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The ex-PATRIOT act: America's new virtual wall


Senators Chuck Schumer of New York and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania are preparing to unveil the “Ex-PATRIOT” or the “Expatriation Prevention by Abolishing Tax-Related Incentives for Offshore Tenancy” Act, in response to Facebook Co-Founder Eduardo Saverin’s recent decision to leave the U.S. in favor of more friendly shores. This from ABC News:

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.

Let’s call this what it is: a punitive tax and permanent exile for wealthy Americans who choose to flee the atmosphere that has been created by the government.

My friend Andrew Wilkow likes to say that there are two types of government: the one that points its guns outward to keep invaders out, and one that points its guns inward to keep its citizens in. So my question to Senators Schumer and Casey is why stop with taxation and exile? Why not a wall to keep Americans in? We can line the top with barbed wire and sharpshooters. It would be far more effective than a silly virtual wall you plan on building with taxes and threats.

This is what you get from a government that refuses to acknowledge and address the conditions that drive out its own citizens. Rather than attempting to create an atmosphere more agreeable to those who might consider leaving, they’ll use their power to keep you and your property in.

One need look no further than the Communist Manifesto to see this principle in action. The fourth plank of the party demands the “confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.”

Karl Marx called the measure a “despotic inroad on the rights of property.” I couldn’t agree more.

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