Al Lewis: Welcome to the Isaac Brock Hall of *Shame*/FAME (UPDATED)

Editors Note:  Al Lewis has now written an excellent article telling the our side of the story.  Thanks, Al (and welcome to the Isaac Brock Hall of Fame!).

Al Lewis tries to shame former Americans in this hit piece at marketwatch.com a subsidiary of the Wall Street Journal.  Perhaps you should have spoke with at least one person who ever renounced his or her citizenship.  Shame on YOU, Mr. Lewis and shame on your editor for allowing you to publish.  That just makes you a bigot with a platform.  It is to the shame of the brain-dead media that such pieces of journalistic refuse can even see the light of day.  Please, next time you want to write a screed that punishes a class of people for their actions, do your homework, like the young, promising Reuter’s journalist, Atossa Abrahamian, who actually spoke with numerous people who had renounced or were planning to renounce their citizenship.

Here is sample of Lewis’ brilliance on display:

You and about 1,780 other expatriates did this last year, according to Andy Sundberg, secretary of Geneva’s Overseas American Academy, as quoted in a report this week by Bloomberg. That’s up from 235 in 2008, when the U.S. launched a major crackdown on UBS for helping ingrates like you illegally dodge their taxes.

Caught between your money and your country, you chose your money. You sold your American soul.

Tax-dodgers are proudly un-American / Commentary: If you’ve turned your back on U.S., don’t come back

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60 thoughts on “Al Lewis: Welcome to the Isaac Brock Hall of *Shame*/FAME (UPDATED)

  1. Thanks for making a separate thread on this ridiculous article. I have made this comment online in response… http://on.mktw.net/KxYB8P

    and then got busy with a few tweets…..

    Al Lewis hasn’t a clue http://on.mktw.net/LcPyze #Expats are neither tax-dodgers or non patriotic.They are responding to IRS jihad. #FATCA #OVDI

    I have to strongly disagree with Al Lewis about Expats being tax dodgers! http://on.mktw.net/KxYB8P He really understands nothing. #FATCA #OVDI

    @Davidvidu Sorry, but Al Lewis hasn’t a clue. It is the Tax Complexity, Stupid, IRS is unpatriotic in its treatment of US Expats. #FATCA

    @BACFA @MarketWatch Sorry, but Al Lewis is engaging in demagogic rhetoric. He hasn’t a clue.#Expats #Americansabroad are not unpatriotic.

    @bobrall I hate to tell you, but Al Lewis hasn’t a clue. He is engaging in demagogic rhetoric. #Americansabroad are not tax evaders!! #FATCA

    Also, I received an email blast from a well known commentator who had this to say…

    “It is a most unpleasant surprise to discover the puerile nonsense in the following article. The WSJ is generally a very interesting and informative newspaper, but this is really “round the bend”.

    Mr. Lewis doesn’t bother to mention that the United States is unique among the major powers of the earth in extending its tax domain for its citizens to cover the entire planet, and that he himself hasn’t probably ever been hounded by one or more of the countries of origin of his ancestors to pay taxes to all of them as well while he lives in the USA. That, of course, is just goose and gander sauce confusion. Anyway, he probably wouldn’t even understand what that meant.

    Nor does he mention Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recent pungent denunciation of the Government of Eritrea for its unacceptable audacity in imposing citizenship based taxation on its overseas citizens too! (PS: at a maximum rate of only 2%)

    There are more than 80 comments that have been submitted online to this article so far. Some of them are predictably bizarre and insulting too, of course, but others much more relevant.

  2. Journalism tends to degenerates as it gets further from the source. Reuters did a good story. Bloomberg did an okay follow-up of the story but let some monkey with a typewriter choose the headline. And now we’re getting the third-generation degraded copies written by random columnists from Denver who have been hired specifically to make inflammatory comments. Marketwatch doesn’t care what he writes as long as he drives traffic.

    Incidentally, he’s getting savaged in the comments section, — by both the left-wing and the right-wing commenters. Not even 10% of the comments are supportive of him.

  3. This is absurd. I can’t believe any editor would let this be published. I wish someone who lived closer to the US or made frequent trips to the US would sue this author, site, and parent company over this. I think most people on here just want the truth to be told:

  4. @geez…
    We may not like the speech, but there is still the freedom in America to say dumb things on the
    WSJ web sites, so I wouldn’t take it away. There is no grounds for suing over stupidity! LOL I think he is already harming himself, if the comments are any indication.

