Thursday, August 15, 2013

More Americans Say ‘Adios’ to Uncle Sam

A lot of Americans are making that move … at least compared to past years.

According to an August 9 Bloomberg article, the number of Americans giving up their nationality at U.S. embassies leaped to 1,131 in the three months through June from 189 in the year-earlier period. For the first half of this year the total is 1,810 compared with 235 for all of 2008.

Granted, that’s a tiny number. But it points to how many Americans feel about the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which requires them to disclose foreign assets in excess of $50,000 to the IRS. Financial institutions abroad must now provide the IRS with information about accounts held by U.S. taxpayers and foreign entities in which U.S. taxpayers hold a substantial ownership interest.

The Bloomberg article pointed out that,

"The U.S., the only nation in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development that taxes citizens wherever they reside, is searching for tax cheats in offshore centers, including Switzerland, as the government tries to curb the budget deficit."

Having more than $50,000 in an offshore account doesn’t exactly put you in the mega-rich camp. So it’s clear that our elected officials in Congress are going after middle class Americans … you and me. Shame on them, and shame on us for keeping them in Washington with the hope they’ll look out for our interests.

But I think there is an additional reason Americans are fed up and turning in their passports …

Coincidently, also last week, Gallup released a poll that found that only 14% of Americans approve of job Congress is doing. And 81% give them a thumbs down.

The approval trend is clearly on a slippery slope as you can see in the chart below.


So is it time to turn in your passport and take off for Dominical, Costa Rica; Saint Helena Island; or the slopes of Nepal? I don’t think so.

But it is time we hold Congress accountable for burying us up to our eyeballs in debt, and now using every trick in the book to dip in hardworking taxpayers’ wallets even more.

You can locate your Senators here. And for your Representative, go here.

Best wishes,


P.S. Feel free to use the following letter when contacting them, or tone it down if that’s your style. I’ll let you know the reply I get from my Congressmen.


Dear [name of the Congressman],

I’m going to make this real simple: You and your colleagues in Washington are doing a horrible job. And 81% of Americans in a recent poll agree with me. Still not convinced?

Well, the number of American giving up their passports jumped six fold from a year ago.

Spend, spend, spend on social programs has become the mantra in Congress, with no end in sight. But amid the recovery, the U.S. has also seen an increase in poverty levels, which the Census Bureau puts at 15.9% of the total population, or close to 50 million citizens. In 2008, that figure was 13.2% of the population.

And, while the unemployment rate has fallen from 10% at its Great Recession peak in 2009 to 7.6% in May, 11.8 million Americans still remain without work; 4.4 million comprise the long-term unemployed.

The way you are giving out my tax dollars simply is not working.

So please let me know what specific action you are taking to cut the outrageous spending on social programs that do nothing other than create a society that depends on big government for its survival.


[Your name]

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