Is Americanism a Virus? Can It Get Blood from a Stone?
Picture from financialcrimeconference.com.
With the news that Hong Kong will now be reporting Americans’ incomes to the IRS, it seems that there are few places on earth where one could go to stay away from the prying eyes of the US government. As the only country that taxes its citizens on income earned worldwide, being a citizen of the US is a very costly proposition. It’s difficult to comprehend this until you reside somewhere else in the world. If you mention to people outside the US that you are taxed twice (your country of residence and the US), they insist that can’t be true. When you’re done proving it, you get a look of pity which comes as much from the fact that you’re forced to prove such a logical absurdity as it does from the fact that you pay so much tax.
In that sense, your Americanism is actually a virus – it follows you everywhere you go and you can’t shake it. The only recourse you have is to renounce your citizenship (which record numbers of people seem to be doing) but that of course carries its own costs.
The issue is that the US is doing everything it can to bring in as much tax as it can. Rather than tax corporations as it should, they are doing their best to squeeze the populace. This can work for a time, of course, but it won’t work forever. As the US is now paying 26% of its income simply to pay interest on money it has already borrowed, it’s going to have to continue to determine new methods of taxing the citizenry for the payment of the broken promises politicians keep making. They’ve recently back-dated rules on bitcoin to get their hands on as much money from that infrastructure as they can. There’s talk that this could happen with gold if the dollar is devalued enough. Politicians will continue to do everything they can to get blood from the stone that is the tax-paying populace, but like any virus infecting a host, eventually the host can no longer take it.