I don’t have a lot of details yet but apparently Tom Coburn of Oklahoma(a Republican for those of you who care about that type of thing) is proposing an amendment to make the existing passport revocation provisions of S.3457 even more onerous. Link to the amendment text below:
There are two new cosponsors of S.3457, both Democrats:
Bob Casey is also a cosponsor of the Ex-Patriot Act.
Only the following eight senators voted against the motion to proceed with the bill, all Republicans:
Jim DeMint, Mike Lee and Rand Paul are three of the four senators who sent a letter to the IRS commissioner asking about FATCA.
Many senators, including the cosponsors and those who voted against the motion to proceed, are proposing numerous amendments to this bill, and most amendments have nothing to do with veterans or jobs. John McCain submitted a huge amendment of more than 100 pages. Is this how Congress works?
In detail: the relevant amendment number is SA. 2824. It does two things. Everything up to “Limitation for return to United States” is the same as the original bill. Afterwards, he adds a “hold harmless” provision to prevent anyone from suing the State Department over damages due to a denied passport, even if wrongfully denied. Then he also adds a section which requires State to deny issuance of a passport to anyone who does not have a Social Security Number.
Here’s the THOMAS page for tracking the amendment. It hasn’t been updated yet but it should be in the next day or two.
And for those of you who don’t remember, this is what Coburn wrote in his “Back in Black” plan:
There is no difference between these two disgusting parties. They are both State-worshipping fascists who see U.S. Persons abroad as traitors because we refuse to serve their economy. They want to see us forcibly repatriated so that they can make us contribute to the glorious cause of U.S. Competitiveness.
Revenue projection is here:
Basically for the passport thing they predict the same $743 million over 10 years they predicted last time, though the new projection gives details for more years
@Eric, This is Tom Coburn’s justification for Americans abroad having to pay taxes to the US, and my rebuttal of every argument:
Beneficiaries argue they should not be required to pay taxes because they receive limited government services. However, a majority of the discretionary budget of the U.S. government funds the Departments of Defense, State, and Veterans Affairs,
The US spends on defense to defend itself from perceived threats from other countries. It does not defend Americans living abroad except those who work for the US government in foreign posts. Even in the rare situations when the US armed forces evacuate Americans from another country, they have to reimburse the US for the cost of the evacuation.
as well as interest on the national debt.
The national debt was created to pay for services to people inside the US.
Clearly American citizens benefit from our embassies and consulates.
Consulate services are not free. Embassies and consulates charge high fees for passports, notarizations, petitions for immigration of relatives, reports of birth, and even renunciation of citizenship.
This includes the significant protection from the United States military through treaties and other international agreements. The U.S. military’s global presence with the worldwide deployment of ground troops and constant patrol of naval warships along commercial shipping lanes ought to be paid for by all citizens who benefit from this protection.
The US keeps ground troops abroad to protect itself, not US citizens abroad. It patrols commercial shipping lanes to protect companies who do international trade. The overwhelming majority of people who benefit from the global protection of the US military are foreigners, and they don’t pay taxes to the US. Most Americans abroad live in stable countries where there is almost no protection of the US military because it is not needed.
Has this guy even ever left the US? He probably doesn’t even own a passport…
@Eric, I don’t understand how on Earth they are going to generate revenue by canceling passports. The idea is to force people to pay taxes by preventing them from leaving the country until they pay, but does anyone actually leave the US to avoid paying taxes? If such people exist, I cannot believe they are so many that their combined unpaid tax would be $743 million in 10 years. How did they come up with these numbers?
I just found something interesting. By far, the country with the largest military spending is the US, in absolute terms. However, as a percentage of GDP, the country with the largest military spending is, surprise, surprise… Eritrea! (As we know, Eritrea is the only other country that taxes the foreign income of its citizens abroad.) The UN estimates that Eritrea collects about a third of its revenue from the diaspora tax, and Eritrea justifies the diaspora tax to pay for its international military spending. According to Tom Coburn’s explanation, the US has the exact same justification.
