The Government Printing Office has finally published the 284 pages of the Congressional Progressive Caucus’ bill we discussed earlier this month. For those who don’t recall, this bill includes provisions, as the CPC put it, to “Close Exclusion of Foreign-Earned Income Loophole”. I won’t bother quoting this bill at length since there’s nothing surprising in its the contents (aside from the hilariously non sequitur title: “Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures Act”), but the list of sponsors is rather interesting in one regard: a third of them are children or grandchildren of immigrants.
In more detail, the list of people responsible for this “nuclear” attack on U.S. Persons abroad includes:
- Judy Chu (D-CA), whose parents are from Guangdong, China;
- Steve Cohen (D-TN) — a putative member of the utterly useless Americans Abroad Caucus — who is the grandson of Jewish immigrants from Lithuania and Poland;
- Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), whose father was a Mexican guest worker who came to the U.S. through the Bracero Program;
- And last but not least, Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), the daughter of Soviet émigrés — yet another member of the Americans Abroad Caucus so helpfully “looking out” for the interests of actual Americans abroad.
There’s also Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), who is a migrant in the cultural sense of the word, but not an immigrant in the juridical sense of the word: his parents come from Puerto Rico, part of the United States and of course — as Roger Conklin points out — one of the only places in the solar system that an American can move to and not have to deal with the Interplanetary Revenue Service anymore. The remainder of the sponsors are pretty much the usual suspects from the CPC’s 2012 attempt to repeal the FEIE: Keith Ellison (D-MN), John Conyers (D-MI), Jim McDermott (D-WA), Jerrold Nadler and Yvette Clarke (both D-NY), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Lacy Clay (D-MO), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), and Alan Grayson (D-FL).
Of course, none of these politicians’ forebears — let alone the politicians themselves — had to pay taxes to their ancestral countries after leaving to seek a better life. Yet they smear it as a “tax loophole” when American emigrants and their children do the exact same thing in Canada or dozens of other lands. This is an example of a more general phenomenon in U.S. politics: the children of the previous generation of people with connections to foreign countries are the most active in demonising the current generation of people with connections to foreign countries.