comsc US Politics | AMERICAblog News: Why both parties are wrong about expats
Join Email List | About us | AMERICAblog Gay
Elections | Economic Crisis | Jobs | TSA | Limbaugh | Fun Stuff

Why both parties are wrong about expats

| Reddit | Tumblr | Digg | FARK

As an actual expat, I continue to be impressed with the amount of diversion and distortion from both Democrats and Republicans when it comes to the "scandal" of Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin. As I mentioned before, I agree with Senators Schumer and Casey that Saverin should show more appreciation for the country that helped enable him to make his millions or billions. It's lame for him to walk out now that Facebook has propelled him to be among the global financial elite.

That said, both Democrats and Republicans continue to create a ridiculous side show over this issue and it is dishonest for both sides. If they were at least consistent and demanded the same blood from corporations, I might be somewhat more accepting of their arguments but they don't. It's the typical two weights, two measures that both parties in Washington love.

For years, any expat that is paying attention would know that Iowa's Senator Chuck Grassley has consistently blocked all attempts to modernize US tax law when it comes to expats. For Grassley, expats are receiving a "free ride" though it's not quite clear what that ride is.

Unlike any other First World country, US expats are required to report global income in the US as well as report income in their country of residence. If they're above a certain figure, they also have to pay US taxes as well as taxes where they live. Expats sort of get to vote, but those votes are only counted if an election is close. Otherwise, they're ignored.

After the Republicans last lost the Senate, some expats believed that the tax system may change though it remains the same. Democrats have done as little as Republicans to change an outdated system. The burden on middle class or even poor expats is the same as the 1%-ers. The 1%-ers at least have the luxury of armies of lawyers and tax accountants who know how to fleece the system.

Where the GOP is wrong is that Saverin is no hero, as the right says. If the GOP felt so strongly about the US tax code, they would have changed it when they controlled Washington. They didn't though, because they were too busy with wars, tax cuts for the richest of the rich and divisive politics.

It was the GOP controlled Congress that pushed for Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) reporting starting for the 2008 tax year. The highly detailed report (that could easily be abused by a rogue employee it's so extensive) is all part of the Washington anti-terrorism initiative that sweeps up everyone, guilty and innocent.

Instead of showboating, maybe both parties can spend a few minutes addressing the issue for the millions of American expats. Since their votes count for next to nothing, nothing is likely to change anytime soon. It's much easier for both parties to bend to the desires of deep pocketed corporations who come and go freely than to listen to or lift a finger to help regular expats.

In the end, expats are even less important than other 99%-ers and as always, the corporations get their way and screw everyone else. Ignore the partisan bickering though because both Republicans and Democrats both own this sloppy mess of a system.

blog comments powered by Disqus