This post is from the RenounceUSCitizenship blog.
Congressman Goes On Berating Rant At Ousted IRS Commissioner And Gets A Standing Ovation businessinsider.com/mike-kelly-ran… – Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.)
— U.S. Citizen Abroad (@USCitizenAbroad) May 19, 2013
All U.S. citizens everywhere should watch this video of Mike Kelly and Steve Miller. I predict that (as the Carpenters sang):
“We’ve only just begun!”
As we have painfully learned, “The IRS can do anything they want, to anyone they want, at anytime they want!”
Now, I wonder if the Pandora’s box he speaks of, will finally open to reveal FBAR penalty abuse in the OVDPs….
I have sent this to my MP, Michelle Rempel; to Kevin Shoom; to Finance Minister Flaherty; to Prime Minister Stephen Harper; to US Ambassador to Canada David Jacobson
The most relevant word in Kelly’s statement was “overreach”. That is FATCA and its illegal IGA spawn in a nutshell.
In this neo-Watergate climate, there won’t be a snowball’s chance in hell of Congress imposing any new “reciprocity” laws on domestic financial institutions. Even Democrats won’t risk going there now – Obama’s on his own. FATCA is already dead, and the sooner would-be signatories around the world realize it the better.
Time to call America’s pathetic bluff once and for all.
Maybe we should get in touch with Mike Kelly, and tell him about the OVDI overreach as well.
@Chris, @USCitizenAbroad, @All,
Unfortunately at https://kelly.house.gov/contact-me/email-me page, it says:
Step One – Zip Authentication
* marks required fields of data.
Your Zip Code
Since I have renounced my US citizenship, I guess my best effort is to my own country’s representatives, which I have done. (I was able to contact Dr. Rand Paul in a round-about way, and did get a reply from him (or his constituency office).
Chris and All, I don’t think it’s a bad idea at all to begin a campaign to alert congress people who seem open to the fact that Obama has been using the IRS to harass people overseas as well. Do they know of the report about the bait and switch of OVDI or how the IRS basically isn’t even allowed to help citizens overseas navigate the system?
It might not be as exciting as the targeting of political groups seeking special tax status but it’s still a misuse of power.
It’s interesting to watch this heat up down there but I still have serious doubts that it will stick to the WH. People in general believe the narrative that the IRS only targets bad lawbreakers or people who are trying to game the system. Good people aren’t IRS victims. Give that most people don’t pay federal taxes and only get refunds, their view is a bit suspect anyway.
And the country is totally split on Obama. If you hated him before this confirms it. If you have been a shipper, you still think that he is being attacked by rednecks, racists and the rich.
Someone at Zerohedge put it this way, “Obama could walk out onto the White House lawn and gutshoot a 10 year old girl and still be adored” and another said “Impeach the first minority president? Yeah, that will go well.”
I wish this would go somewhere and result in a serious rethink of the power vested in the IRS and the way POTUS’s abuse it for political gain, but nothing works that way in the US anymore. Hearings are about grandstanding and scoring points with your base. They are seldom about truth and justice.
Don’t get your hopes up. This is all just theatrics. The republicans can’t stand the idea that a black liberal won the election. They are willing to do anything ( pro guns, Benghazi, IRS) to discredit him and bring the government to a halt.
The IRS is a dysfunctional monster but the do nothing congress will ,in the end, not even try to change it. Sauve qui peut.
“They are willing to do anything ( pro guns, Benghazi, IRS) to discredit him and bring the government to a halt.”
