Senate Finance Committee Forms Working Groups – #Americansabroad organize – Toronto, Feb. 14/15

Cross-posted from ADCS-ADSC blog
First, congratulations are in order. Once again your donations have allowed the Alliance For The Defence of Canadian Sovereignty to achieve your funding goals. The third $100,000 cheque is on its way to your lawyer. There are some (mainly in the compliance industry) who had hoped for a failure of funding. You have not been deterred. Your funding of this lawsuit has been an “island of positive hope” in a “sea of negativity”.  You have also sent a message that your lawsuit will not fail because of a lack of funding. Congratulations!
I want to reemphasize that your funding goals have been achieved because you have focused on what YOU want to achieve. You have not focused on the obstacles or on your detractors. We are in a marathon and not a sprint. We need to stay focused on OUR GOALS. We must not focus on those who want us to fail.
Your FATCA lawsuit is historic and is setting an example for people in other countries. I predict that organized opposition to FATCA will begin in Europe. Organized opposition to FATCA is essential. But, we cannot let our focus on FATCA obscure the need to bring an end to U.S. citizenship-based (AKA “place of birth”) taxation. After all:
FATCA is the tool to enforce U.S. citizenship-based “place of birth taxation”. Therefore, a separate goal is to bring an end to “place of birth” taxation. Think of how unfair it is to levy taxes on people based on their “place of birth” (and this is going on the 21st century).

“It’s unjust. It’s inhumane. I never chose where I was born!”

Meanwhile, back in the Homeland …
In previous posts, I have drawn attention to the fact that tax reform is under serious consideration. It is necessary. It is going to happen.  I have noted that Senator Orrin Hatch is now the Chair of the Senate Finance Committee and that the “tax reform train is leaving the station“. I remind you that an earlier report by the Republican wing of the Senate Finance Committee stated that Americans abroad should be taxed according to the principles of  “residence based taxation”. On January 25, 2013 Senator Hatch in a speech at the Brookings Institution stated that U.S. corporations should be subjected to “territorial taxation”.  How could the environment be better than this? To date, Americans abroad feel they have not been heard. To date, Americans abroad feel they have been victimized by Homeland politicians who neither understand nor care about the difficulties they face.  Senator Hatch has divided the Senate Finance Committee into various sub-committees.

The great news is that the sub-committee includes some of the Homeland politicians who are in the greatest need of our educational guidance!
We must commit ourselves to the goal, of ensuring that the reality of “U.S. Citizenship Abroad” is understood in the legislative process.  We must take the positive and affirmative steps of educating the Senate Finance Committee. Our goal is to guide the Committee to recommend “residence-based taxation for DNA American citizens abroad. There are some who believe that this is NOT an achievable goal. There are some who say that the U.S. will NEVER abandon “citizenship-based taxation”. They can think what they want. They can say what they want. They can attempt to discourage you if they want. Their only purpose is to distract you from achieving your goals. You achieved your ADCS funding goals by focusing on YOUR objectives and not thinking about your detractors. Similarly, to persuade the the U.S. to move to “residence-based taxation” you must focus on YOUR objective and not worry about the detractors.
As the great American industrialist Henry Ford was fond of saying:

As was expressed in the following comment at the Isaac Brock Society:

We have nothing to lose by trying to influence the Committee. I don’t know about you but if corporations manage to get RBT and we do nothing, I for one, would feel miserable and regretful for not having tried to get the same for us, our kids, and future generations.

The opportunity is there! The situation is urgent. As the recent interview by Keith Redmond indicates, U.S. citizens abroad are being forced to renounce their citizenship! For those who haven’t heard Mr. Redmond’s interview, I highly recommend that you listen to it here:
Next steps, moving forward, educational outreach to the Senate Finance Committee …
A comment poses the question:

Why do I have the sinking feeling that we’re going to be forgotten once again? This speech by Sen. Hatch is strictly about tax relief for corporations. Does he mean a territorial taxation system across the boards or just territorial taxation for corporations? Everything I read here seems to point to the latter. I am very happy that Sen. Hatch is bringing up the subject but he carefully qualifies what he is talking about by the use of such as phrases as “reforming our business tax system” and “What we mean by a territorial tax system is not taxing foreign-source business income ….” . Well, what about *our* pension income and *our* mutual fund earnings and *our* income from “foreign” health benefits, registered savings funds, etc., etc.? Are we the proverbial chopped liver?

