While Obama mewls about Rand Paul’s “quirky” ideas about the Fourth Amendment, the real world where grownups take the time to understand issues is dealing with a big one. Many thousands of Americans living overseas, some with no intention of ever moving back to the U.S. suffer through a draconian U.S. tax code, and Obama wants to give information about these expats to foreign governments.
In the name of that quirky Fourth Amendment, Senator Paul is attempting to block horrible tax treaties that would lay bare the personal and private information of Americans to foreign governments, governments that are highly unlikely to value the privacy of its own citizens, let alone American expats.
There are many perfectly valid reasons to live and work overseas. Some Americans have retired to friendly foreign nations, others are “accidental” citizens, who may have been born here, but were raised by their foreign national parents in their home country, and never plan to ever step foot in the U.S., and there too are many Americans who work overseas part of the time. All these Americans are required by U.S. law to pay taxes to the IRS on foreign income, or face extensive fines. These laws while theoretically meant to help stop people abusing overseas tax shelters and avoid paying legitimate U.S. taxes have now become a millstone around the necks of Americans living abroad. These laws are so oppressive, thousands of former U.S. citizens have surrendered their passports and citizenship, rather than deal with the burden of paying taxes on foreign income to a country they might not ever return to.
Aside from driving citizens away, Obama’s IRS now wants to collaborate with foreign states in order to further enforce these tax laws, and to sacrifice their privacy in the name of a few dollars. This means a military contractor may soon have their important personal information shared with foreign nationals.
The Fourth Amendment protects the privacy of Americans, and ensures the protection of their private information. Obama will sacrifice due process and American privacy in the name of heavy handed tax codes. Rand Paul is right to stand up for this “quirky” right, and to demand that our lame duck president not use his final few months in office to further undermine the rights and liberties of Americans, no matter where they might live and work. Has Obama totally lost touch with the reality of civil rights? Tell us on Facebook and Twitter.
Written by Steve Coffman
(Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore, Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)
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