There is a maxim that smart business leaders observe. It goes like this: Treat your personnel well. If you don’t, the good ones will leave. Why is it the good ones who leave? The answer to this question is simple: Because they are the ones who can leave. President Obama and liberals in Congress should heed this maxim. Apparently it applies not just to businesses, it also applies to countries. It appears that liberal policies, high taxes, and burdensome regulations are taking their toll and Americans are responding by leaving the U.S. for locales that do not treat successful people like the enemy.
We have become a nation that rewards sloth, idleness, and a lack of productivity while punishing entrepreneurship, innovation, and hard work. After years of constant pressure from liberals to take from the productive and give to the unproductive, wealthy, successful Americans are responding by simply renouncing their citizenship and moving to friendlier places. According to the National Center for Policy Analysis, last year 3,000 Americans renounced their citizenship and moved to other countries. This figure represents an astonishing 221 percent increase over 2012. But wait, it gets worse. In 2008, when Barack Obama was first elected president, only 231 Americans renounced their citizenship. Now, after six years of Obama’s policy of attacking successful people, that number is up to 3,000. Like the maxim I used to introduce this columns warns: the good ones are leaving—because they can.
To make matters even worse, a recent poll of American expatriates found that 68 percent of them are considering giving up their U.S. citizenship because of the new Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). FATCA is an attempt to locate Americans who live and work outside of the U.S. and force them to pay income taxes to the federal government. This in spite of the fact that most expatriates pay taxes to their resident countries. FATCA, then, is an attempt by the federal government to force Americans who live and work abroad to pay taxes twice: once to their resident country and again to the U.S. Treasury.
What is particularly interesting about FATCA is that the U.S. is one of only two countries in the world that bases its tax system on citizenship rather than residence. In other industrialized nations of the world, citizens living abroad are expected to pay the taxes of their host country. If they do, they are not required to pay taxes to their home country. In fact, even socialist European nations such as France, Belgium, Great Britain, and Belgium give their citizens a pass on taxes if they pay taxes in the country of their residence. For example, a German citizen who works and pays taxes in France is not required to also pay taxes in Germany.
Consider the situation that has evolved out of liberal policies enacted over the past fifty years, but particularly during the six years of Barack Obama’s presidency. While America has historically been a haven for people seeking opportunity, liberal policies have transformed our country into a nightmare for all who don’t qualify for government assistance. As a result of liberal policy making, what was once the land of opportunity has become a haven for the idle where productive, entrepreneurial, hard working, successful members of society are made to feel like villains, and as a result are leaving America for greener pastures.
Thousands of legal immigrants from impoverished nations and countries ruled by tyrants have come to America to build a better life. Many have succeeded in doing so. Now those American success stories are being told they need to give more of what they have worked, sacrificed, and toiled to earn to people who view opportunity as another government handout and entrepreneurship as playing the system to gain more entitlements. I don’t like to see Americans giving up their citizenship—I could never do it—but I do understand why more and more are making this difficult choice.