Cross-posted from The Flophouse. Also, just for fun (and because my mom bugs me about keeping the bloghouse tidy) I updated the page of Flophouse posts, articles, interview and links on the page called The American Diaspora Tax War of 2012-2014: The fight against FATCA and citizenship-based taxation. Anything up there, folks, is all yours if you want to quote or repost.
I think it is fair to say that the face of American emigration/expatriation today is Eduardo Saverin. That is the name that consistently comes up when I talk with homelanders about Americans abroad and our relationship to the U.S. tax system. This is the face, the poster child if you will, that supports the narrative that Americans abroad have all fled the US to escape taxes. That’s right, folks, American emigration is all about criminal behaviour unless we can prove otherwise to the satisfaction of our compatriots.
How powerful is this narrative in the homeland? Powerful enough that two senators tried to get a law passed based on that one highly publicized case. The bill, called the ex-Patriot act, was introduced in reaction to Saverin’s renunciation and had a very clear objective: it was mean to punish past, present, and future expatriation – to prevent (or at least strongly discourage) Americans from leaving the US for other lands and cutting their ties to the American political community.