The Fools on @TheHill, #FATCA, and The Levinizing of America

Finally a good article from the Wall Street Journal telling it like it really is. Some highlights:

That was then:

“When I became an immigration lawyer 30 years ago, people really were excited about going to America. Now, more than half of my clients are people thinking of other alternatives rather than people seeking to immigrate to America,” said Eugene Chow, the principal of Chow King & Associates.

This is now:

Mr. Chow says the new regulations have altered the entire premise of his business. “My mentor, who is in his early 80s, said to me, ‘You became an immigration lawyer to fulfill the American dream, and now you are helping people leave.

It’s about the paperwork stupid …

But some U.S. citizens say they are exasperated by a growing raft of paperwork that forces U.S. citizens living abroad to declare the minutiae their financial holdings and other assets. “My decision was less about the actual amount of taxes I had to pay, and more about the system,” said one investment banker, who renounced his U.S. citizenship and is now a Hong Kong citizen. “I’m not an ultrawealthy dude. It was the hassle with all the paperwork”

Implications for America? We know what the Levins “think”. What about Forrest Gump?

Hint: “Stupid is as stupid does”

. “The U.S. system does not incentivize anyone to go overseas anymore,” said the banker in Hong Kong who renounced his citizenship. “As a country, your sphere of influence is impacted.”

Of course U.S. influence is already in decline .FATCA is certainly helping the decline. But, try telling that to:

The Fools on @TheHill

FATCA is the worst American  law most Americans have never heard of. In In fact few Congressmen know about it or understand it (Posey and Rand Paul excepted.) Burying FATCA in the 2012 Hire Act was a legislative “Midnight knock on the door”. Perhaps there is an even larger lesson for American democracy.

Legislators should be required to know what they are signing. It happens in other countries.

Although FATCA might have started from a simple and defensible premise. It is a monstrosity that has gone terribly wrong.


Here is an video interview of lawyer Eugene Chow – U.S. based lawyers take note: