What Do We Do If the Rich Start to Leave?

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The numbers
are small. A modern record, to be sure, and an embarrassment to
some. But nothing to be alarmed about. Better to just curse their
greed, slap an exit tax on their assets, and move on. There are
plenty more where they came from.

But what
if more of them start to leave?

500 American
citizens and green card holders in the last quarter of 2009 said
goodbye to America forever. Not many, but double the number of expatriations
in all of 2008. Good riddance, other millionaires will take their
place.

But what
if more of them start to leave?

Businesses
may have been shifting jobs out of the country for decades but their
fat cat CEOs still live here, right? I don’t believe many of them
would give up US citizenship just because they refuse to pay their
fair share. What are they going to do, learn Chinese?

But what
if more of them start to leave?

1% of US income
tax filers pay 40% of our nation’s income taxes. It’s only fair
given how much money they make. So what if 40% of filers actually
get handouts from the IRS? Didn’t our President come out on the
campaign trail and promise he was going to spread the wealth around?
He won the election didn’t he? Everybody knew what the deal was.

But what
if more of them start to leave?

When the Bush
tax cuts expire top marginal tax rates are going to shoot up. Add
in city, state and local taxes the rich are going to have to fork
over 50 cents of every last dollar earned. Inheritance taxes are
scheduled to soar when death tax reform expires – all on money that
was already taxed. An extra 3.8% Medicare tax got slapped on dividends
and capital gains courtesy of healthcare reform. Blah, blah, let
the rich squawk. We outnumber them and somebody has to pay the bills.

But what
if more of them start to leave?

Congress is
trying to triple the taxes hedge fund managers, private equity firms,
and venture capitalists pay on their gains. Who cares, these tycoons
don’t have enough votes to stop it. Sure, the smart ones are setting
up shop in Asia but they’re never going to move there, right? The
US will always be the best place in the world to start a business,
won’t it?

Read
the rest of the article

April
15, 2010

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