Sad that “pro guns, Benghazi, IRS” (that’s IRS only in the limited context of the Tea Party tempest) would be their targets when the real criminality of this particular White House puppet president lies in drone attacks (Pakistan and elsewhere), NDAA, Guantanamo, police state actions ( just one example, Boston), further shredding of the US constitution, push to a total surveillance state, continued and expanding war theatres (overtly as in Libya and covertly as in Syria), continued obeisance to Israel’s foreign policy agenda, banksterism with the government’s blessing and bailouts, and last but not least, FATCA. That’s an incomplete list and in no particular order but the Republicans are using a highly focused laser instead of the very broad spotlight that should be used to attack Obama and his minions but they highlight much too little because this is all yet another political performance designed to distract Americans from all the things which are really ailing their country and diminishing what remains of their moral authority. I shouldn’t even be commenting on this because I am Canadian and I do know that although Canada is a very minor pot, it is in many ways every bit as black as the giant US kettle.
Today I saw on television an excerpt from Michelle Obama giving a graduation speech at some college. She said something to the effect that:
“Then there’s this guy Barack Obama. He lost his first campaign for Congress, but today he gets to call himself “My Husband”.
Okay, I think it’s important to remember that this is first and foremost about IRS abuse in general and about “Michelle’s Husband” as a secondary issue. It is not necessary for this to be associated with Michelle’s current place of residence for it it be an important issue.
The issue is that the IRS has really become a 4th branch of government that has gone rogue. It is “may” be available at a price to abuse one’s political ememies – but by and large it is an “equal opportunity” abuser. I doubt that OVDP penalty abuse was tied to any political party. To quote from a a judge – The IRS is basically “on a frolic of its own”.
It’s as though in America today you have 4 branches of government:
The Executive Branch, Congress, The Supreme Court and now the IRS. Whereas the first three were designed to provide a system of checks and balances on the other – the IRS has been allowed (under the guise of impartiality) to abuse everybody.
This means that the issue of tax reform must include the issue of IRS reform. In the same way that the East Germans had to get rid of the Stasi the U.S. must get rid of the IRS. That is the issue and that is how it must be defined. The more that this turns into “What did Michelle’s Husband know”, the more the real issue is obscured.
Now, OVDP in general and OVDP penalty abuse in particular is a well documented real example that can be used to help Congress frame these issues. Somebody needs to simply pick up the phone and call Mike Kelly and others. It’s very clear that Kelly is concerned with the problem of the IRS in general. Frankly, I think the whole committee is concerned about the problem of the IRS in general. It is simply not a partisan issue. Which is why even if it’s true that – to use the words of @KalC – that “there are Republicans who can’t stand that a black Liberal won the election” – this has nothing to do with how the Republicans see the issue.
OVDP is something that will give Congress traction. There are plenty of reports at:
Time to raise the issue of Patricia d’Addario and others?
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
@calgary411, just modify your own zip code in such away that it matches some US zip code. Or, use the politicians zip code from their contact page, or use a Washington DC zip code.
I did that for contacting Rand Paul. I could try that for contacting Mr. Kelly. Did you / are you? Has to match zip code in congressional district, down to the correct +4 of the zip code, which I’ve finally gotten past.
Blaze over at Maple Sandbox I believe might be from the part of Pennsylvania Kelly represents(and still has relatives there). Of course Blaze as some might know strongly considers herself to have not been a US citizen since the 1970s.
Round about, I submitted this:
I used White Pages to find: Michael J Kelly, Butler, PA 16001-1415, so figured that was the correct “in” to contact Congressman Kelly. Whether or not he will read or I will get a response is to be seen. I tried.
It’s not that the “IRS has gone on a frolic of its own” it’s who unleashed the IRS to be able to do this in the first place. Who signed the HIRE act? Obama. It’s who UNLEASHED the hounds that’s the one to blame. And sadly American homelanders will not see that…EVER.
I wrote Congressman Mike Kelly – “Dear Mr. Kelly – I am writing to you as a US Citizen living abroad to thank you for pointing out the over reaching and excess of the IRS and the need for tax reform. As best pointed out by Senator Rand Paul recently, the IRS/Treasury has exceeded its authority in implementing one of the worst thought out laws ever passed by Congress and signed by Mr. Obama. American Citizens Abroad (www.americansabroad.org) has pointed out the horrible damaging effects of FATCA and how US citizens trying to live normal lives abroad are unable to obtain financial services due to positive discrimination against US citizens and closing of their bank accounts. Please point out in Congress the over reaching of the IRS against US citizens abroad, and support the repeal of those relevant portions of FATCA as proposed by Senator Rand Paul. Thank you”
Just wait until the IRS gets drones. Its only a matter of time.
