According to CNN (via Business Insider), the US government spent $3 million to inform the public about their eligibility for food stamps. I once lamented that I didn’t know where in Toronto to sign up for US Federal Welfare, Unemployment Insurance or Food Stamps. Now at least for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), there is a screening tool to see if I am even eligible. So I thought, “Why not, if the US wants to give me free money?” So I tried the screening tool. But I was thwarted by the first drop down menu. I couldn’t find Ontario. Crap!
The tool first asks: “Which State or Territory do you live in?” Here is a screen snip of the explanation:
US citizens abroad must pay income taxes. Yet citizens abroad cannot even apply for a basic benefit of being low income. I’m not asking for a lot; just that if I run into hard times, I can apply for a little bit of nutritional supplement so that I don’t starve to fricking death.
So let’s get this straight: the United States expects us to pay but doesn’t think it has to provide such benefits. I’m beginning to think that this relationship really sucks. The United States is my stalking ex-spouse that is also a no-show when it comes to child support payments.
Let’s dispense with this motto: “No taxation without representation!” That is a battle cry of independent libertarian types and doesn’t suit the progressive mentality of cradle-to-grave dependent types. Let’s try this battle cry, “No taxation without Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program!” (Well, it’s not very catchy sounding, but still, it works for me).
Ah, another American-unfriendly American service to add to the list of many. Maybe it would be a lesser burden to simply list American services that Americans abroad are not denied access to.
My wife reminded me that taxpayers abroad are fictional residents of Washington D. C. for tax purposes. Perhaps, one should be able to claim benefits as a resident of D. C. It seems doubtful, since you probably would need a valid enough to be valid address in D.C. in order to claim the benefit.
*@swisspinoy: That would be an exceedingly short list!
Free Advice to My Schoolmate Barack Obama: Want to Grow Exports and Create More Jobs? Don’t Tax Americans Abroad
[Editor’s note: Thanks for your comment. This comment exceeded fair use by citing an entire article without permission. I have moved the citation of the article to the thread linked above. Thanks, Petros]
I also applied for cash-for-clunkers when that was going. Guess how that turned out…
@zulu Let me guess. They paid you $4K but the cheque was lost in the mail?
Well, consider yourself lucky then. At least one class of Americans (Expats) won’t develop a new dependency and an entitlement that no one in the homeland wants to pay for with taxes!
@Just Me, they just want to pay for it with OVDI fines from the bank accounts of expats. This is what makes me angry. I am GLAD I’m not an American anymore–now I see that they will expect Obamacare to be paid for by expats too (SCOTUS has upheld Obamacare). Expats will have to pay for Obamacare, but they will not receive any benefits from it.
*If citizenship based taxation is to big a battle, why not try an end run around it. Challenge each and every service not offered to Americans abroad in the courts.
Petros! Such a resolute Canadian (server location and all) and you talk about “fair use”? Tsk tsk! The Canadian term is fair dealing.
Ain’t it hard to scrub the US out of the boy?
@USX, Ok, we were on US servers before. But I was unaware of the term “fair dealing” before.
I remain a Canadian citizen of United States origin–that much I cannot deny or even renounce. But I’ve lived in Canada twenty years nearly 24 years now. My use of the term “fair use” was just simply out of ignorance. Thanks for the correction.
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