  5. I suppose if someone in late 1933 left Nazi Germany, the Nazi Al Lewis of his time would be right out their putting pen to paper writing the same dribble.

    Most ex-pats do not hate the US. However, there is something basically flawed with a country that can’t allow its citizens to leave the county, with no “tax strings attached” and belligerence towards its ex-pats to make a life abroad without people like Al Lewis writing rubbish like the above.

    Hey Al today in 2012 America is sick. It’s broken down infrastructure, crime ridden inner city streets, out of control gun lobby, overpriced medical system, and grid locked immature politicians who act more like school yard bullies are the overt symptoms to a diseased country on the way down. Mr Lewis take a good walk around the streets Zurich or London. Yes we do have some homeless people, and we do have social problems, but not on the same scale of America.

    When riding the Underground in London you don’t see homeless people with plastic bags hauling their worldly possessions around to their next destination or walking into a fastfood place being hit with body odour stench by the person in front of me because a charity gave them a gift certificate to buy a BigMac. Shame on you Mr Lewis – you should be attacking America’s politicians not middle class ex-pats who feel its wrong for the IRS to tax people abroad while at the same time not using any of America’s remaining public services.

    Even the beggars in Prague have more pride (and dressed better as well) than average US tramp in of front of CVS or Dunkin Donuts rattling his coffee cup day in and day out mumbling “dime, quarter” or shouting abuse at other people because of frustration of trying to re-intergrate into Al Lewis’s America that has left them behind. See the link attached for the people who have never visited Prague –

    http://morecreativelife.com/begging-with-style/

    Most Americans are in denial about this and living in the world of 1950s America when the US was riding high after WWII being the only surviving major economy. The deck was stacked in America’s favour. American of a certain age 45 years+ remember an America where the middle class could get by on a “middle class job.” Younger Americans don’t know the difference as today’s America is now “normal” – they grew up with it.

    Al why don’t you concentrate on writing about fixing America’s problems before sending out the IRS in front of a European Starbucks with its coffee cup trying to collect a few pennies from middle class ex-pats that won’t solve America’s problems.

    Most ex-pats left not hating America and planning on returning but once abroad realised America has changed and not for the better.

  6. Perhaps Al Lewis is some kind of Gov’t plant.

    Nobody could be that stupid by accident.

  7. Well, Mr. Lewis. You are a poster-child for why we left the US to begin with. We are not slaves, and do not owe our very existence to it. America doles out it’s citizenship too easily anyway; maybe it should take a more modern view on this subject and let those who do American things (i.e., live in the country, etc.) be the Americans instead of dowsing babies with a title for which they can hardly defend themselves from for at least 18+ years after the fact.

  8. Here’s my situation: I don’t have any “foreign” (non-US) bank accounts with high balances. I just have a simple savings account so I don’t pay any fees and I can pay a few bills. This morning, I was looking at the packages that have the perks, like never waiting in line, resolving problems over the phone, etc.. But high balances are required. Therefore, I would have to declare them to the IRS or I could face penalities, or liens on US assets.

    So here I am, perfectly legal living in South America with my family and US laws make me act as if/feel like an illegal alien where I live. I can’t benefit from the same services that I am entitled to due to having been born in the US.

    If any US person, (stateside American) thinks that someone can survive and thrive abroad under these current American rules, AND be 100% compliant, needs to get a reality check.

    Notice – I fear reprisals on US assets. What’s the difference between the US and Eritrea?

  9. What an unpleasant way to wake up this morning. And if you want to read something really scary, be sure to check-out the linked Daily Beast article by Stephen King. Who knew that this man could write so badly when he puts his mind to it?

    Neither of these gentlemen will be receiving Pulitzer prizes for such uninformed drivel.

  10. Geeez wrote: “Notice – I fear reprisals on US assets. What’s the difference between the US and Eritrea?”

    The difference is one of degree not of quality. The US has for now much greater influence in the world, but that will soon wane.

