot Act takes a giant step in precisely that direction. It was inspired by Facebook’s Eduardo Saverin, a Brazilian émigré who renounced his American citizenship to adopt Singapore as his country ahead of the company’s IPO to (allegedly) avoid paying capital gains taxes on his new-found wealth.

This drove Schumer into paroxysms of rage. “Saverin has turned his back on the country that welcomed him and kept him safe, educated him, and helped him become a billionaire,” he roared. “This is a great American success story that has gone horribly wrong.”

A question, Senator: Are the California businesses and residents leaving in droves for low-tax Texas also “success stories that have gone horribly wrong”? Or is it California that has “gone horribly wrong”? And if capital gains taxes are driving rich Americans out of the country, isn’t that an indication that perhaps these taxes are too high?

Not to Schumer, it seems. He wants to increase America’s exit taxes to twice the current capital gains rate. (America, incidentally, is one of the very few countries that has exit taxes.) But his plan would put unacceptable burdens on the exercise of the right to exit.