Posted on January 21, 2013 by Petros Posted in Issues regarding US persons abroad 19 Comments The best thing about being an ex-American living outside of the United States is that I don’t live in the United States anymore. Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailLike this:Like Loading...
*Sorry folks. This is overboard. I’ve been worried enough. Jack booted thuggery…..I don’t need it and I have never liked conspiracy stuff.
POOPS indeed! I’m not going to let CRA off the hook either (see below). Remember Irvin Leroux of Valemont, BC and his audit from hell? I first heard about Mr. Leroux on CBC radio. I’m going to keep CCF in mind if/when it gets to lawsuit time.
*Here are some links related to the documentary. Googling, it seems that there was indeed a raid about a FEMA flood loan for a diary farm:
@Sharon, there is always a risk when we focus on what the United States has become under Barack Obama that people will object to the truth. But calling this particular video re-enactment (says it is right on the screen), accompanied by eye-witness testimony of what took place, a “conspiracy” is an unfair criticism without any sort of evidence that the documentary is without merit in its accusations.
When a first time commenter, however, steps into condemn our criticism of the United States POOPS (POOPS=Partially Out in the Open Police State–the word “gestapo” has been banned because of complaints about comparisons of the United States with the Nazis, Hitler, etc.), one wonders if the person might be an active member of Democrats Abroad who is lurking on our website, and come in just defend the place to which the current Democrat Administration of Barack H. Obama, Eric Holder, and Timothy Geithner has taken us–but is not really willing to admit their party allegiance. But if you’re not here to defend Obama, then perhaps you would be kind enough to explain to us why you are so worried. Perhaps we can help. If you live outside the United States, and not in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, etc., then you probably have little to worry about from a Federal Government paramilitary raid. Why would this video add to your worries?
*I am a member of Democrats Abroad. I voted for Obama because I agree with him on more issues than I do with the Republicans. At the same time I disagree with FATCA and citizenship-based taxation and enjoy the IBS website. If IBS wants to be as effective as possible in reaching out on citizenship-based taxation — which, like government raids and government overreach, precedes Obama — I would urge you to be more politically inclusive.
@ Michael, Under President Obama’s watch I renounce the United States. President Bush signed the legislation (HEART Act) that caused me to renounce the United States, so that I could protect my family. Is that inclusive enough? I include both Democains and Republocrats in my list things that I find both objectionable and abhorrent. I also dislike most of the federal bureaucracies, especially the IRS, CIA, FBI, ATF, etc.
BTW, I didn’t vote in the last election because the bullies in Washington forced me to give up my birthright–United States citizenship and the right, one day, to return my former home. So I proudly supported neither candidate. That is actually the most consistent position for a person who has had to renounce the United States.
If being “inclusive” means giving the Obama administration a pass for the way that they have persecuted expats, I’m afraid that you are barking up the wrong tree. Obama signed FATCA (HIRE Act) in order to go after “tax cheats abroad”. He is the number one enemy of expats, and it was not in the best interests of Americans abroad to vote for the Obama administration after the way his blood hounds Timothy Geithner and Douglas Schulman went after the banks accounts of expats, using the flimsy excuse of the Bank Secrecy Act to try to confiscate billions of dollars of hard earned money of expats.
I just wish that United States would stop trying to protect me. I don’t need their help. I need someone who will protect me from the United States, the biggest real threat to the well-being of my family to come around in my entire life.
I think I understand your perspective, but I wouldn’t worry that the Isaac Brock Society will ever swing hard to one political extreme or another – there are simply too many of us representing the entire spectrum of political beliefs for that to be possible. It can be a tough room here, sometimes, but I’m sure Petros would agree that he does not speak for, or would ever feel truly comfortable with trying to speak for Isaac Brock as a whole. Instead, we are a loose collection of individuals from all walks of life who share an interest and a fairly common set of concerns about the fate of U.S. Persons, in all their many strange and unexpected forms. I am confident that regular readers of this blog are sophisticated enough to average-out the traffic and see that we are in fact the very antithesis of polemical and extreme, given the very real threats we all face.
As for Democrats Abroad, I believe that one of the ironic consequences of our situation is that this organization, and others analogous to it, such as Republicans Abroad, shall soon be facing unprecedented existential crises. If FATCA continues to unfold as its architects wish it to then there may be no more than this current generation left to even attend DA meetings and events. Instead, they may begin to resemble lonely Legion halls with a dwindling membership of WWII vets.
Once FATCA begins to be fully implemented, younger Democrats Abroad will be faced with a stark choice: either shed themselves of their now-toxic U.S. citizenship which their parents so lovingly transmitted to them, with all the best intentions – or face a bleak future of financial ruin in their adopted countries because of a crippling inability to participate in the essential tax-deferral vehicles they need to build a secure retirement. Of course, the third choice would be to abandon their overseas homes completely, where they were very likely born, and run headlong into the full embrace of the Homeland, leaving their friends and family behind forever.
