The risk of opening a dialogue: Better be careful what you wish for you might just get it!
Democracy and U.S. Citizens Abroad
The following message was sent to Just Me from Patric Hale and was posted as a comment on this site with the permission of Patric Hale.
I’ve just signed up on their website (referring to americansabroadforobama.org) and sent the following message. I suggest everybody does the same – maybe they’ll get the message:
I’ve been a director of American Citizens Abroad for over 35 years. I lived in Europe for 28 of those years.
Here is the question that ALL overseas Americans want to know:
What has President Obama done for them that he deserves our support? We know that he has unleashed Doug Shulman of the IRS, and Senators Levin, Schumer, Casey, and Reid in writing legislation that makes the lives of ALL overseas Americans absolutely miserable so that more and more Americans are giving up their citizenship rather than live under the tyrannical tax regimes and policies of the USA while President Obama – and Hillary Clinton, too – has stood by and done nothing!
This goes diametrically against everything that Pres. Obama pledged to overseas Americans in 2008.
All politicians ever care about from overseas Americans is MONEY when elections come around but do absolutely NOTHING about the concerns overseas Americans have the rest of the time.
There are 5 million overseas Americans and in a tight election as this one will be we are looking not just for smiling faces and broken promises but ACTION!
The first thing Pres. Obama can do is tell the members of the Democratic Party in Congress to kill the amendment to the Transportation Bill that forces the IRS to determine whether a US citizen gets his/her passport renewed because of tax issues.
How successful do you think the Democrats would be if they proposed that everyone in America had to pay his/her taxes before getting their drivers licenses renewed??
Overseas Americans are SICK of being ignored and then dumped on by Congress while Pres. Obama does NOTHING to stop it! The IRS is even ignoring Executive Orders requiring cost-benefit analyses on their actions.
So the question is simple: What is the President going to do to HELP overseas Americans instead of permitting his administration and party dump all over them?
On June 4, 2012 I created a post called: President Obama opens dialogue with U.S. citizens abroad. The above message from Patric Hale was posted as a comment to that post. Those who are interested in this issue may want to reread that post. The gist of the post was that the Obama campaign, in an attempt to create the illusion of support for Obama, had created three sites:
This site is now gone as an independent site and redirects to a site to raise money for Obama
This site is now gone period. Last time I looked it contained lots of negative comments about the Obama administration’s treatment of U.S. citizens abroad. Note the perils of allowing a dialogue!
Looks like the message from U.S. citizens abroad is beginning to get through!
Americans Abroad for Obama hears us!
Mr. FATCA (Dick Harvey) hears us!
The Americans Abroad for Obama twitter site continues to exist. Twitter affords less opportunity for a dialogue than a Facebook page. The discontinued use of the .org site and the Facebook page strongly suggest that the Obama campaign realizes it has a problem with U.S. citizens abroad. As a result, the Obama campaign appears to be taking steps to reduce dialogue between the campaign and U.S. citizens abroad.
Mr. FATCA hears us! The message of from U.S. citizens abroad seems to be getting through in other ways too. You may recall the public meetings on FATCA that took place over two evenings in June 2012 in Switzerland. The most high profile was Dick Harvey who was one of the primary architects of FATCA. On August 1 he published his thoughts on the meeting which included a recognition of the problems that FATCA is causing for U.S. citizens abroad. Harvey writes:
From a policy perspective, the question is: What should be done about the problems facing U.S. citizens abroad?
His thoughts are worth reading. Isaac Brock poster “Innocente” notes that:
The entire article is worth reading but I would like to mention footnote 10, which I initially missed. It seems to indicate that a delay in the FATCA roll-out might be necessary, although possibly for an insidious reason – to allow time for the roll-out of the first phase of GATCA:
“10 Some, such as the group American Citizens Abroad, argue that FATCA should be repealed. Although I believe American citizens residing abroad have a legitimate concern, it does not justify throwing the baby out with the bath water — FATCA should not be repealed. At most, it could be delayed while governments work out a multilateral system that would require reporting for customers of many different countries.“
The Obama history of non-response to U.S. citizens abroad
As has been documented on this blog, President Obama has failed to respond to the concerns of U.S. citizens abroad. These include invitations to him to “follow up” on the 2008 election promises made by Senator Obama. In addition, it includes (at a minimum) the failure to respond to the concerns of Americans abroad in relation to the abuses of citizenship-based taxation in general and OVDI, FBAR and FATCA in particular. Yet this president has the “audacity” (Remember “The audacity of hope”) to accept campaign contributions from the same U.S. citizens abroad that are the object of the Obama Witch Hunt. These contributions will surely be coming from “offshore accounts”. (Perhaps Romney should make a contribution to the Obama campaign from one of his “offshore accounts”.
By focusing on Romney’s offshore accounts the Obama campaign continues to disparage U.S. citizens abroad!
The Obama campaign uses the Twitter site to continue in its pathetic efforts to make the primary issue in this campaign Romney’s tax returns and offshore accounts. As I pointed out in an earlier post – “The Evolution of Barack Obama” - this is about as low as one can get. This continued attempt to make Romney’s tax returns and offshore accounts the issue in the campaign, is an insult to the American people in general. But, it is a particular insult to U.S. citizens abroad who have had their bank accounts deemed to be “offshore” and their use of those bank accounts deemed to be “criminal”.
What follows is one of the most (IMHO) offensive tweets from the Obama campaign and a response to it.
Is Romney using offshore accounts to avoid paying taxes? Check out a map of his overseas investments: OFA.BO/rCLuat
— AmericansAbroadObama (@AAforObama) August 7, 2012
@aaforobama the time has come for you to put up or shut up – appreciate obama has no substance – but time for you to explain – Make my day
— U.S. Citizen Abroad (@USCitizenAbroad) August 7, 2012
Romney should respond to this by:
1. Acknowledging that the Internal Revenue Code is a problem and is “American Style Corruption”; and
2. Force a dialogue on tax reform which would include the issue of territorial taxation.
Any dialogue on tax reform is certain to demonstrate that Romney is the better candidate for president.
In conclusion, …
On July 17 in Virginia Obama delivered one of finest speeches (if you believe in class warfare). It included two themes:
1. We are all Americans (presumably including U.S.citizens abroad);
2. His purpose in being president is to help the “middle class”
Therefore, the president should be interested in helping “Middle class American citizens living abroad”!
So far, President Obama has not been interested in a dialogue with U.S. citizens abroad. But, he sure is interested in their money! What can those “middle class” U.S. citizens abroad (the ones who don’t have a lot of cash) do to interest the president in a dialogue? Any thoughts?