At Sovereign Man, Simon Black writes about the rising number of Americans who want to renounce citizenship – and the increasing roadblocks they face.
A massive 1,131 individuals renounced their US citizenship last quarter…Compared to the same quarter last year in which 188 people renounced their US citizenship, this year’s number is over SIX TIMES higher. Not to mention, it’s 66.5% higher than last quarter’s 679 renunciations…
While still embryonic, it’s difficult to ignore this trend– more and more people are starting to renounce their US citizenship…
So what’s driving it? Taxes…and the search for liberty…Particularly for people who spend most of their time outside of the United States and are constantly hamstrung by [U.S.] worldwide taxation and information disclosure[ rules], the burden for many of them has just become too much to bear.
The US government figured this out some years ago and began charging an exit tax…This applies to anyone whose average US tax liability over the last five years was about $150,000 (the equivalent of roughly $500,000 in taxable income in 2012 dollars), and/or has a net worth of at least $2 million on the date of expatriation.
More on the exit tax, here. But it’s not just for rich people; the U.S. government also holds back the poor:
Renunciation of U.S. citizenship was free until July 2010, at which time a fee of $450 was established.
Get it? If you marry your foreign boyfriend and move abroad and join with his people, it is going to cost you – even if you are both minimum wage earners. So decrees President Obama.
Past generations viewed renunciation as a human right. From Simon Black again (and quoted also in a U.S. government document, here):
…in the “[Expatriation] Act of July 27, 1868″, the United States Congress declared that “the right of expatriation is a natural and inherent right of all people, indispensable to the enjoyment of the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
In other words: Even if renunciation might be a mistake and/or unpatriotic, they thought U.S. citizenship should be your choice. But the current U.S. government does not; in addition to the roadblocks described above, we even get the occasional rumor of people’s applications for renunciation being denied outright.
I remember President Reagan in 1987 saying “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” that had been built to keep East German citizens *in* that country. I also remember left-liberals in the 2004 election cycle, promising they’d leave America if Bush won. (Few of them did, or none.) I wonder what they’d say now?