Focusing On The Symptom, Not The Disease: Rich Americans Fleeing The Country

Remember Denise Rich? Bill Clinton pardoned her ex-husband after she donated: roughly a million dollars: to the Democratic Party and the Clinton Library. Whatever your opinion may be of the pardon, it certainly looked like a very sleazy “You give us money and we’ll wipe your crime off the books” deal.

Ironically, Rich was in trouble for evading 48 million dollars in taxes. That’s ironic for two reasons.

First off, if Rich funneled 1/48th of the money he owed in taxes into the Democratic Party and got a pardon out of it, he proved crime does pay – at least when you’re dealing with Democrats. However, it’s also ironic because Denise Rich will now: is also about to save millions in taxes not by evading taxes, but by simply renouncing her American citizenship.

Denise Rich, songwriter, socialite and the former wife of a pardoned billionaire, has given up her U.S. citizenship, and will reportedly thus save millions in U.S. taxes as well.

…Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin made headlines when gave up his U.S. passport and became a citizen of Singapore, just before the social networks’s May I.P.O.

…Denise Rich was born in Worcester, Massachusetts but has Austrian citizenship through her deceased father, a lawyer who represented her in a recent lawsuit told Reuters, adding she was making the move “so that she can be closer to her family and to Peter Cervinka, her long-time partner.”

It’s easy to hammer Rich for lacking patriotism or point out that she spent years supporting politicians who raise taxes for Americans and then moved to country where she didn’t have to pay as much of her money to the government.

However, that ignores the real problem; despite all the rhetoric about the rich “not paying their fair share,” we’re already taxing them too much. If you provide strong economic incentives, you can bet that people – even rich people, will respond to those incentives.

Democrats may tell you that we can have an enormous, intrusive government that tosses billions around like Frisbees and it can all be funded by soaking the rich, but that’s just not going to work long-term. Wealthy Americans have the money to afford the best accountants to take advantage of tax loopholes and they can even hire lobbyists to create those tax loopholes. You put a few hundred thousand dollars in the right pockets and next thing you know, there’s a line slipped into a 500 page bill that saves you millions every year. If all of that doesn’t work and you have enough money, you can just move somewhere else. With the type of money Denise Rich has she can live just as well in Austria or anywhere else here as she does here. You think she’s going to worried about Americans thinking she’s unpatriotic while she’s sipping Dom Pérignon on a yacht she bought with money she would have shelled out in taxes if she was still an American citizen? Of course, not.

If you want to fix the problem, you don’t curse the symptom, you cure the underlying disease which is an enormous, overweening government that’s spending far too much money.

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