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05-18-12, 01:59 PM

Whether Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin withdrew his U.S. citizenship to save on taxes, as many in the media have speculated, or to facilitate his decision to permanently live and work in Singapore, as he claims, is impossible to determine. Either way, Democratic Senators Charles Schumer of New York and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania are showing themselves to be irresponsible legislators by introducing a bill that they explicitly conceived in order to punish him.

Called the Ex-Patriot Act, it would impose a 30 percent capital gains tax on the investments of people who renounce their citizenship for tax purposes and ban Saverin (and others like him) from ever gain setting foot in America.

Said Senator Schumer: "Eduardo Saverin wants to de-friend the United States of America. Sen. Casey and I have a status update for him: Pay your taxes in full or don't ever try to visit the U.S. again. This is a small, narrow group. And they deserve to get the treatment we're giving them."

There are two significant problems with this logic.

1) Whatever Eduardo Saverin deserves, it is imprudent to impulsively introduce legislation in order to target a specific high profile individual who happens to be making news, especially when doing so punishes him in a way he couldn't have anticipated for doing something that was legal. Anyone who doesn't grok that much philosophy of law doesn't deserve to be in Congress.

2) Is it really so clear what sort of treatment Saverin deserves, or what he owes the United States? Born in Brazil and raised in Miami, the company he helped start has created billions in value, and he has paid millions in taxes to the Treasury. Unless he is one day rescued from a terrorist hideout by Army Rangers his contribution to public coffers is orders of magnitude bigger than the services he has used, and America is certainly better off economically for the fruits of his intellectual labor. Finally, as Will Wilkinson points out, existing law is such that Saverin is likely to pay a roughly $500 million exit tax on his Facebook holdings after this week's IPO.

Given all that, the notion that Saverin is self-evidently deserving of punishment for his behavior is dubious at best. And barring him from the United States is just silly. What's the worry here, that he'll return, create billions more in value within our borders, and then leave again for Singapore? Do we want to prevent that from happening? As far as I'm concerned, America should roll out the red carpet for every proven innovator in the world who wants to come invent things here, pay the taxes they owe under the law, and then depart to reside elsewhere for awhile.

Even if you disagree with some of that analysis, the most disturbing part about this is that two Senators are targeting a specific individual with legislation, and attempting to punish him for legal behavior because they find it personally offensive. It's an affront to the rule of law (as is putting the burden of proof on individuals rather than the state), and telling that of all the Wall Street crooks who've gotten away with actual illegal behavior in the last several years, the guy two U.S. Senators are singling out is a Facebook co-founder who has done nothing but benefit this country.

Chuck Schumer and Bob Casey clearly see US citizens are serfs beholden to the master government and that the freedom of movement can and should be restricted because the government is jealous that they're missing out on tax revenue.

This (http://techcrunch.com/2012/05/17/schumer-and-caseys-ex-patriot-act-details-of-how-they-plan-to-get-saverins-67m-and-more/) is fucked up:
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.

This is the kind of law an absolute monarch would write.

05-18-12, 02:17 PM
Wow, I can't believe how incredibly bad that is.

05-18-12, 02:21 PM
Eduardo Saverin wants to de-friend the United States of America. Sen. Casey and I have a status update for him: Pay your taxes in full or don't ever try to visit the U.S. again.

lol Siniter Schumer, imma Like this coz sumbody done got TOLD.

05-18-12, 02:38 PM
Wow, illegal aliens bilk us for billions of dollars (http://www.wthr.com/story/17798210/tax-loophole-costs-billions) and the IRS just shrugs and says they cannot do anything about it but we're going after those few individuals that are likely renouncing their citizenship to avoid paying taxes...


"There's something wrong with us, something very, very wrong with us..."

05-18-12, 02:38 PM
People try to avoid taxes? I'd like to hear what the treasury secretary thinks about that.

Tracer Bullet
05-18-12, 02:41 PM
This is a stupid law that will not pass. However, it puts Chuck Schumer in the news, so mission accomplished.

05-18-12, 02:45 PM
I like how the bill is written so that you can avoid being permanently barred from ever reentering this country if you can prove that you were thinking about something other than taxes when you renounced your citizenship.


05-18-12, 02:55 PM
Even if the governement took every penny that Eduardo Saverin has they wouldn't spend it on anything worthwhile so fuck them.

05-18-12, 03:20 PM
People try to avoid taxes? I'd like to hear what the treasury secretary thinks about that.


05-18-12, 03:34 PM
The US government is potentially losing $67 million because Saverin no longer wants to be a United States Citizen.

$67 million will fund the US government for less than 10 minutes. GRAB THE PITCHFORKS AND TORCHES!!!

Dr Mabuse
05-18-12, 04:14 PM
I'm outraged?

05-18-12, 06:14 PM
Even if they pass this it would not apply to him or is ex post facto legal now?

05-18-12, 06:52 PM
Even if they pass this it would not apply to him or is ex post facto legal now?

sounds like they want to make it retroactive for the past 10 years. The whole thing it utterly ridiculous. It's nothing more than pandering to their constituents who blame all our problems on the 1%.

05-18-12, 07:06 PM
Looks like Saverin feels bad about what he's done:


05-18-12, 07:31 PM
I think this new proposed bill is ridiculous but I certainly have no problem with enforcing the Reed Amendment on Saverin for the rest of his life.

05-18-12, 10:02 PM
I am totally against this kind of thinking.

05-18-12, 10:05 PM
I am either for or against this depending on factors.

05-19-12, 12:37 AM
You know what's cooler than paying $67 million in taxes? Not paying $67 million in taxes.

05-19-12, 03:28 AM
I am either for or against this depending on factors.

I was for it before I was against it.

Or was it the other way around?

07-09-12, 11:12 AM
Another one jumped ship... Denise Rich, the wealthy socialite and former wife of pardoned billionaire trader Marc Rich, has given up her U.S. citizenship - and, with it, much of her U.S. tax bill.

Rich, 68, a Grammy-nominated songwriter and glossy figure in Democratic and European royalty circles, renounced her American passport in November, according to her lawyer.Nearly 1,800 citizens and permanent residents, a record since data was first compiled in 1998, expatriated last year, according to government figures.http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/48118502/ns/business-personal_finance/


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