Has this really just begun (the investigation), or are they just blowing smoke up our asses? And it’s not like the IRS has never been used as a political weapon before, to harass those that the government may consider as a ‘threat’.
I’m just too cynical at this point in the game to even bother with writing a letter to my congressman, and I’m damned if I’m ever going to stick my neck out for these kind of people by writing a letter.
If anything, these kind of shenanigans just make me want to run faster towards the exit.
Twitterites- how about a tweet blast to the members of the Oversight Committee who Shulman will face on Wednesday? (And maybe a few others as well….)
@RepMaloney (Carolyn, as in friend of expats)
Funny tweet from day before yesterday:
#IRS now considering #Drone strikes on itself
Retweeted by Noble Dreamer
Congress keeps up pressure on IRS
WSJ: Strassel: The IRS Scandal Started at the Top
FATCA was a gift given to the IRS by Congress.
Where is the smoking gun concerning FATCA, that the IRS under its own volition has targeted USP’s abroad?
After reading this post by US Citizen Abroad http://renounceuscitizenship.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/irs-abuses-power-by-targeting-conservative-groups/ , and the WSJ article above http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324767004578487332636180800.html?mod=WSJ_comments_mostrecommended&mg=cmy-wsj&url=http://online.wsj.com/community/integration/leaderboard.html?mod=WSJ_comments_mostrecommended#articleTabs=comments&commentId=5832620 ;
I think that there are definitely parallels in terms of the suggestion that the President himself signals via public statements and behaviour how he would like the IRS to behave, and who should be particular targets.
The WSJ author says “…….President Obama and Co. are in full deniability mode, noting that the IRS is an “independent” agency and that they knew nothing about its abuse. The media and Congress are sleuthing for some hint that Mr. Obama picked up the phone and sicced the tax dogs on his enemies.
But that’s not how things work in post-Watergate Washington. Mr. Obama didn’t need to pick up the phone. All he needed to do was exactly what he did do, in full view, for three years: Publicly suggest that conservative political groups were engaged in nefarious deeds; publicly call out by name political opponents whom he’d like to see harassed; and publicly have his party pressure the IRS to take action.
Just substitute ‘Americans living abroad’ where the article says ‘conservative political groups’. In 2008, the Obama campaign site specially highlighted and underscored ‘Americans abroad’ as a group of special concern – and Obama promised to pro-actively learn more about our issues – but then in the next election, dropped us entirely from the campaign website. This is what Obama and the Democrats promised in 2008 http://obama.3cdn.net/610c7f29ee85b124a3_3cm6bxltu.pdf
That signals what his first strategic position and the Democratic party position on Americans abroad was. The 2008 Democratic campaign platform said; “…Obama understands the special concerns and issues of Americans living abroad and will seek to address these as president. …” and, “….As president, Obama will work to establish a direct dialogue
with Americans abroad…………..”Americans living abroad have little access to basic information about U.S. government services and affairs. Barack Obama believes that U.S. embassies and
consulates, which are the main U.S. government contact points for Americans abroad, should develop and implement concrete plans on how to communicate basic information to Americans living abroad.
Additionally, Obama supports efforts to ensure that U.S. State Department staff members have proper training to assist Americans abroad in determining their various rights and responsibilities as American citizens. He welcomes a continued dialogue between the White House, the State Department, and citizens
abroad in an Obama administration….”
Initially he wooed us and acknowledged that we had significant issues that needed to be addressed. After winning the first time, he dropped us, and never addressed those abroad as a constituency again.