  11. Its possibly the worst article that I’ve ever seen on the subject as well. I think it is still valuable though, because his jingoistic nonsense has proven to have convinced hardly any of those commenting, whatever their political spectrum. He is definitely the epitome of the “Ugly American” for me at least…

  12. @ Joe I don’t know the details of this incident. But as I commented at Sovereign Man, it is usually because the person tries to escape the tax net of the United States, but still plans to benefit from privileges related to US citizenship. This is usually related, I believe, to cases where the person renounces but is still living and/or working in the United States. This doesn’t affect people like myself who are already long-term residents of other countries. My relinquishment, thus, was a slam-dunk, and it makes me wonder why it took them a year to decide my case in Washington. Perhaps the functionary who was supposed to decide my case died at his desk and it was few months before anyone noticed.

  13. I was actually pleasantly surprised by the number of comments on his drivel that took him to task for his inaccuracy. As mentioned, there are some of the biarre, ridiculous variety, but many are very supportive of the situation, and show some understanding of the real issues. I couldn’t resist putting in my two cents worth.
    Thanks for finding and posting this.

  14. @Deckard, I was actually pretty shocked at the Stephen King article, to the point of wondering if he really wrote it or if someone wrote under his name. I know, not practical, but holy cow, that was that extremely poor writing. It’s just about equivalent to what I would expect someone to rant in a comment on someone’s post, except much longer. I don’t think it rates the word ‘article. I guess I thought if someone was smart enough to write entertaining stories they’d be smarter than what he showed in that rant.

  15. Joe Expat – in your link, they are referring to Ken O’Keefe. His name has been discussed on here before and it looks like he was denied because of his political & conspiracy theory outbursts that he made publically. He doesn’t live in the US, nor want to benefit from US services, but he apparently upset the wrong people.

    Nonetheless, if the US State doesn’t like him, I don’t know why they don’t set him free, or get rid of him in their eyes.

  16. @Just Me, I should have posted this here rather than on your “ACA has just issued the April 2012 News Update.” It really should be here, sorry for the duplication everyone:
    @JustMe, your response to Al Lewis’s vomit is appreciated. Another commenter-Gavrikon-wrote: Tax-dodgers are proudly un-American

    “Yep. I got a letter from my bank in Zurich telling me they were not willing to do the required paperwork and reporting to the US IRS so they are closing my account. It only had a couple thousand Swiss Francs in it, but I had that account since 1997 when I lived there. And this is even though I dutifully reported the account to the IRS every year. I live in Germany now, but it was sort of nice to have that account in case I am every transferred back to Switzerland. Of course, that isn’t likely to happen because I’d need another “B” visa. Unless, I were to become a German. Hmmm . . .
    BTW, Al, you are a Dick. I DREAM of making a 6-figure income. But there are lots of reasons besides money to renounce, you pompous prik.”

    Just me, since you have an account with Market Watch, I was going to suggest you link him to the Dems Abroad survey that asked about Americans and banking services, but they seem to have closed it. Would you let him know that he can tell his banking story at http://www.expattaxstory.us/ ?

    PS did you catch the comment involving lighter fluid?

  17. If only it was so easy to shed ones U.S. citizenship. I would definitely be one of the first to let the door smack me on the arse on the way out!

  18. Peter:

    I read this too fast:

    “Despite all the forms, the bureaucracy, and the intimidation tactics, I had never heard of a case where someone’s properly submitted ’application’ to surrender citizenship has been denied (bar Ken O’Keefe). Until now.”

    I had to look up “bar” in the dictionary for this, which means “except”. I’m forgetting English. I wish the author had put more details in the article.

    With thousands of people giving up US citizenship, I don’t doubt for a skinny minute that they will start denying people for whatever reason they can conjure up.

  19. @ Geeez, It’s very cool to be so immersed in your new language that you forget English. It has happened to me where I can only think of how to say something in French, but not to the point where I forget the meaning of an English phrase. I admit that I envy you.

  20. Ken O’Keefe (passionate supporter of the Palestinian cause) is a hero to me and the USA with its outrageous obeisance to Israel has enough pettiness and hatred towards this man to make his life as miserable as it possibly can. The thing that Ken O’Keefe wants least in his life is American citizenship so it is no surprise to me that the USA would deny him the right to surrender that very thing.

  21. @ Petros
    I came late to IBS so I think I might have missed that thread. I tried to catch up with hours of reading but obviously I wasn’t successful. The first couple of weeks I was in information overload and in a state of shock regarding not just my dilemma but others too.

