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America: Love it or (if you're rich enough) leave it?

Scarecrow Akhbar

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America: Love it or (if you're rich enough) leave it?

September 19, 2010 | 11:34 am
Glen Esnard, a Newport Beach executive for real estate services firm Grubb & Ellis, went to bat in the Wall Street Journal last week for high-income-earners who believe it’s unfair that their tax rates should rise on Jan. 1, as President Obama proposes.

Esnard also suggested that the answer might be for the better-heeled to find a new country.

In a letter to the newspaper, Esnard wrote that although he includes himself in the population earning more than $250,000 a year:

My family isn't wealthy. I have no funded retirement plan save Social Security, if it is there when I need it. I have no guarantee of permanent health care. I am paying off school loans for our three children. A meaningful number of my friends have lost their jobs, and all who are still employed, including my family, have taken significant pay reductions. . . . This is a classless recession, at least in my experience. It is hitting everyone.

Yet those of us who make $250,000 or more are vilified and held accountable for solving our government's penchant for spending more than it takes in so that politicians can buy votes. We already pay more in taxes than 98% of the population, particularly the nearly 50% of eligible voters who pay no federal income tax. The president wants us to pay more, and he frames it in a way that casts us as not yet carrying our fair share of the burden.

...

Apparently our president thinks that living in America is so wonderful that we will never leave, despite being directly attacked and held responsible for the political class's inability to constrain its desire to buy votes with our money. He should think again.

Esnard's letter caught the eye of Reuters blogger Felix Salmon, who wasn’t exactly sympathetic.

I emailed Esnard to ask if he seriously expected high-income-earners to think of leaving the country because their tax rate would rise to 39.6% from 35% (their dividend and capital gains tax rates also would jump), and/or because of Obama's "vilification" campaign, as Esnard put it.

He responded: "Although I am not an expert, I think it is a real issue. No different than people leaving states for more hospitable locations." He also said he has received a "surprising number of resonant e-mails and voicemails."

Where could an American tax refugee go?
Well, makes sense to me. Why work here when you're being robbed? They have skills. Why shouldn't they take those skills and sell them where they get the most use out of them and the most respect for them?

If a man has savings or enough liquidity, why shouldn't he lay off the superfluous employees and reduce the size of the target on his chest by reducing his income? How many wealthy people are there, right now, wondering if they're best course is to close their business and retire?

Who's fault will it be if this happens?
 
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samsmart

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Well, makes sense to me. Why work here when you're being robbed? They have skills. Why shouldn't they take those skills and sell them where they get the most use out of them and the most respect for them?

If a man has savings or enough liquidity, why shouldn't he lay off the superfluous employees and reduce the size of the target on his chest by reducing his income? How many wealthy people are there, right now, wondering if they're best course is to close their business and retire?

Who's fault will it be if this happens?
Where are they going to go where there's less taxes? Not Europe. Not Asia.

So that leaves South America and Africa. Which means what money they won't pay in taxes they will instead pay for private security and kidnapping/ransom insurance.
 

Scarecrow Akhbar

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Where are they going to go where there's less taxes? Not Europe. Not Asia.

So that leaves South America and Africa. Which means what money they won't pay in taxes they will instead pay for private security and kidnapping/ransom insurance.
Well, jump right in with the first ignorant response.

"FYI, Russia wants just 13% of your income if you become a resident. Bulgaria will take a mere 10%. Canada's highest federal tax rate is 29%, but provincial taxes can push the top marginal rate to 48.25%."

Says so.

Right there in the link you didn't bother to read.
 

Scarecrow Akhbar

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Right now, according to the following countries, among others, have lower marginal tax rates than the US. Note that this is before Obama's tax increases will take effect in January.

20% Armenia
0% Bahamas
0% Bahrain
0% Bermuda
0% Botswana
27% Brazil
10% Bulgaria
0 % Cayman Islands
15% Costa Rica (And I know lots of people who say Costa Rica is nice indeed)
15% Czech Republic
21% Estonia
30.5% Finland
31% Guatemala
15% Hong Kong
30% India (an American earning 100k could live like a king there, imagine what someone who's just collecting interest on his now unproductive millions could do there.)
30% Indonesia
18% Isle of Man
25% Jamaica, mon.
15% Lithuania.

