Tax-hungry Democrats are deeply perturbed by the decision of Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin to escape America’s insanely high tax rates by decamping for Singapore. Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Bob Casey (D-PA) couldn’t dream of matching the value Saverin added to the U.S. economy, but they’ll be damned if they’re going to let a flood of wealth creators follow his lead and escape their clutches.
With a wary eye on the exodus of wealth creators from France, as promises of socialist confiscation replace half-hearted “austerity” measures, our dedicated domestic parasites have introduced an “Ex-PATRIOT Act,” which they think will numb the pain of capital flight. As reported by ABC News:
The senators will call Saverin’s move an “outrage” and will outline their plan to re-impose taxes on expatriates like Saverin even after they flee the United States and take up residence in a foreign country. Their proposal would also impose a mandatory 30 percent tax on the capital gains of anybody who renounces their U.S. citizenship.
The plan would bar individuals like Saverin from ever reentering the United States again.
“Ex-PATRIOT,” incidentally, is an acronym for “Expatriation Prevention by Abolishing Tax-Related Incentives for Offshore Tenancy.” Clever! If only these clowns put half as much effort into doing their Constitutional duty and passing a budget for the United States government. The likes of Schumer and Casey should have long since been expelled from the Senate for three years (and counting!) of failure to do so, but since nobody takes the Constitution seriously any more, they get to vegetate in their safe seats and dream up bills of attainder.
The socialist death spiral has reached a fairly advanced stage when leftists start nailing the exits shut. You can see the same dynamic at work in the fashionable liberal crusade against tax deductions, which become sinister “loopholes” when people use them too successfully. The deduction maze helps social engineers control more wealth than they can actually get away with taking. When years of irresponsible spending produce irresistible pressure for either government cuts or “loophole” closure, it’s no surprise which way the pressure is diverted. Suddenly those soaring top marginal rates, which nobody was actually paying, snap closed like a bear trap.
Nobody likes getting caught in a bear trap, and the wealthy have plenty of options for escape. They also tend to be far above average in their ability to anticipate future developments. When their calculations shift enough to make escape from a greedy, desperate government seem attractive, lots of them tend to depart at once. This has happened at city, state, and national levels around the world.
Whatever its other legal deficiencies might turn out to be, Schumer and Casey’s ugly move betrays a core American principle: the consent of the governed. The concept of “consent” necessarily implies the ability to withdraw it. Free people don’t have to be enclosed in cages.
It’s also yet another doomed political attempt to over-ride the principles of competition. America should be an international competitor that attracts business investment, not a repellent hell-hole that uses chains to hold its economy together. The loss of customers and investors is a health, natural response to competitive failure. Successful enterprises respond to such pain by adjusting their behavior. The inability to conceive of such responses is a certain indicator of failure.