This is getting ridiculous.
Hard to tell if this Senator Coburn is talking about a country or a cult.
Thanks Coburn. You just confirmed that the USA is nothing more than a giant PROTECTION RACKET when it comes to ex-pats.
The number of Americans abroad renouncing US citizenship will continue to increase.
@Shadow, I agree with you. The projections regarding revenue for cancelling US passports just don’t make sense. I wonder who is the targeted group here. Are they thinking of US expats, or tax evader whales who want to travel abroad to visit their bank accounts?
At least, when they enacted FATCA, the intent was clear that they wanted ALL Americans abroad to pay taxes. Here, with the proposed passport cancellation law, it seems like the group they’re targetting is located in the US, and that it would hurt them not to be able to travel abroad. Just not sure which group of people they are thinking about, who might owe more than $50k in taxes, and care about not traveling abroad.
As you said, this is getting ridiculous. It’s pretty sad to see the path the US is taking. It’s definitely not the country I thought I emigrated to 12 years ago. Or maybe it was already like that, and I just didn’t see it.
@all, Since ACA is taking a while to set up an office in DC, I’m thinking of calling a congressman’s office to schedule a meeting myself. I want to explain them the problems of citizenship-based taxation, the reporting requirements that also affect immigrants, and the complaints that you have made here. I intend to focus on the personal aspects, like the many difficulties for an American to lead a normal life abroad, and above all, the stress, despair, fear and outrage and that most of you have been feeling. At the same time, to show my technical knowledge about the subject, I can make a presentation with the results of my survey of the taxation systems of all countries in the world, and in the end give them the bill that I wrote to change citizenship-based into residential taxation in the US tax code.
A few questions:
Which representative(s) or senator(s) should I contact?
Can I say I’m representing Americans abroad and immigrants?
Is this going to work?
There is no response from legislators.
The only way to get response is to get USA media coverage.
The only way to get USA media coverage is to connect with USA domestic minorities: Hispanic groups (#1), Jewish groups, Muslim groups, Asian groups, etc.
Persecution of minorities inside USA can make it into the media.
Why are passports addressed and not driver’s licenses? Because Bill Nelson’s constituency is central Floridians with Confederate Flags embossed on the rear window of their trucks.
Bill Nelson wants immigrants out of Florida, so he is attacking their family accounts in Nicaragua. The dual citizen Nicaraguans who return home need to be cleansed from Florida forever. That is language that even MSNBC could understand.
But do Nicaraguans in Florida and Koreans even know yet that Carl Lenin wants their bank details?
In the last few days I sent emails to many representatives and senators. I received an automatic response from Tom Coburn saying that he will personally read my email and provide me a detailed response in a month or two. Let’s see if he responds.
I also received a response from Mike Lee’s staff, who said that he will brief the senator on the issue. Apparently he really read my email because he took a few days to respond and he mentioned the subject in the response. Mike Lee is one of the four senators who sent a letter to the Secretary of the Treasury regarding FATCA (I incorrectly wrote in a previous comment that the letter was to the IRS commissioner).
Another point for Mike Lee: he correctly credits Montesquieu with inventing the separation of powers into three branches, instead of the the usual claim that the US founding fathers invented “checks and balances”. I think he does not agree with American exceptionalism.
http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/files/serve?File_id=bbfcae2a-6abb-41dc-928c-8aaebca590b4 (see last paragraph)
I noticed that representatives usually don’t allow emails sent from people outside their districts, but senators allow emails from people in any state (no territories or other countries, but perhaps you could use your voting address). I also noticed that senators concerned with taxes tend to be from sparsely populated states.
I just heard on the news that this has been defeated. NPR are positioning this as Republicans blocking a 1B$ employment bill for military veterans. woo hoo ?
@zuludogm, Yes, the bill was defeated today. Most Republicans, including Tom Coburn, voted against it, because they didn’t agree with more spending. I wonder if they realized that the revenue from passport cancellation was way overestimated.