Most Homelanders think Americans abroad renounce citizenship because they “hate America” and “don’t want to pay their fair share for being a citizen of such a great country”. But really, if your only motivation is hatred, you might well come to regret your decision to renounce. In reality, as pointed out in a heartfelt piece by Dr. Leigh-Davis, now a proud citizen of the United Kingdom, people are happiest when they renounce for love, whether love of a person or love of the country which took them in and gave them a wonderful life:
Sure, one could argue, if you are making over $155,000 in another country, one will have to pay the U.S. taxes on this excess. But certainly, if you are making a lot of money, isn’t it worth spending a little of it on the pleasure of having a U.S. Passport to go back and forth as one desires, and benefit from all the great attributes of the United States? Moreover, the process of renouncing one’s citizenship and getting one’s U.S. affairs in order is an arduous and confusing one, which will most likely require the “expensive” assistance of financial professionals and attorneys. Additionally, if you are truly making so much money, the exit tax alone could offset any financial benefit.
Many people thought I was crazy, when I left the U.S. for love, and then thought I was pathetic when it turned out to be an unrequited love, and today I may never find the love of another. However, when weighing the financial benefits against the financial disadvantages, I would reiterate my argument: that love is always the motivating factor. Whether it be love of a new country; love of a new culture; love of new people; or love of a career; few people would undertake the complicated and difficult task of renouncing their citizenship, if there was not some love in there somewhere.
This is what the people in the country we left behind find hardest to stand: that among nearly two hundred other countries & territories on earth, the U.S. is not only one that is worthy of love. There are many places that can give us a good life, there are many that take in foreigners to whom they have no obligation and treat them as neighbours, and there are many in which we emigrants can become proud citizens.