  22. That was definitely one of the most scathing, insulting, and shallow articles I have ever read. It was so bad I feel threatened by this guy Lewis. What a dolt.

    What choices do we have when our congresspeople don’t listen to us USPs (US Persons = US Prosecuted) and the IRS just treats us like a herd of cows to be milked? We are being messed about even in our countries of residence, whether we are tax compliant or not.

    Lewis, you are an ignoramus! And you have committed defamation!!!! You should pay us damages for your nasty idiocy!!!! Journalists are supposed to be smarter than that!

    Friends at IBS, I say we sue this guy for defamation and use the damages for our defense. Anybody want to take the case?

  23. @Jefferson, I believe that many Americans want to know the truth about issues like this, so when creeps like him don’t bother investigating the truth, or worse LIE, they do a disservice to ALL Americans.

  24. Maybe someone who is a good writer should note this article in Wikipedia. I think anyone can make changes. Something along the lines of “On May 5th, Al Lewis wrote an extremely inaccurate and biased article. The article was subsequently criticised as being a worthless piece of garbage 🙂 on the Issac Brock Society website”.

  25. @Ben Franklin: I’d bet Al Lewis wrote his own Wikipedia article as a vanity project. Normal Wikipedia articles are written by editors who work on lots of different subjects and who add both positive and negative details about a subject. E.g. here’s my Wikipedia contribution history:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Contributions/Quant18&offset=&limit=500

    In contrast, the Al Lewis article on Wikipedia written entirely by a single user called “Mere Scribe” who only writes about Al Lewis-related topics, and all it talks about are the awards he’s won and what a great guy it is
    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Al_Lewis_(columnist)&action=history
    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Contributions/Mere_Scribe&offset=&limit=500&target=Mere+Scribe

  26. Thanks, Joe Expat! I appreciate the link. My situation is incredibly complicated, as much as I would love to relinquish my U.S. citizenship. My U.S. taxes are a mess (even though I’ve earned next to nothing in the nine years I’ve lived in Canada) and I can’t afford to dig myself out.

  27. In case anyone is interested, the comments are still open on Al’s blog for his hit job article on ex-pat renunciations.

    Nobody has commented yet so maybe its only Al who reads it.

  28. @Ben Franklin

    Thanks for that link. I did go make a comment, and tried to engage him, rather than flame him. I was critical, but I think in a measured way. I posted it here, but it is in moderation, and he may not be interested. We shall see. I invited him here, to learn the “real story”…

    http://bit.ly/yYwNgS

  29. @Just me
    Great! You gave him an opportunity to redeem himself. Hopefully he accepts it.

  30. Eric – I have had three very widely separated connects with Wikipedia building, years apart, first one way back when it was calling itself Nupedia. Last one last fall, a never-go-back-ever experience. There has been a trajectory. I had a good coversation recently with a techie friend who had just read a history of the enterprise. Walk in through the backdoor these days and stumble into a geekish hell. The information architecture (not necessarily the individual articles) is putrid. The softer the data, the less trustworthy. Physics better than politics, etc. Al’s self-promotion is case in point. Nothing on Wikipedia should be considered “normal.”

  31. @Just Me

    Very well written and critical, but very constructive. I am pleased he approved it.

    Hopefully Mr. Al will now be motivated to dig deeper into the issues and try to put himself into the shoes of 6 million ex-pats being steam-rolled with abusive legislation.

    At the very least, the links will give him something to chew on for a while.

    Maybe he will want to interview Petros.

  32. Attn: Al Lewis

    You wrote:

    “Caught between your money and your country, you chose your money. You sold your American soul.”

    You obviously don’t understand the issues.

    When I renounced my US citizenship, I regained my American soul by adhering to the moral compass of America’s founders.

  33. Here is my comment awaiting moderation at Al Lewis’ blog (edited slightly):

    Hi Mr Lewis. This is Peter W. Dunn. I renounced my citizenship. My maternal grandparents left Korea in 1905. My paternal ancestors left Scotland in 18th century. I left the United States in 1986; I married a Canadian, and I didn’t see why the United States should inherit my estate that my Canadian wife earned with her own hard work in a Canadian company with no ties to the United States, just because I was an American. Do you think Korea was entitled to tax my grandfather after he moved to Hawaii to work on sugar plantations? Oh at that time, Korea had been annexed by Japan, so perhaps he should have been sending tax returns to Japan until the end of WWII, when the Japanese occupation of Korea ended. Does that make sense to you? If my grandfather renounced his Korean citizenship to be able to live freely in America, wouldn’t you be proud of him, a new American citizen? Did you know the renunciation of all previous citizenships and loyalties is actually a part of the oath of US citizenship?

