Democrats Abroad Canada held its annual general meeting on March 25th in Toronto and issued the minutes of the event a couple of days ago. Of special interest was this brief update:
Joe Green, who chairs the FBAR/FATCA (Foreign Bank Account Report/Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) task force reported that they are in ongoing discussions with members of Congress and federal agencies. They hope to have some progress to report in the next several months.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that “several months” means sometime after November 6, 2012.
Perhaps the Democrats and Republicans Abroad should get together unlike their representatives in Congress and push for repeal considering they’re both against FATCA.
The Democrats abroad must indeed be concerned about the way the Obama Administration is treating Americans Living Abroad (as well as dual citizens and greencarders). They can vote and they are millions. Obama (and the Republican candidate, I am sure) want these votes. I called the attention of the Democrats Abroad for this issue because I want Obama to get these votes. I hope that they will get this message to President Obama.
@Deckard1138 – after a discussion thread with @victoria earlier this year, I sent the nearest Democrats Abroad – Canada chapter an e-mail – asking what their position was on FBARs, OVDI and FATCA – prior to their recent March meeting – and they never replied – not even just a meaningless acknowledgement. I really want to know what the meeting was like and how the featured report about FATCA was received. I want to ask, so where is your positive spin on FATCA?
Feels like bad faith to me not to at least say – yes, we’ve got concerns too, and we’re working on it fellow taxable ‘persons’.
Just want to note again, that ‘Americans abroad’ was a featured group on the previous Obama campaign website, but disappeared sometime before, or shortly after the advent of the current one. I found the archived page from 2008, (which I noted in a previous thread at IBS). Bad facts. Bad faith.
I’m not of the opinion that the alternative will be any better, so I’m not just critizing the Democrats – I don’t trust the Republicans on this issue either. But at least, you closet Democrats out there – all those chapters in Canada, and elsewhere – don’t you think you need to acknowledge the problem – it’s only gotten worse with FATCA, and what with the passport issues and the add-ons that keep popping up… Obviously the domestic Democrats, and Obama made a choice to throw us under the bus – and if they don’t care about us in an election year – not for the votes per se, they’ve calculated that the optics looked better as pitched by Shulman. So that means to me, that this situation is on track from their point of view.
Ambassador Jacobson has been really really silent on the topic ever since he had to admit that there wasn’t any actual relief coming for our grandmas. Not even a sop since then.
Shame on you.
As Cafreeb said in her webbroadcast, we are not going to forget this – ever. And neither will our children and grandchildren.
This has not been my experience in the country I reside. Democrats Abroad in my country has welcome my posters about taxes on Americans Abroad. The same with Democrats Abroad. Of course we want President Obama to win. We want him to get the votes of Americans Abroad who have been confused and unfairly treated by his administration. Americans abroad are millions and they vote for President. Democrats in Canada ought to know this!
Americans Abroad should register to vote. We are millions!
We Americans Abroad should also write to the White House. President Obama likes to communicate with the people directly and I am sure he will listen to our concerns. Not hostile letters but letters telling him how we are confused and scared, calling his attention to how unfair we are being treated and mentioning the position taken by the IRS Tax Advisor.
Absentee votes only ever get counted when the vote is close in our individual home states. We are non-entities to the parties otherwise. And as the military is the biggest block, you can usually count on most of it going Republican, anyway.
And if the Democrats Abroad people are anything like the Republicans Abroad people I’ve met, then the activists are party apparatchiks who probably have a “future” in the party and don’t want to buck the prevailing winds. I wouldn’t hold my breath for activism from either.
And as good a game that Obama talks, don’t be fooled. He is a party machine politician, spawned of Chicago of the Daleys. (To provide equal time, all but one of the Republican candidates would probably call us traitors for not wanting to pay taxes twice.)
To Democrats we are tax dodgers who don’t want to pay our “fair” share, to Republicans we are tax dodgers who don’t want to do our patriotic duty.
I agree with your assessment. First, let me qualify that I have voted practically straight-ticket Dem since 1992. I have passionately believed that the GOP have become kooks and are simply raping and pillaging their own constituents in a platform that has eye-watering hypocrisy and anti-American sentiment.
That said, I will not vote in the coming election. It jeopardizes my family’s safety and, being from a non-swing state, it makes no difference. I will, however, contribute to Republican super-PACs in swing states and rally my friends in swing states to stick it to the Democrats this year.
I attended a Democrats Abroad meeting with Tim Kaine back in 2010, just before FATCA was signed. There were people in the crowd who wanted to talk with him about FATCA and the terrible and unfair burdens on American families abroad. He sounded sympathetic, but the dialogue was almost immediately called to a halt by the Dem Abroad officials (Caitlin Kraft). I later spoke to some of the lower ranking staff and they said that they were under direction to put any tax discussion to rest.