The Carolyn Maloney bill for a Presidential commission http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr597/text to look into our issues http://americansabroad.org/issues/representation/supporting-hr597/ has hardly any support. If Obama and the Democrats were sincere, and telling the truth in the 2008 campaign promises, the bill should have had their full public support. But that is not what happened. The bill languishes. Obama never addresses Americans abroad or our concerns. Neither does the party. The IRS continues to have cancelled any in-person information sessions at US consulates and the embassy in Canada and other countries – due to budget cuts. The US Ambassador to Canada knows this – it is on the Ottawa embassy site. If Jacobson knows it, then Obama knows it. And the IRS persecution of those abroad continues in the draconian ‘one size fits all’ OVD programs, the opaque Streamlined process, and the continued oppressive insistence that we must prove 5 years US tax and reporting compliance in order to renounce US citizenship – thus holding millions in unwilling thrall.
Obama and the Democrats were no doubt very aware that they couldn’t publicly signal that we had important unheard issues ‘abroad’, and then at the same time credibly target us as responsible for the so-called ‘international tax gap’ and lumping us all in with ‘tax evaders’ ‘hiding’ money outside the US – where we have been born and/or live permanently. Obama acknowledged in the 2008 platform that we face barriers getting information and services from the US. But yet the IRS continues to act as if we are US residents, and cuts in-person information services at consulates and embassies worldwide- except at 4 locations – none of which are in N.America where the majority of us live (Canada and Mexico). The IRS continues to offer services to US residents that are not offered ‘abroad’. And brands all of our savings and banking as ‘foreign’ and suspect, and penalizes us accordingly.
Ambassador Jacobson has the direct ear of Obama. He knows of the depth of unrest among duals and expats living in Canada. Thus Obama knows too. Obama chose not to address or acknowledge the problem, but just kept on down the FATCA track – never ever admitting that those born and or living ‘abroad’ have legal and practical reasons to bank where they live – outside the US. Never acknowledging the collateral damage of FBARs and FATCA, the double taxation, the abuse of our legal registered savings, the incredible ‘compliance’ costs we face trying to get specialized US tax and legal help, the civil rights issues for those with intellectual disabilities who are prevented from renouncing, etc.. Obama and the Democrats CHOSE NOT to help us, and not to acknowledge us – and CHOSE to drop us from their second campaign platform and site. They chose never to distinguish between us and US resident homelanders with Cayman accounts. Obama knew from his first campaign that substantial numbers of US citizens live and bank legally ‘abroad’ – and he and his campaign advisors chose to woo us back in 2008 , and drop us later, in 2012 – after FATCA passed in 2010.
Obama reversed course when it was expedient for promoting FATCA. Then, we are never mentioned again – except by implication as owners of non-US ‘offshore’ accounts. Which means that my paltry legal local post-tax bank accounts held within walking distance of my home in Canada, and registered with my SIN tax # for automatic reporting to the Canada Revenue Agency is lumped in with the Cayman accounts of US resident Homelanders.
What message does Obama’s silence on our issues send to the IRS in terms of tacit Presidential consent to harass us abroad? It says that we are fair game. It says that those born and or living abroad are not a ‘group of concern’. It says that it is okay to lump our local Canadian chequing accounts in with US resident homelanders with truly hidden Cayman accounts in terms of culpability and punishment.
I’m sure that a US official somewhere has created or knows of documents that would establish that Obama knows of our plight, but chooses to ignore us.
I’m certain that bulletins have been sent to and from the State Department describing the heightened demand for US expatriation at US consulates and embassies worldwide.
I’m certain that Obama knows exactly what has been happening. But refuses to acknowledge us.
Too bad there won’t be a commission to investigate our issues.
Ron Paul weighs in:
“The very purpose of the IRS is to transfer wealth from one group to another while violating our liberties in the process, thus the only way Congress can protect our freedoms is to repeal the income tax and shutter the doors of the IRS once and for all.”
Now that’s music to just about anyone’s ears.