    Sir, with all due disrespect, you got this story wrong. I think because you’ve really met so few people who have renounced their citizenship. It is therefore proper, if you are going to shame us, that you be added to our Hall of Shame (perhaps you can add that to your list of honours on your bio page). You drew first blood. But perhaps yours is a sin of ignorance. If so, I recommend that you talk to some of us. There is a story here; but it is not the one you’ve told.

  34. Another comment at Al Lewis’ blog:

    Here is my statement at my renunciation ceremony at the US consulate in Toronto on April 7, 2011:
    I have lived in Canada most of my adult life. I have married a Canadian. After so many years in Canada it became clear that I have a great attachment to Canada, to my Canadian friends, to my Canadian wife and her family, and to my church community in Canada. I felt that it was therefore necessary to become a Canadian citizen so that I may become a full member of this great and wonderful country and its people. Therefore, I applied for Canadian citizenship in 2010, and I also had, even at that time, the intention of relinquishing my US citizenship. For in taking my pledge to the Queen of Canada, Elizabeth II, on February 28, 2011, I realized that it would be absurd for me to be of divided loyalty. My duty to the Queen and to the Dominion of Canada precludes me from maintaining citizenship in the United States of America, since when one country calls me to serve, dual citizenship could potentially create a conflict of interest. To avoid all such conflicts, I have decided with my full volition and all my heart, to relinquish my United States citizenship once and for all, realizing that it is an irrevocable act.

    Your attitude is that the United State is the only good country in the word, “Imagine abandoning a country that, more than any other, makes free enterprise and personal wealth possible throughout the world, just to save on taxes.” Well, this isn’t exactly true when you consider that you are exporting currency that is printed in a printing press and otherwise have trade deficit for the last 35 years. This means that the rest of the world is actually making the United States wealthy.

    You see, when dual citizenship means filing two sets of tax returns, one to Revenue Canada and one to the IRS, it became a no-brainer to renounce my citizenship. I hadn’t made that much money, and as soon as my income from investing (in Canadian companies–not American companies as if I owe your country a penny) became too much, the tax returns become too complicated and fraught with pitfalls and draconian penalties. It is a major headache. Nor could I start a company here in Canada without first renouncing. We are not free to live our lives as normal people in our country of residence, because your country can’t balance its budget and is expecting US persons around the globe to make up the budget deficit.

  35. @ Jefferson. Thanks for that. I wanted to be measured, and try to engage him rather than just flame him, which would be easy to do. It would seem, that there would be some natural alignments between our positions, as the WSJ conservative views on liberty and justice should match many sentiments expressed here. So looking for the common ground.

  36. @geez @eric Is somebody here at IBS a Wikipedia authoring member (or preferably, does somebody know a non-IBS member who is active at Wikipedia?) I was thinking not only of annotating Al Lewis’ entry (if we do it in such a way that the annotation doesn’t get deleted due to terms of use), but also creating an entry for IBS. However, the Wikipedia terms of use discourage articles about one’s own company, website, organization, etc. As I understand it, a website needs to be “notable”. I think we qualify.

    I would title the entry “Isaac Brock Society (An Online Focal Point for US Persons Abroad Concerned About United States Government Extraterritorial Policy).”

    I would try to put something very brief up, but I am afraid it might be refused as I am not exactly a neutral 3rd party, having been a very vocal and sometimes contraverisal author at IBS through my occasional position paper posts and frequent rants. I would not want to bungle the attempt at creating an acticle that might subsequently not be accepted.

    For the text of the article, we could start off with something like:
    ///////// BEGIN
    The Isaac Brock Society (http://www.isaacbrocksociety.com) was organized on September 12th, 2011 as an online forum for United States Persons (US Citizens and Green Card Holders) Abroad, as well as their friends, families and other interested parties worldwide, to obtain information on, and debate, US Government extraterritorial policy of interest.
    On or about April 4th, 2012, the site reached an historical total of 500,000 hits, and it has become a focal point for people all over the world upset and or frightened by US Government policies as to US Persons abroad. The site has been maintaining an average activity level of approximately 30,000 hits per week since mid-February, 2012.
    Although originally founded by current and former US Persons living in Canada, or having some connection to Canada, all are welcome at the site. Isaac Brock Society is an informal, unincorporated, non-profit, non-partisan organization……….
    //////////END
    But we will need to figure out what “references” to use. For example, how can we prove the facts I just stated above seeing that I believe one needs to be an Author to see statistics about IBS hits? We need that to assist in proving notoriety— though we do come up in Google.