That’s exactly why we must make the case directly. Nobody will do it for us. Our goal is to provide evidence to the Senate Finance Committee.  We must demonstrate the harm that the complete “citizenship-based taxation” regime is inflicting on Americans abroad. Our goal is to provide evidence that the harm inflicted on Americans abroad is forcing them to renounce their U.S. citizenship. If we achieve this educational goal, we have set the stage for Congress to legislate appropriate changes. If, after having made our very best case, and provided our very best educational efforts, Congress does not make the required changes,  we will seek relief  in the U.S. courts. (In fact, work on this initiative has already begun.) I repeat, we WILL be seeking relief in the U.S. courts.
How you can and MUST help …
I do not believe that that Congress is either malicious or vindictive. I do believe that they are ignorant and have been seduced by the “Myth Of The American Abroad”. The opposite of the truth is NOT the lie. The opposite of the truth is the “Myth”. Therefore, we must dispel the myths. We can achieve this only if you are willing to share your story. We can achieve this only if you can convey your pain, your fear, your terror, and how the policies of the U.S. Government have destroyed the lives of you and your families. They must understand that people  are being forced to renounce their U.S. citizenship to protect themselves and their families from the tyranny of the U.S. government. The deadline is February 14 2015.
February 14 in 2015 – You are invited to come to Toronto Canada, where …
There will be a forum where you will be invited to speak directly to the Senate Finance Committee. You will have the opportunity to appear on camera. You will have the opportunity to describe in detail how difficult it is to both comply with the U.S. laws governing U.S. citizens abroad and have any kind of life. In other words, our goal is to create a number of video testimonials. (For those who are fearful of revealing your identities arrangements will be made so that your faces are obscured.) Each video testimonial will be paired with a written statement. We strongly urge you to participate in this. At the very least, Congress must understand that people are forced to renounce their U.S. citizenship as a defensive measure.
To put it simply: Congress must understand how the community of U.S. citizens abroad (the best ambassadors that America could ever have) is being destroyed. This is not about tax compliance. It’s not about accountants and lawyers. It’s not about academics. It’s not about partisan politics. It’s not about class warfare. It’s certainly not about tax evasion and offshore accounts. It’s not about a bunch of theoretical garbage. It’s about people.
It’s about people with real lives, who are trying to exercise their constitutional liberties to pursue happiness in the form they desire. Instead they are being forced to renounce (either formally or informally) their U.S. citizenship. It’s about the right of people to live normal lives. It’s about being able to “live as a U.S. citizen abroad”.
If you don’t’ want to appear on video or if you don’t want to come to Toronto, you can prepare your own video testimonial and forward it to us. If you don’t want to appear on on video, we still want your written statements.
Please do NOT assume that your contribution doesn’t matter! Your contribution does matter!
Everybody matters. Therefore everybody has an obligation to contribute! Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean “equal contribution”. I do mean that I want you to do what you can! We need your story. There are (apparently) 7.6 million Americans abroad. That’s a population bigger than many U.S. states. The votes of Americans abroad are believed to have made George Bush president in 2000. You can make a difference.
What about all the previous submissions that have been made?
We will also be organizing all previous submissions made to the House Ways and Means Committee. Many of these submissions have been discussed here.
Dr. Kish and I have made earlier submissions to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee on Citizenship-based taxation (discussed here). We expect to update these submissions (with appropriate  revisions).
Harvesting comments on various internet posts …
Some people have invested considerable time in posting “educational comments” on various blogs (especially Robert Wood’s blog). I suggest that the comments of some of the most prolific commenters should be organized and included. In many cases, the comments on the blog posts are actually better than the posts. If you are one of those commenters, we need you! We need you to organize your comments by theme. We need you to help identify who are the consistently best commenters. Those comments need to be organized and become part of the record.
We need your logistical help and support …
As you can see, we are embarking on a big project. We need your stories. We need your support. We need your positive energy. We need your logistical help. If you are willing to help us please let us know. What I need to impress on you is that we have approximately 5 weeks to accomplish this! Contact us directly if you are willing to help. We will be providing additional information in the next few days and will be asking for specific help with specific tasks. In the same way that the Senate Finance Committee has its “sub committees”, we will have our “sub committees”.
Some closing thoughts motivated by President Obama …
On January 20, 2015 President Obama delivered his annual “State of the HOMELAND Union Address“. It was full of the usual platitudes. But, there was one comment that (at least for me) really confirmed the difficulties of “U.S. Citizenship Abroad”.
The President explained:

Seven years ago, Rebekah and Ben Erler of Minneapolis were newlyweds.  (Laughter.)  She waited tables.  He worked construction.  Their first child, Jack, was on the way. They were young and in love in America.  And it doesn’t get much better than that.

Our goal is to ensure that in a future “State of the Union Address” a future president will say:

“They were young and love AS AMERICANS. And it doesn’t get much better than that.”|

Keep your focus. Keep your faith. Keep your enthusiasm. Believe in our goal. This is about YOU. It is NOT about them!
John Richardson
P.S. In my first post on the Alliance blog, I reminded you  that:

But, when it comes to opposing injustice, the simple truth is that:
Some people make things happen.
Some people watch things happen.
Some people ask “What happened”?

You are in a position to “make things happen”.

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