Posted on January 22, 2014 by Tim Posted in Issues regarding US persons abroad 46 Comments http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2014/01/22/3191631/fatca-tax-evasion-repeal-rnc/ Lets pound this bastard into sand. Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailLike this:Like Loading...
@Michael, a commenter went onto my Facebook timeline and told me to fuck myself. That was really nice. Later he took down the profanity, but it was curious how quickly something could go from debate to verbal abuse. Others were saying that Brockers were conservative trolls. They just don’t get it.
Man, what an upside-down world we’re living in. I used to think I was parked somewhere on the political spectrum a bit left of centre – in Canadian terms, somewhere between the Liberals and the NDP.
In American terms, however, you could take every political party in Canada and they would all be simply sucked into the giant black hole that now yawns between the Democrats and Republicans. A foul place from which not even the light of day and reason can escape.
Now I wouldn’t even know what to consider myself – and I don’t think I even give a rats’ ass about it anymore. What this journey over the last two years has made me realize is that party politics, especially in America, is simply a sideshow distraction designed to keep the populace focussed on the puppets instead of the puppeteers. And how the crowds willingly oblige, whether they prefer Punch as a Liberal or Judy as a Conservative or vice-versa. Both extremes are blinded by hate and ignorance and incapable of recognizing neither a common friend nor foe. It’s terrible.
Some weeks, however, one side or the other makes a wild dash towards the fence and astonishes us with their breathtaking stupidity. This week it’s definitely the Progressive’s turn. In the run-up to the RNC’s announcement tomorrow about FATCA, we have been witnessing the most shameless display of ignorance, smug superiority and just downright insensitivity from what can conveniently be defined as “the Left”. While I am not, and never will be, a fan of the Republicans, I do hope that their latest effort – however cynical, calculated or political it might be – will actually help to kick-start some real awareness, discussion and education about FATCA that extends across the entire political spectrum. Jeebus knows we need it.
In the meantime though, in these very early days of more mainstream FATCA coverage, we are treated to multiple spectacles of supposedly hip, well-educated, socially-aware liberals turning this impending resolution by the RNC into just another knee-jerk excuse to bash Republicans, rich tax cheats, 1%ers, white balding guys with perspiration and whoever else they happen to detest this week. Lost in the holier-than-thou pontificating is anything even remotely resembling coherent thought, basic research, logic, compassion or any of the things they were supposedly taught in their apparently ineffective university classes. And, yes, these words are coming from ME – someone who has always self-defined as a small-l liberal! Like I said, down is up and up is down – it’s simply insane what’s going on.
We saw a superb example this week with Mr. Pyke’s masterful screed which, despite the organ in which it was published, indicated neither Thought nor Progress. Same for the comments, which took the whole exchange to an even lower nadir than I thought possible. Until now.
Check out this enlightening little conversation between trendy, self-actualized chai-latté drinkers. I dare you:
Here’s a sample:
Great comment. Can’t really add to it at all other than to say that my recent efforts to respond to some of the more rabid of the polarized has left me in tatters. You can almost taste the fear and hatred if they suspect you being of the other side. America will return to vilifying the offshore tax evader – I’ve heard Mitt’s name resurrected more than a couple of times over the last couple of days. I wonder if the Republican Party has the stamina to take on the task of defending us, or will they cut us loose as a liability?
I share your feelings. The past 2 years I really see politicans as puppets, in the USA and Canada. It sickens me. I also found that there people who care and will not give ip the fight. We all get tired but we get up and go on, supporting each other.
Today we saw the ignorance of some of the commenters but we also the one of blogger owner respond to us and admitted we had valid points.
I have been told Alan Peake will be writing anothe article with a slant on our points.
A few weeks ago I met those Democrats on another Blog who believed we are all rich ungrateful tax evaders. They have tunnel vision.
They do not know FATCA like we know FATCA. We have to keep telling them what is wrong with it. And what is wrong with citizen based Taxation.
There is a light on FATCA that Republicans are shining . We have to make their message to people clear and not muddied by politics. I don’t count on them to really care about us. Repealing FATCA is their ONLY sane thing on their platform. I do not they really understand FATCA .
The little American grandmother darning her socks and eating ramen…. in Canada because OVDP took a huge chunk out of her pension and CBT takes a chunk of the rest.
More hate spewing at truth-out.org. and opportunity to comment.
“You need to know this. Republicans want to protect tax havens for billionaires. They don’t want the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act to go into effect later this year. The FATCA is an agreement with banking officials in Switzerland, the U.S., and the Cayman Islands aimed at fighting international tax evasion.”
Conveniently doesn’t mention how FATCA’s also aimed at Canada and other notorious tax havens.
As I just posted on another thread (since there’s a bit of thematic overlap right now):
Not surprisingly, the same [Reuters] article is generating a similar mindless herd mentality over at Huffington Post. It’s so wearying – we were actually beginning to make some traction over there for a while but now that’s evaporated. Any “help” that we thought might come from the Republicans seems to be negated by the simple fact that they are, well, Republicans. In today’s polarized America, that is all it takes for half the population to immediately switch off their brains and refuse all input, no matter how valid the argument. All they ever do now is willingly ignore the message and wait with glee to kill the messenger if it happens to be wearing the wrong colours. I truly believe that the U.S. is doomed, for it has lost all ability to engage in constructive dialogue and debate, both within and outside its self-imposed prison walls.