Yeah, sure, people who have to run a business to continue earning their 250k wouldn't find the business in those countries to make the living, but there's TONS of people who are earning interest or otherwise run businesses that can be home based in one of the above countries, and then what?

There's also the fact that even if these people just decide to scale back their lifestyle to minimize the Messiah's tax bite, they're not going to be buying as much, and the local economies will suffer by lost sales.
 

Councilman

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IT makes more sense to me to work to replace Obama and the Liberals addicted to raising taxes and spending our Grandchildren's future, with a real fiscal Conservative who knows you can't spend money you don't have to fix the economy then over tax the people who create jobs and start businesses and expect it to help. Anyone who can think knows that's just foolish Liberal nonsense and is just making it worse.
 

PeteEU

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Or move to Gibraltar (on paper) and live on Southern Spain. You pay next to no taxes and have a great quality of life.
 

Wiseone

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Well, jump right in with the first ignorant response.

"FYI, Russia wants just 13% of your income if you become a resident. Bulgaria will take a mere 10%. Canada's highest federal tax rate is 29%, but provincial taxes can push the top marginal rate to 48.25%."

Says so.

Right there in the link you didn't bother to read.
While I'm sure somewhere in the world they can find lower taxes, however a 3% increase isn't THAT much to move yourself and your family half way across the world to a country who's culture and language you don't understand. And seriously, Russia? Bulgaria? Do you know anything about how people live in those countries?
 
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Arcana XV

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Unless you have actual millions, leaving the country will not help at all and might even make your situation worse. But if you do have millions, I recommend canton Zug in Switzerland. The taxes are so low it's almost ridiculous.
 

Simon W. Moon

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Note that this is before Obama's tax increases will take effect in January.
I was under the impression that these increases were voted on prior to Obama Administration because the politicians wanted to give a tax break but were not willing to come up with corresponding spending cuts. Because they wouldn't come up with spending cuts, the law would only let them pass temporary tax breaks.
Not a point of debate, but merely of curiosity...
When did these become Obama's tax increases?
 

BWG

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I was under the impression that these increases were voted on prior to Obama Administration because the politicians wanted to give a tax break but were not willing to come up with corresponding spending cuts. Because they wouldn't come up with spending cuts, the law would only let them pass temporary tax breaks.
Not a point of debate, but merely of curiosity...
When did these become Obama's tax increases?
Exactly!

The dems should stop talking about extending tax cuts and let the act expire, just like it was written by the cons to do. Forget about it. Stop talking about it. Let it die.

Rather, introduce a bill that would cut the tax rate from whatever the rate will revert back to, to the current - or lower - rate on all incomes lower than $250,000. Call it the Obama tax cut.

Let the obstructionist party vote against that.
 

Simon W. Moon

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I was not trying to make a case pro or con. I am just asking when the single piece of legislation acquired it's new name. The legislation's older name is the Bush Tax Cuts. At some point it began to also be known as Obama's Tax increases.
 

Hoplite

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Im finding little sympathy for the top tax bracket.
 

samsmart

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Well, jump right in with the first ignorant response.

"FYI, Russia wants just 13% of your income if you become a resident. Bulgaria will take a mere 10%. Canada's highest federal tax rate is 29%, but provincial taxes can push the top marginal rate to 48.25%."

Says so.

Right there in the link you didn't bother to read.
Yeah. Russia. Where all the businessmen used to be mobsters and pay off the government to look the other way. Like I said, the money you'd be saving in not paying taxes you would have to pay for in private security and kidnapping insurance.

Get real.
 

samsmart

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Exactly!

The dems should stop talking about extending tax cuts and let the act expire, just like it was written by the cons to do. Forget about it. Stop talking about it. Let it die.