I attended the Inaugural Ball celebration at the local chapter of Democrats Abroad last night and I saw very few people under the age of 50 in attendance. If that is the current, baseline demographic for this organization then I would have to conclude that its days may very well be numbered.
I was struck last night at the passion with which one of the organizers spoke of the chapter’s me-too support of new gun-control legislation in the U.S. I could not help but marvel at the irony of an overseas American organization choosing to focus on an almost entirely domestic American issue at the expense of issues that will be of far more immediate and personal consequence to their own lives in the coming years. No one spoke of FATCA, and the destructive scourge of citizenship-based taxation, even though this issue should remain at the very top of DA’s agenda for years to come.
I know that Joe Green is DA’s Canadian point-man for the FATCA/FBAR task force, but it seems that he is the only one in the organization who’s showing any real interest in the topic. Everyone else is blithely enjoying their little get-togethers and making themselves feel good about supporting a few easy motherhood issues from afar, all the while ignoring the ugly, dangerous reality that lies right before their very eyes, on this side of the border. If Democrats Abroad remains blind to where its energies most urgently need to be directed, and if it cannot muster enough confidence to forthrightly speak truth to power, then I believe it is truly doomed and will soon be a footnote to history.
I forgot to mention that I dislike DHS, which has made a laughing stock of the United States.
@Badger, Deckard, good on you.
The paradox of Democrats Abroad deserves it’s own thread. What would you say to starting one, using the bulk your above comment, everything from the second paragraph to the end as they really zero in on it — and also transferring Badger’s terrific, detailed comment, and Arrow’s and Tiger’s there to start the comment chain?
Hopefully Michael will weigh in on a new thread devoted to this, as well as other DAs and people whose views are contrary to the DAs.
A lot of us find the DAs position to be paradoxical (in varying degrees running from puzzling to outrageous) and I think it’s certainly a topic worthy of focus and dialogue on its own thread.
UPDATE – 12.56 pm. Deckard and I started a new thread, The Democrats Abroad Paradox using his comment. I moved the comments directly relating to it to the new thread (we can’t post the same comment on two threads). If you’d like your comment returned to this thread, let me know. Thanks.
The position of Democrats Abroad is NOT paradoxical. You will see from their site that they are “The Democratic Party”. They are NOT Democrats who live Abroad. They ARE the party. Therefore they are simply acting out their prescribed role of being enemies of U.S. citizens abroad. No paradox. Just a misunderstanding of what/who they truly are. Those Democrats Abroad who don’t want to see this are simply playing out their prescribed “Stepford Wife” role.
Loved our comment! Love your passion! Love your ability to articulate it! In your next life you should be criminal defense lawyer (providing legal counsel to the Geithners of the world)
Yes, you are describing the future with your mastery of calm, cool and precise logic.
Let me put this simply.
Through ill advised legislation (which in most cases was not designed to target Americans Abroad) Congress left a lot of gasoline on the floor of a house occupied by Americans abroad. The current Democrats – (including Obama, Levin, Geithner) saw there was a lot of gas on the floor of the house of Americans Abroad. Recognizing this fact and opportunity, they then took some matches, lit a fire and torched the house of Americans Abroad leaving them to die. Again this the Democrats – not sure what part of this you don’t understand.
@Petros: Under President Obama’s watch I renounce the United States. President Bush signed the legislation (HEART Act) that caused me to renounce the United States, so that I could protect my family…
President Bush signed HEART but didn’t write it. The bill’s main sponsor (well known tax cheat Charles Rangel) and its 28 cosponsors were all democrats. Every single one of them. The benefits for military in HEART, along with its sophomoric mom-and-apple-pie name, ensured a veto proof vote. So while expat bashing is indeed a bipartisan congressional pastime, it’s hard not to conclude that democrats are by far the main culprits. Even when they don’t hold the presidency.
@Watcher, I don’t disagree. Yet the Reed Amendment apparently passed the Gingrich House. Boehner said he would support Schumer’s Ex Patriot Act, and Bush signed the HEART. FATCA is 100% to the credit of democrats, though perhaps a few republicans voted for it. The Jones Act (2004) strengthening FBAR penalties, the most odious and heinous confiscatory fines, that was Senate Democrats, Bush and House Republicans.
The Republicans are therefore my “protectors” too, with the probable exception of the Pauls. I find also that the arrogant attitude–“we are the federal government”–doesn’t seem to know partisan distinctions.
