Deckard1138 recently received a reply from Democrats Abroad which he wanted to share. His comments precede the letter. Perhaps we should give a letter/email blast another try?
I am thinking of adapting the letter to my Rep/Senators indicating that these harmful effects were damaging enough that I had to renounce my citizenship. Given the fact that this is due to the threat to my non-US family, perhaps it would be shocking enough to at least cause curiosity and hopefully, get past the “offshore tax cheat” label.
Well, here’s something new from Democrats Abroad. While I do not agree with their premise that “To date, many of the harmful effects of federal laws and policies on Americans abroad have been unintentional”, I am heartened to hear that they are at least attempting to reach out for support from both parties, trying to “…get another dozen sponsors this year, including a few Republicans.”
If a critical mass of House sponsorship can be gathered then there is a chance that Congress might begin to wake-up and respond to the monster they’ve created. It’s been a terribly long time since that Carter-era commission looked at Americans abroad, so I think every effort should be made to bring that attention into the present where it is needed more than ever.
There is legislation just filed in Congress that could be a game-changer for Americans living abroad.
That bill, House Resolution 597, the Commission on Americans Living Abroad Act, would require that the US Congress to systematically study the impact of government policies on the 6 million American citizens living abroad.
To date, many of the harmful effects of federal laws and policies on Americans abroad have been unintentional. With the passage HR 597 lawmakers would be much better informed about those unintended consequences. Congress would have a better idea of who we are, where we live, and the impact of Federal law on us on issues like taxation, immigration, voting rights, and access to financial institutions.
Our good friend in Congress, Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY and Chair of the Congressional Americans Abroad Caucus) said Americans living and working abroad “are our country’s informal ambassadors around the globe and help strengthen the U.S. economy and promote American influence. Their concerns about how their government interacts with them deserve to be heard — and paid attention to — here in Washington.”
Representative Maloney just introduced HR 597 with Reps. Honda (D-CA) and Napolitano (D-CA) as co-sponsors. The bill was first introduced in the last Congress, but it did not get on any Committee agenda for lack of multiple co-sponsors. A reasonable strategy for Democrats Abroad would be to get another dozen sponsors this year, including a few Republicans.
Congresswoman Maloney is now seeking co-sponsorship for the bill from other members of the House — on both sides of the aisle! We need your help. Contact your representatives to help in the cause. A letter from you now, asking your Representative to sponsor HR 597, will help move the bill through the legislative process.
A short letter will be enough to draw attention to this important bill. Here’s an example:
“Dear Mr./Mrs/Miss ___________: As one of your constituents, I ask that you co-sponsor bill HR 597, the Commission on Americans Living Abroad Act, to examine the range of issues faced by the 6 million Americans who live outside the United States. Such a Commission would be extremely helpful in recognizing our contribution to the American political process and the U.S. economy. I am a proud US citizen living in ________ (your country).” It’s always a good idea to add a personal appeal, if you have time.
If you do not know the name of your Representative or his or her address, please go to http://www.house.gov/ and submit your U.S. voting address. Address the letter to The Honorable ___________, United States House of Representation, Washington. DC 20515
Help us get HR 597 passed. It’s our time to show who we are as U.S. citizens abroad.
Don’t forget—-it isn’t ancient history. Right here in Europé, pretty much yesterday, it happened in Yugoslavia. And it has never ended for others
One of the things I find deeply disturbing about the internment of Japanese Americans is that, like much of the crimes against humanity by the USA in the past, most have never heard about it. No discussion, no apologies, nothing which might tarnish that false image of a free and democratic USA which the american government is so desperate to uphold.
Thank you for keeping me updated about your thoughts on the taxation of Americans living abroad. I appreciate hearing your support for H.R. 597, the “Commission on Americans Living Abroad Act.” I also appreciate hearing your continued support for repealing the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).
H.R. 597 establishes the Commission on Americans Living Abroad which shall conduct a study of how federal laws and policies affect U.S. citizens living abroad, including civilians and members of the Armed Forces. H.R. 597 is currently pending with the House Committees on House Oversight and Government Reform; House Financial Services; House Ways and Means; House Judiciary; House Administration; House Energy and Commerce; House Education and the Workforce. Please know that I will keep your support for H.R. 597, and repealing the FATCA, in mind should the Senate consider tax legislation that would impact Americans living abroad.
Thank you again for keeping me up to date on your thoughts about taxes. I value your input.
John Barrasso, M.D.
United States Senator
That is more of a response than I got…
Looking at Barrasso, it is important you got this response, as this is on his web site…
the website document says: …”In The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith laid out four principles tax systems should follow: equality; clear and plain rules; convenience; and efficiency. The U.S. worldwide tax system fails every one of these principles. It is not equal, since it disadvantages American companies compared to foreign companies, and it is not clear, plain, convenient, or efficient.”…
Too bad it doesn’t acknowledge or refer at all to individuals and citizens ‘abroad’.
I noted that the response wording is that he appreciated MY support. This means 2 things, not sure which is stronger. He did not say he supports those 2 issues, he said I supported them. However, saying that he appreciated them might imply that he likes to have backers to what he Believes in .
I have Always gotten the feeling that his writers were indeed connected to him.
It would also be hard to Believe that he doesn’t lunch with Enzi, as their offices are next door to each other. Enzi is a proponent for reform of Corporate tax code.
On a separate note, Corporations will Always do Everything they can for the profits to be zero in the highest tax country. That is, unless an IRS police state is created which is able to go into the Corporation and create the transfer pricing themselves. With 35% tax rates, Corporations are motivated not to have profits inside USA. Hence the motivation is to have no tax Revenue either.
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