Rather, introduce a bill that would cut the tax rate from whatever the rate will revert back to, to the current - or lower - rate on all incomes lower than $250,000. Call it the Obama tax cut.

Let the obstructionist party vote against that.
Actually, I don't want it to revert to all incomes over $250,000. I think those making $250,000-$1,000,000 should get a tax cut, but at a reduced rate that they have now. Those making over $1,000,000 should have the tax cut totally expire though.
 

Andalublue

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Actually, I don't want it to revert to all incomes over $250,000. I think those making $250,000-$1,000,000 should get a tax cut
Why? Cos they're having it so hard? What rationale could you use, when people on the lowest income, or no income at all are shouldering the burden, would you be giving extra breaks to the wealthy?
 

samsmart

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Why? Cos they're having it so hard? What rationale could you use, when people on the lowest income, or no income at all are shouldering the burden, would you be giving extra breaks to the wealthy?
Because it's those people that provide jobs through small business.
 

Simon W. Moon

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Because it's those people that provide jobs through small business.
This particular argument seems to come up short. It seems to me, that the 97% of small businesses who do not belong to that income bracket would have a relatively larger impact on creating jobs than the 2-3% which do belong to that income bracket. Because of this, the creation of jobs thing kind seems like a put on.
Additionally, it doesn't really seem that extending the temporary tax break for this income bracket yet again will break the nation either.
 

Deuce

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People who earn more than 98% of the population complain about paying more taxes than 98% of the population...
 

Orion

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I don't think high income earners are likely to leave. Their businesses are tied to the U.S. so they need to be there.

Other than that, it's no laughing matter to abandon your native culture for good. Even if you have luxury overseas, you still face culture shock and integration issues. It can be a lonely experience and money can't solve it. Most of the very wealthy people in America have families and estates that have been there for generations. Turning your back on that isn't such a snappy decision.

The rich will survive. Besides, there are plenty of loopholes in the tax code that they can use to recover a lot of the money, especially if they have a business. They know how to work the system better than the other financial strata, because it was they who made the tax code.
 

d0gbreath

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Because it's those people that provide jobs through small business.
How many wealthy small business owners do you know? I'm struggling to put the two together.
 

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Just like lazy, entitled, spoiled Americans to suggest or want to cut and run during hard times. Look at 'ol Erik Prince. He ran to Dubai; but that was not all about taxes. Ingrate. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/18/world/18blackwater.html Some folks are all about governing during the good times; but run like hell when times are tough or sit back in glass houses throwing stones. You ask me.. .. ..McCain intentionally threw the election with picking that airhead Palin. What a better position for the right to be in but not leading this country through BushCo's disastrous trail of failures. Just sit back, obstruct like hell, and take it back in four years. Right. :soap
 

sokpupet

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How many wealthy small business owners do you know? I'm struggling to put the two together.
It is necessary to qualify who these "small business owners" actually are since many who own small businesses own other larger ones.

Owners disguise their wealth under small business | NowPublic News Coverage
~snip
Many small business owners make a lot of money and take the money generated from business for their personal gain. They often starve the business of needed investment and do not plan and provide for adequate sharing among employees. It is all take and no give. I know this for a fact.

Small business owners hide many things from public view, because they can. It is not surprising that Republicans use “small business” as a shill and a ruse to protect their constituents from taxation they deserve and can afford.
 

ludahai

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Where are they going to go where there's less taxes? Not Europe. Not Asia.

So that leaves South America and Africa. Which means what money they won't pay in taxes they will instead pay for private security and kidnapping/ransom insurance.
Taxes in Taiwan are a fraction what they are in the U.S. and there is far less regulation in most areas...
 

rivrrat

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I plan on leaving the US. I don't like the way this country is headed and, quite frankly, there are places I'd rather live. Like on my sailboat, sailing around the world.

Why? Cos they're having it so hard? What rationale could you use, when people on the lowest income, or no income at all are shouldering the burden, would you be giving extra breaks to the wealthy?
So the people who pay no income taxes are "shouldering the burden"? How the **** do you figure?
 
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