But I will say this: the application of the odious laws have never seen more zealous application as under Obama’s watch. Michael: are you still reading? Your beloved democrats have done the most heinous and terrible offenses to the expat community. Now they are trying to round us up through the FATCA legislation, which you say you oppose. Has the administration shown any signs of giving this course of action up? Have they caused your Swiss bank accounts to be closed yet? Mine were shut down last year.
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Michael, if you are looking for a “pat on the back and an ‘attaboy”, sorry, you’re looking in the wrong direction. I’m a Canadian and I’m seriously pissed off at what the US is doing to my wife. The only thing that Obama should do is either alleviate the tax penalties on Americans abroad who have “operating tax accounts less than the $10,000 threshold and allow them the option of not filing FBAR” or let them renounce their US citizenship quietly and without penalization.
Also, penalization of Canadian assets and inclusion of Canadian citizens in the tax net is absolutely reprehensible. You Democrats are being milked for cash-cows and you still voted for Obama. I’m sorry, but you won’t get any sympathy here.
I found this interesting news release from the Fraser Insitute about the impacts of the US election on Canada. No where did it mention FATCA etc. on the web page that I could find. it might be useful to email the authors with comments and they might do a news release or more research and publich on the web page?
Also what is this Dodd Frank Act they mention in the article and how it is going to impact Cnadaian Banks?? .
I quote some excerpts but see the whole article here: http://www.fraserinstitute.org/research-news/news/display.aspx?id=19242
Appeared in the Vancouver Sun
Authors: Jason Clemens
Release Date: January 17, 2013
Obama government poses risks to Canada; U.S. president’s re-election paired with a divided Congress will threaten jobs, incomes and prosperity here
Many Canadians will be revelling in President Barack Obama’s inauguration next Monday. Polls showed that Canadians overwhelmingly supported President Obama’s re-election. However, despite such enthusiasm, Obama’s re-election coupled with a divided Congress poses real risks to Canada’s prosperity.
To understand why, consider a recently released collection of essays by Canadian and American scholars. In The U.S. Election 2012: Implications for Canada, the dominant theme was economic “uncertainty” and its effects. Whether it’s taxes, deficit reduction, interest rates, inflation, energy, or trade, American policy uncertainty was shown to be adversely affecting the U.S. economy as entrepreneurs, businesses, and investors delay making decisions. But it’s not just a U.S. problem; such uncertainty south of the border will also threaten jobs, income, and general prosperity here……….(next exerpt) –
Contributors on the state of Canada-U.S. relations identified Canada’s low ranking on the priorities list of the Obama Administration as a major problem. Both the Keystone XL pipeline and the Beyond the Border Action Plan (joint initiative to improve the movement of cargo and people between borders) need strong White House backing to withstand Congressional, lobbyist and bureaucratic resistance.
Energy expert Christopher Horner identifies yet another threat to Canadian prosperity, namely the threat that a number of U.S. regulations implemented or being drafted, which adversely affect the energy sector will be replicated in Canada. The risk for Canada is simply that we import bad regulations from the U.S. in our push to harmonize rules and regulations.
Then there are the new financial regulations in the U.S. based on the Dodd-Frank Act, which carry another set of risks for Canada. University of Edmonton professor Moin Yahya estimates that about half of the expected regulations have been written with the remainder coming over the next few years. While the impact of Dodd-Frank on the U.S. financial system is highly uncertain, the impact on Canada’s financial system is even more unclear. That is because specific provisions which deal with foreign banks do not yet have final rules confirmed. Moreover, other provisions will apply inadvertently to Canadian companies that happen to be doing business in the United States. According to Yahya, Dodd-Frank will likely reduce the efficiency and profitability of Canadian financial institutions just as it has with American banks.
Also very interesting news release about personal freedom from same group – may be arguments in the whole articles that may be of use.
Canada, Australia and Ireland tied for fourth in new comprehensive index of human freedom; New Zealand No. 1 and the U.S. and Denmark tied for seventh
Date Published: January 8, 2013
January 8, 2013
TORONTO, ON—Canada ranks fourth overall for its level of personal freedoms, tied with Ireland and Australia, while New Zealanders have the most freedom in the world, according to the most complete index of human freedom yet available, released today by the Fraser Institute, Canada’s leading public policy think-tank, and Germany’s Liberales Institut.
The index is contained in a new book, Towards a Worldwide Index of Human Freedom, which examines the characteristics of “freedom” and how it can best be measured and compared between different nations.
“Our intention is to measure the degree to which people are free to enjoy classic civil liberties—freedom of speech, religion, individual economic choice, and association and assembly—in each country surveyed. We also look at indicators of crime and violence, freedom of movement, legal discrimination against homosexuals, and women’s freedoms,” said Fred McMahon, Dr. Michael A. Walker Research Chair in Economic Freedom (Fraser Institute) and editor of Towards a Worldwide Index of Human Freedom.