    Also, Wikipedia might be a good place to put the very meaningful to us, but sometimes cryptic, glossary of terms used at IBS, Hodgen and other sites when discussing our issues: USP, whale, minnow, homelander, congresspeople, the dual definition of “expatriate” (renunciant/relinquishant vs. person living/working abroad, UDHA, right to renounce, and many more). I think that these terms have encyclopedic value in the sense that they have been used as a sort of lingua franca in our circles for some time now. They are a sort of dialect or technical jargon used by probably thousands of people now, something that is game for Wikipedia I know we discussed setting up a lexicon at IBS but I don’t know if anybody followed up.

    On another note, it appears to me that other partners in the informal community of websites and organizations surrounding our issues do not yet have Wikipedia articles? Examples: ACA, Phil Hodgen, Steve Mopsick, Jack Townsend ,renouncecitizenship, and Association of Americans Resident Abroad (AARO), as well as many others I’m sure y’all can think of. However, Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel is covered in a Wikipedia article, go figure. I think in any Wikipedia article about IBS, we should do justice to other sites and organizations interested in our issues. In some cases, it was actually these organizations that brought some of us together at IBS (eg Petros met Jeff in an exchange of ideas about constitutionality on Phil’s blog).

    A Wikipedia article would also probably increase our hits, although according to Wikipedia’s terms, that cannot be our motivation for the article.

    However, I think that the existence of IBS is of historical import. Our coming together at IBS is just as important as the Boston Tea Party, we just have new technology so we don’t have to waste good tea and destroy other’s property to get the word out about how disgruntled we are.

  37. @Just Me

    I also just posted the following to Al’s page (http://newswires-americas.com/tellittoal/2012/05/02/rich-increasingly-renounce-u-s-citizenship/comment-page-1/#comment-1316):

    @Al Although I was initially really upset by your article, in hindsight this is an opportunity to bring the issues to the forefront, clarify the extent of US policy, and permit concerned US Persons Abroad to debate with people in the US media who seem historically to have concentrated 95% of their media coverage on the extraterritorial tax issues of the very wealthy (“whales”). I think the American people; especially “homelanders” need to know what is really going on.

    The reality is, US policies especially crush middle class USPs (US Persons = Green Card or US Citizenship) Abroad whether they are tax compliant to the US or not. The reporting requirements of FATCA and FBAR (FATCA having apparently been passed as a rider to the HIRE act without much real open Congressional debate on the issue) are causing US Persons abroad, many of whom are dual nationals of their country of residence or a third country, to lose their jobs, be refused even basic bank accounts, and be shunned by prospective non-USP business partners who don’t want to deal with dual-reporting and taxation requirements to the IRS.

    Most working and middle-class “minnows” abroad pay local, regional, and national taxes in the countries where they live, as well as VAT, excise and other taxes and fees. Whether these taxes are lower or higher that what they would pay as “homelanders” (USPs resident in the US) is immaterial. They all pay their fair share where they live according to the local system negotiated through whatever political means extant. They have to deal with the advantages and the drawbacks of their local countries’ system and do not need and often cannot survive with the additional variables imposed by the IRS.

    US extraterritorial taxation policy does not take into account the disparities caused by the shift in exchange rates (thanks perhaps largely to US “quantitative easing”) that pushes people into higher US tax brackets despite no increased local purchasing power, the cost of living in each foreign country, as well as the tax structure in the foreign countries (for example, some countries have a much higher VAT than the US sales tax, but VAT paid outside the US is not eligible for a Foreign Tax Credit in the US).

    US Double Taxation also takes money rightfully earned in a foreign country out of the local economy, where USPs should be free to spend or invest their money. Non-USP family members of USPs are also adversely affected, despite having no allegiance to the US.