These organizations are simply campaign financing vehicles and are not good places for Americans Abroad to seek a voice. Americans Abroad should recognize that there is very little sympathy or awareness of our plight and we are prey to both parties. To be heard, we need to break servile party affiliations and speak loudly together. You may not like the candidate or the party, but we are up against the ropes and there is nobody out there for us, but ourselves. It is perfectly fair for us to vote our interests against the interests of those on-shore. They do it to us over and over.
The Democrats need to be punished by Americans Abroad. They (alone) tried to kill the FEIE. They implement every dishonest scheme of Levin’s fertile (if not febrile) mind, such as FATCA, the Passport block, and son of FATCA. It was Pelosi who promoted HEART under Bush.
We need to be smart to survive this onslaught. Look to AIPAC. These guys are not stupid. They do not pledge allegiance to either party. They reward and PUNISH (mostly punish) politicians who fall out of line.
So, sure, use your membership to complain to both of the parties, but hold their feet to the fire and be loyal to your kind above your party.
Potentially we represent million of votes in an election for President. In a sense I agree with you, we ought to beable to organize ourselves and have our voices heard. One thing that makes me curious and that surprises me is that when i try to discuss our plight as Americans Abroad it seems o me that the majority of Americans Abroad don´t even seem to know what I am talking about. Why is this? I fail to understand. Someone help me? I would expect by now to see a clear cut revolt and protest, with millions of letter written to the White House and the Tax Payer Advisor. Why this is not happening?
I have always been annoyed by organisations like Democrats Abroad who have chosen to live in Canada — for the most part — yet still act as if they are Americans. For 15 years they have tried to get me to vote at street fairs and I have always said why would I go out of my way to act as if I still maintain allegiance there and also make it easier for them to find me. As it turns out voting in a US election is one of those things that make it even more difficult to relinguish and/or renounce. I can say to my MP that once I became a Canadian, I had nothing to do with my former nationality. Besides, the idea that Americans voting from abroad will influence anybody or anything in the USA is not credible, it even justifies all of the FACTA and FBAR legislation in a weird way..
I sent an e-mail a day and sometimes 2 or 3 on this topic- with backup links to Forbes, the NYTs, etc. to the White House for about a month – mostly no replies at all, otherwise, one robo-reply. I tried different tones, and different angles – no luck. I admit that a real letter might be different, but the rhetoric on the WH site pretends that e-mails will receive attention too.
The local Dems Abroad here could have at least replied to my e-mail – saying yes, we know, we’re working on it. Instead, just silence. And they might well wonder then, why we don’t want to just blindly sign up for them – even if we might tend otherwise to agree with other parts of their platform.
And if they had a speaker present a FATCA report, why not share that more widely – and help other expats? Nothing of the kind is available on their sites as far as I can see.
@Joe Smith: FWIW voting doesn’t affect your right to renounce. You could vote and renounce the next day, no problem. I crossed the border on a US passport the week before I renounced.
However, voting most certainly destroys any chance of presenting a relinquishment case if it happens after your relinquishing date. Beware!
I’ve read different information about the consequences of voting, so we have decided that, unless you vote in a swing state, there is very little
value in voting from abroad.
People United opened a new door for Americans Abroad and it can be much more effective than voting. You can speak through donations. Sure, that always existed before, but now, we can be both loud and surgical in our expression.
It would be useful to compile a scorecard on Federal and State politicians like :
We could send alerts when politicians who are usury or adversarial toward us are up for re-election. (e.g. Levin, Grassley, Obama/Biden, etc.)
We could advertise Super-PACs that are built to run against these politicians.
NOTE: In the news never mentions FEIE, FATCA, etc.
Even the organizations that are supposed to keep Americans informed, ignore us…
How to join People United?
I think I mis-spoke. It is Citizen’s United, not People United. It is the Supreme Court decision that allows Super PACs to accept unlimited donations for political advertising, so long as the Candidate and the Super-PAC do not coordinate.
To have a powerful voice, you have to aim your Super PAC at the primaries. No candidate wants a primary challenge. Look at Grassley… his 2010 re-election was joke. The Democrat challenger was born to lose against Grassley. However, Grassley could have had some serious Tea Party heat if there was an organized opposition to him.
There are other, very powerful politicians who could not take a primary challenge and we could make our voice heard by dropping very intense and localized challenges on their heads. I would love for Honda or Tierney to wake up to such a calling card.
I guess I did not realize this. I forgot for a moment that the elections in the USA was by an Electoral College. So our votes will- perhaps – on count in swing states votes… It is not the way to go… Let´s find another way. Will look at Citizens United.
@mark Yes, unfortunately, in US politics, money talks. With most changes to policies and laws there is usually either a) an expansion of government powers or b) private individuals “sponsoring” the change via campaign donations.
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