“The classical ideas of freedom from the time of the Enlightenment included economic freedom as essential to other freedoms, yet all the indexes available up to now either measure civil and political freedoms, often confusing what freedom actually is, or economic freedom alone. This is the first index that brings together these classic ideas of freedom in an intellectually consistent index.”
The book is the first publication of the Human Freedom project sponsored by the Cato Institute (United States), as well as the Fraser Institute and the Liberales Institut.
New Zealand offers the highest level of human freedom worldwide, followed by the Netherlands then Hong Kong. Australia, Canada and Ireland tied for fourth spot, with the United States and Denmark tied for seventh, Japan and Estonia tied for ninth overall. The lowest-ranked countries are Zimbabwe, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Syria.
Towards a Worldwide Index of Human Freedom also highlights the evolution of economic, political, and social freedoms from the ancient world to the present day over the course of 10 chapters by 13 academics and economists from Canada (Fraser Institute, Canadian Constitution Foundation), the United States (Cato Institute, Emory University), Germany (Liberales Institut, Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main), and Russia (Institute of Economic Analysis). Chapters of note include:
“From Pericles to Measurement” by Fred McMahon (Fraser Institute)
This article traces the concept of freedom back to the classical world and examines more recent discussions of freedom from the Enlightenment through to modern analytical scholarship. McMahon concludes that modern indexes are incomplete and often inconsistent. He argues for a complete measure of freedom that is consistent with the most common sense idea of freedom—Isaiah Berlin’s concept of “negative” freedom, meaning the absence of restraints on individual actions.
“An Index of Freedom in the World” by Ian Vásquez (Cato Institute) and Tanja Štumberger (Atlas Economic Research Foundation)
The authors develop the initial draft of an objective measurement of overall human freedom, for the first time combining economic freedom with other forms of freedom. Such a measure will enable researchers to answer important questions on the impact (good and bad) of negative freedom and what supports freedom or undermines it.
“From Fighting the Drug War to Protecting the Right to Use Drugs” by Doug Bandow (Cato Institute)
Bandow argues that to “have meaning, liberty must protect the freedom to act in ways which may offend individuals and even majorities. So it is with ‘drugs’ currently banned by the U.S. and other governments.” This should apply whether or not legalization produces bad results, but the author argues that a well-structured legalization will reduce harms, not increase them. More importantly, the author suggests the War on Drugs has sideswiped and reduced a range of other freedoms. For these and other reasons, the paper argues that drug use should be treated as “a protected liberty.”
“A Compact Statement of a Cost-based Theory of Rights and Freedoms” by Michael A. Walker (Fraser Institute)
The author draws a distinction between two types of freedoms: those that are costless or low cost for a society to provide and those which require the expenditure of resources to provide. The first set simply requires government to refrain from acting. Costly rights include security of property and persons and some aspects of freedom of speech, the latter because government needs to actively protect those who say unpopular things.
“The idea of freedom is one of the most contested in political and philosophical discourse and one of the most vital,” McMahon said.
“Our book lays the foundation for a rigorous analytical framework and measurement to improve the objective measurement of human freedom worldwide.”
*Denying an individual financial services based on their national origin is a federal crime in the United States.
Today, it was stated that the Americas team on FATCA is ready to “embrace” these federal crimes against the American people:
America is now officially a criminal entity which hates Americans and loves it when they are denied financial services in violation of US federal laws.
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International Man (blog): “We’re All Criminals Now”
From the article:
“One disturbing aspect of the political risk in the US is the trend of overcriminalization.”
“When you consider the totality of all the laws, regulations, codes, and rules that Americans are subject to (which are often broad and vague), it is practically impossible for anyone to be fully compliant.”
“In other words, we are all criminals now.”
“According to a civil liberties lawyer and author, the average American unknowingly commits three felonies a day. Overzealous prosecutors can pin arguable federal crimes with draconian penalties on any one of us through some sort of technicality, for even the most seemingly harmless behavior.”
“This means Americans essentially live under the discretion and whims of prosecutors and the government, who can pick and choose whose lives they would like to destroy.”
from the Swedish tax treaty, likely to be the same as all others
ARTICLE 24 Non-Discrimination
1. A citizen of a Contracting State or a legal person, partnership or association deriving its status as such from the laws in force in a Contracting State shall not be subjected in the other Contracting State to any taxation or any requirement connected therewith which is other or more burdensome than the taxation and connected requirements to which a citizen of that other State or a legal person, partnership or association deriving its status as such from the laws in force in that other State in the same circumstances is or may be subjected.