    Working and middle-class USPs have recently reached retirement age to discover that they have outstanding US tax liability, or while having no US tax liability due to the (limited) Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE) and Foreign Tax Credit (FTC), might owe confiscatory penalties on foreign tax-deferred or tax-exempt retirement plans that were not reported to the US (see FBAR). Many USPs abroad renounce because their pensions would not count as “Earned Income” and they could not survive if they paid US double taxes.

    As Just Me encouraged you to do, I would also welcome you to read extensively on sites such as http://www.isaacbrocksociety.com , http://www.aca.ch and many other sources and sites that are cross-referenced on these sites.

    I would also encourage you to seek to interview “minnow” USPs abroad to get their side of the story. Recently, one of our founding members at Isaac Brock, Peter Dunn (“Petros”), was interviewed by a similarly-named Indianapolis financial radio talk-show host who had initially taken a very dim view of USPs abroad renouncing their ties to the US, but who came to understand our dilemma. See http://isaacbrocksociety.com/2012/04/20/radio-interview-with-pete-the-planner/

    American Citizens Abroad has also participated in a series of radio interviews in the Geneva region: http://www.aca.ch/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=504&Itemid=97.

    I wish you good luck in covering these issues and trust that you will be more objective in the future while seeking the truth and the whole story.

  38. @Jeff great comments. Also, I see no reason why you shouldn’t yourself do the Wikipedia article on Isaac Brock Society. The only issue is that as a Wiki, it can be changed by anyone, even by a someone who knows nothing about the subject. Ultimately, as a scholar, that is why I stopped trying to do anything with wikipedia after the first few edits. See http://actapauli.wordpress.com/?s=wikipedia+follies

  39. @Jefferson D. Tomas…

    That is great. I am about to go on internet silence as traveling the next 24 hours or so, but hopefully when I connect back up, Al has shown some cojones and put them up and opened up a dialog.

  40. From his article: “I’d have enough loot to move to Tuscany, sip wine and cappuccinos, and not pay my fair share of taxes, too. ”

    How many times have I said [on this site!] that Americans think we are in exotic locales sipping wine or champaign?!! I think once a week since this site started!

    Al Lewis is the “CLASSIC” stubborn egotisitcal American that is completely ignorant to life outside of America. He is the “typical” American who made me want to leave that country in the first place. It has nothing to do with money. In fact, I’m paying more in taxes where I live, but at least I’m surrounded by people who DON’T think they live in the center of the universe.

  41. In addition to Just Me’s response, I just noticed that Al’s blog has accepted comments from Petros, Jeff, Victoria, Mona Lisa: http://newswires-americas.com/tellittoal/2012/05/02/rich-increasingly-renounce-u-s-citizenship/comment-page-1/#comment-1316.

    I would hope, however, that he respond to us here and/or on his site. In the meantime, now that it appears our posts will be accepted there, I would encourage as many of IBS people as possible post their opinion and stories there.

  42. Petros – I had the same Wikipedia experience in my middle encounter. Writing about a topic that few know more about. Seeing the work turn to mush. The topic is now a dispersed joke that I would never attempt to fool with. I think one core nugget has survived for years.

    Eric – The warning of certain and rapid deletion at Wikipedia that you offer is one of the weaknesses. Instant deletion, no appeal to the mafia. My terminating effort involved a brief factual entry for something with external verifiable coverage, part of a constellation of far more self-serving existing entries. The experience led me to take a closer look and see that the information architecture is garbage and the vetting standards are inexcusably uneven.

    I look forward to the entry you foresee publishing. I took a brief run at crunching on the names myself. That sort of thing is indisputable data (unlike history), which may be the only area where Wiki can have any reliability or much use. Facts that are ultimately trivial, because they could not be otherwise, barring outright error. Convenience and compilation.

  43. To Al Lewis’ credit, he published six comments from Isaac Brockers. That’s a good sign.

    If he is as serious of a journalist as he is reputed to be, he will read through this blog and contact us, like Steve the 30 year IRS vet did, and who is now a good friend and legal advisor to ACA.

    We’ll see….

  44. @Ben Franklin I agree, Al should open a dialogue with us and if he really listens to what we are saying I think he would come around. Just like Steve, just like Pete the Planner.

  45. Pingback: National Narcissism and U.S. citizenship – Being a U.S. citizen is like having a narcissist for a parent « Renounce U.S. Citizenship – Be Free

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