Deckard – indeed. Also, I’m amazed at the credulousness of it all. The party line is that it’s for catching gazillionnaire tax cheats, so that is all it could possibly do. Without any unintended consequences at all. Compare and contrast with the progressive response to e.g. the patriot act.
@Petros Wow, yes, real nice. Temper tantrums and ideological brawling are what I don’t miss about the States, and the R/D obsession. I actually try to avoid talking domestic US politics as a whole, because of this, with American relatives and acquaintances still caught up in it.
We have wing nuts and partisan divide here obviously (and also, well, Rob Ford); but as ever America does prove itself exceptional in this regard. As others on this thread have pointed out, it’s making any level headed debate or any rational solutions to national problems impossible. The country veers towards being Ungovernable.
Yeah, I jumped into the fray as well and had a very unproductive exchange with one fellow (thank you Peter and Suzanne for the support which enabled me to keep my temper and avoid the confessional this week).
Homeland politics has become so angry and so bitter and frakly pretty provincial – everything is viewed through the lens of what’s going on in the US and the two-fossil system. Every homeland American a “nombriliste” (ego-centered narcissist). This is not about Democrats and Republicans – it’s about homelanders versus US Persons abroad. And that seems to be so far out of their experience they just can’t deal. They really freaked out and it’s kind of fun to watch. Geez, they really think we are dangerous radicals. Kind of a compliment when you think about it. My hippy mother would be proud. 🙂
@Deckard, your comment above is really extraordinary. Very eloquent. I’d like to do today’s post on the article and this thread. May I have your permission to quote your thoughts in full on the Flophouse?
I would be honoured to be quoted on the Flophouse. And thank you for deciding to expand on a topic that has certainly defined this week’s media carnival. We see over and over again how America’s extreme polarization has stifled any meaningful debate or reform on a wide range of pressing issues. Now FATCA repeal is in danger of becoming trapped inside the same diabolical matter/anti-matter machine. The only question left now is, will it blend?
@Yogagirl, even I draw the line at the Big Orange Cheeto!! I will NOT visit Daily Kos’s veal pen even once ever again for any reason. Markos runs that place like a dictatorship. Former Republican, now supposed dem, supposed pundit..whatever. That place is as fake as fake can be. Just say no to the Orange Cheeto!
atticusincanada, totally agree about Kos. It’s a partisan blackhole that is every bit as vile as anything on the right.
Here’s the irony for me on Republicans – you can actually have a measured, mutually respectful debate with them. I have a FB friend who is a regular commentator on Fox shows and she and I have very lovely exchanges (though we seldom agree). I have yet to get her to take on FATCA, but I keep trying.
You’re welcome, and thank you for making me laugh – from your remark about the confessional (as raised a Catholic I can relate) to terming the current leadership as a “two-fossil system”, lol!
I keep having this nagging thought that the US will eventually go Libertarian as a way of overcoming this extreme bi-partisanship. Some of the electorate wanted to hear more from Ron Paul during the last presidential election, but were denied. I have some staunch Democrat friends who were confused about Paul’s message and didn’t believe me when I told them that he affiliated himself with the Republicans.
The Republican Party is currently sort of a catch-all for anything that’s not “liberal” and needs to redefine itself with a cohesive message.
@Petros and all
12 days ago I went on what I now know as Demons Underground, which I was a member since 2009. I started an op about FATCA that had 2759 views, 8 approvals…and a 143 comments. I was kicked off half way because I said “This is the kind of response I would expect from a Republican tea bagger
Are you republican. I find there is no intelligence in this response. ” .I responded with this to the remark that put on the op “You can’t file electronically but you can prepare the forms.
The you have to walk your ass to the mail box. and put on this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMaSh20qBbg
.I had a couple supporters but most really,, really hate us as very rich tax evaders. their response is file on turbo tax or renounce. That we should pay for Uncle Sam to save us in disaster time and for protecting us with their military. I would give you the link but don’t know if that is a good idea. I am so turned off to all the American political parties now. We must keep from being like them.
Yes, the ‘perks’ (perquisites) of having ‘protection’ by the US military and also consular services just made me laugh. These folks are in for a surprise if they are ever abroad for any length of time. If anything the activities of the military in the world put you in MORE danger as a US civilian exposed to massive foreign resentment, although I don’t want to exaggerate the danger of course. But I mean really, people are getting that idea from Hollywood movies.
As for consular services, if you get arrested I suppose one of them will eventually condescend to come visit you and pass messages along to your family, maybe make sure you aren’t being tortured to death. But as for getting you out of jail, forget it. Maybe later they can get you a prison transfer to the US. In my case I’d much rather prefer a transfer to a Canadian jail if I had the choice, so even here I would not have used USC services they demand I pay extraterritorial tax for.
I agree with you. I read these remarks about “saving me” and I wonder what do they think I live on some 3rd world island. But then again I have Canadian friends who do the American military will save us from military attacks.
I am waiting for my CLN….It will be the next happiest day from getting married, coming to Canada and having my 2 kids. Number 5 happiest day.
I usually respond with “the US government if the biggest threat to Americans living abroad”, which usually makes them go nuts.
LO. I admirer your quick retorts…that stir the haters up.
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