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F&^%$#@ FATCA

You know I’ve been trying to downplay the Bad Government News in favor of more positive freedom boosting.

Every once in a while, though, some governmental savagery, idiocy, or abuse (but I repeat myself) must make its way here.

One of those governmentisms is the woefully named FATCA, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.

One reason it’s turning up here is that it’s playing, or about to play, serious havoc on people who thought they were taking a huge step for freedom when they either moved offshore or set up offshore accounts to protect their resources.

In short, FATCA is turning Americans abroad, and American money abroad, into pariahs. That process has been well underway for quite a while (as expat friends tell me), but as Daniel Mitchell explains at that link, it’s about to get worse.

I heard the first stirrings of trouble on an email list that serves expats in Panama, but even there most people aren’t aware what’s soon to hit them. I owe a hat tip for the Mitchell article to someone who has already been hit, but I don’t think he’d care to have that particular hat tipped in his direction.

I’ll just say that he’s an American businessman who spent much time and money setting up perfectly legitimate offshore accounts. Not to evade the IRS. Not to scam anybody. Not to do anything illegal, immoral, or fattening. Just to legally preserve legally earned wealth. He did his homework, traveled to meet his bankers in person, studied the law, and was careful to cross every “t” and dot every “i” his government demanded he cross and dot. He chose to do business with a country known for its friendly, secure banking. Yet he’s now been notified by his foreign banker that — simply because he’s an American — he has to close his accounts.

Just because he’s an American. For no other reason.

That will entail a costly trip and the loss of thousands, maybe tens of thousands, in assets. All because he’s apparently a FATCAt in the eyes of our increasingly rapacious government. Magnify his experience by hundreds of thousands.

Worse, FATCA isn’t just going to turn individual Americans into unwanted masses and drive even more of the wealthiest to renounce their citizenships. It’s setting up the nation for — yet another — major economic fail.

Mitchell has more. Read it and watch your ass.

The sad thing is that a few years from now, when FATCA has inflicted its malign influence on the U.S. economy, most people will bemoan how bad things are getting. But they’ll have no clue. They’ll have no concept that FATCA is yet another factor in the ongoing political sabotage of the U.S. by its own alleged leaders. Like the people in Atlas Shrugged, they’ll sense some terrible wrong, some malaise, as it’s fashionable to say. But they’ll never know its nature.

Yeah. And they’ll probably demand that government DO SOMETHING about it.


  1. Jim B.
    Jim B. August 4, 2011 1:53 am

    The government is doing something alright. The Frog in the pot is about to get hotter. It’s not just the Ex-Pats who are feeling the heat.

    Looks like the powers of Congress will be concentrated to just a Council of 13, including the President. I’ve already made comparison at TMM of what is happening to the Nazis. You can bet that it’ll be the worst of the worst will be on that Council.

  2. Babylon Vampires
    Babylon Vampires August 4, 2011 5:03 am

    Wow. It’s crap like this that the media probably wouldn’t touch and certainly wouldn’t talk about the problems it creates, so almost everyone wouldn’t be aware of it. Terrible.

  3. Matt, another
    Matt, another August 4, 2011 5:27 am

    That council of 13 might be more like the old Politburo than the Nazis.

    According to the government, the businessmand did do something immoral, legality had nothing to do with it. He tried to legally preserve legally earned money. If he kept it through tax evasion (ala buffet), crony-capitolism, buying off the political parties etc he’d be fine.

  4. Matt, another
    Matt, another August 4, 2011 5:28 am

    The next thing the govt is coming for asseset wise will be retirement accounts held by the public. They’ve already “leveraged” federal worker accounts.

  5. Scott
    Scott August 4, 2011 9:13 am

    You can never cross all the Ts and dot all the Is-they simply add more if you do. Still, this may fail-it’s simply too intrusive. My guess is they’ll back off on this one(maybe with some fussing and cussing),but there’s a practical limit to how far you can shove you nose into someone else’s business.

  6. Jackie Juntti
    Jackie Juntti August 4, 2011 9:49 am


    This fits in with what Roger Sayles has been discussing on Jeffrey Bennetts nightly program – Roger is Jeff’s guest on Wednesday nights.
    *‘Life, Liberty & All That Jazz’ is heard from 6:00 until 7:00 p.m. (CT) Monday through Friday on the Republic Broadcasting Network.*

    I sent this column by you to Jeff – hoping he will forward to Roger who is in Argentina now.

    Have some family who will also find this very informative and I hope helpful.

    Thanks for posting this


  7. Ellendra
    Ellendra August 4, 2011 11:28 am

    Here’s an article for you Claire:
    A cop talked about beating politicians in order to gain himself more power. That scares me more than politicians alone, but I’m not sure I could explain why.

  8. Jackie’s Corner August 5th 2011 | Frank Talk
    Jackie’s Corner August 5th 2011 | Frank Talk August 5, 2011 7:52 am

    […] F&^%$#@ FATCA […]

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