Joining Dennis Ross (R-FL) and his recycled plan to raise taxes and pile paperwork on U.S. Persons abroad to pay for tax cuts for Homeland corporations, the Congressional Progressive Caucus has reintroduced their own plan from last year to raise taxes and pile paperwork on U.S. Persons abroad to pay for services for Homelanders that we can’t use. The Government Printing Office doesn’t have the full text of their bill yet (they didn’t even manage to get today’s edition of the Federal Register up on time), but the Washington Post has a copy of their press release.
Apparently, harassing and vilifying emigrants while posturing that you’re standing up to Big Oil is what passes for “progressivism” in the United States these days.
It used to be that at least a few years passed after each attempt to kill the FEIE before the latest Congressional staffer cluelessly thumbed through the Joint Committee on Taxation’s list of so-called tax expenditures and decided that axing this foreign whatchamacallit for those mink-swathed un-Americans living the high life in Paris would be a great way to raise revenue: don’t tax you, don’t tax me, tax those traitors across the sea! But now we’ve seen two such proposals in less than a month, one each from the donkey and elephant side of the aisle, and something like half a dozen in the space of a year and a half.
“We have two parties here, and only two. One is the evil party, and the other is the stupid party. I’m very proud to be a member of the stupid party. Occasionally, the two parties get together to do something that’s both evil and stupid. That’s called bipartisanship.” — allegedly a joke told to a group of Communist dignitaries visiting the United States.
As Phil Hodgen would say, consider this a gentle tap with the clue stick. Carl Levin (D-MI) managed to get FATCA passed without any bipartisan support by sneaking it into the revenue offsets section of a bill at the eleventh hour. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) got his beloved FEIE stacking the same way. So imagine what will happen to a so-called “tax expenditure” which both Republicans and Democrats want to gun down?
Here’s how the CPC insultingly describes their plan this time around — as “closing a loophole”. They think that Americans who physically move to another country for reasons of study, love, or career — the exact analogues of the immigrants to the U.S. whose interests the CPC so loudly claims to represent — are contemptible tax dodgers exactly like corporations which transfer intellectual property to tax haven shell companies and pretend that a very tiny man in a Bermuda mailbox makes all their worldwide profits.
Apparently the Congressional Progressive Caucus is so filled with ethnocentric nationalism that they think their country is 100% right in all matters, and so they can’t possibly imagine any reason that anyone would emigrate besides taxes. Or to put it another way, the CPC is giving a ringing endorsement to the U.S.’ current social, military, and economic policies.
Close Exclusion of Foreign-Earned Income Loophole ($71 billion) – Sec. 231
Closes an exclusion enabling U.S. citizens working abroad to avoid paying any federal U.S. taxes on incomes below $95,100 for individuals and $190,200 for couples. This allows citizens to shelter income and violates the principle that U.S. citizens with similar income should incur similar tax liabilities. This measure closes the exclusion, but retains the tax deductions and credits for taxes paid to a foreign government and housing benefits for U.S. citizens working abroad. (bill text from Rep. Tierney)
So they claim this will save $71 billion over ten years, or nearly 10% of the revenue their bill raises. In otherwords, they’re going by last year’s Joint Committee on Taxation estimate of the “cost” of the FEIE. Note also the interesting name there at the end: John Tierney. Yes, he’s at it again. Apparently he sees the FEIE as a subsidy to oil companies, so he doesn’t care at all about any of the collateral damage that will occur by ending it.
But what’s even more disturbing is that the Congressional Progessive Caucus is going along with Tierney’s pet project by claiming that it promotes “horizontal equity” — with equal disregard for the dignity of those of us who have chosen to exercise our human right “to leave any country, including one’s own” and to work towards becoming members of society in the places where we actually live and already pay taxes.
A betrayal of the Congressional Progressive Caucus’ alleged goals
The CPC claims to want to “protect the personal privacy of all Americans from unbridled police powers and unchecked government intrusion” — except for us traitors who dare to live outside The Homeland, who unlike any other Americans are obligated every year to prove our innocence by giving an inventory of all the assets we and our non-American families own, and have our personal information sent to insecure government and private databases all over the globe.
They purport to be seeking to “re-build U.S. alliances around the world” and “restore international respect for American power and influence” — so they plan a direct attack on the people who are actually on the ground rebuilding those alliances.
And on top of it all, they dare to pretend that their goal is to “eliminate all forms of discrimination based upon color, race, religion, gender, creed, disability, or sexual orientation” — so they propose levying higher taxes and discriminatory compliance burdens on immigrants and the children of immigrants who moved to their ancestral countries to escape racism and pursue the social mobility that the U.S. denied them, Muslims who are banned from returning because of the no-fly list, mothers who are blocked by IRS rules on “foreign trusts” from using the social support system of their countries of residence to care for their disabled children, and gays and lesbians who emigrated to Europe or Latin America because the U.S. immigration system refused to let them sponsor their partners for visas.