Shadow Raider makes some thoughtful and thought-provoking comments on my post and the ensuing conversation:
I’d like to make some constructive criticism for all sides:
1. Many commenters on this website seem to assume that US residents are patriotic “homelanders” who support CBT. I live in the US and I can tell you that this is not true. The vast majority of Americans don’t even know that CBT exists. When I inform them, I get various responses: some say that the US should not tax foreign income or demand information on foreign assets because it’s none of their business; many sympathize with the problems of Americans abroad (complex paperwork, fear of penalties, financial restrictions); some try to justify CBT with consular services or the right of return, but when I reply that these things are not funded by taxes (or don’t actually cost anything, in the case of the right of return), they concede; only a few invoke patriotism, but as a joke.
2. Many here also seem to believe that “homelanders” see Americans abroad as “tax cheats”. I don’t know where you got this idea. I’ve only seen this as a brief mention by a US politician from the 19th century, and I don’t think anyone else believes that. I’ve certainly never heard anyone say that here. US residents correctly assume that people move abroad for various reasons. Many of them have family or friends who lived or are living abroad.
3. Condemning US patriotism while praising Canada is inconsistent and alienates those who are not from Canada. CBT applies equally to all countries outside the US, and the Canadian government has done the same as the rest of the world regarding FATCA, it’s not a special case. I’ve also seen some commenters focus too much on issues in specific countries such as the various 4-letter Canadian accounts or Australian superannuation. People outside these countries have absolutely no idea what these things are. The problem is CBT in principle, not the details of how it affects specific investments.
4. Some people, like Republicans Overseas, are focusing way too much on FATCA. Blocking or repealing FATCA is very unlikely, and even in that case it would not solve the myriad other problems caused by CBT.
5. Expatriate lobbying groups seem to be ridiculously afraid that the US government will not pay attention to their demands if it looks like they don’t love the US. Seriously? Michael Kirsch cleverly pointed out the inconsistency of identifying yourself as part of US society while requesting to be taxed as someone from outside that society. It would make much more sense if they just stated the truth: they are actually more attached to the countries where they live, but want to keep US citizenship simply for the peace of mind that they could return to the US one day. Maybe the CBT debate should be centered on whether the right of return constitutes membership in the society or merely the eligibility for membership.