|Rand Paul, US Senator for Kentucky|
So why would I talk about Rand Paul in an expat blog?
Senator Paul has introduced a bill to repeal FATCA. Here are two different takes on it:
- In lieu of journalism, the Wall Street Journal has posted a poorly written press release about it.
- In lieu of journalism, Mother Jones has posted a hysterical rant about it.
The Mother Jones article completely gets it wrong, implying that the six million plus Americans living abroad are mostly wealthy tax dodgers. We're not. We're taxi drivers, teachers, software engineers, retirees, accountants, waiters, spouses, and so on. There might be a higher percentage of rich Americans amongst expats, but no one will ever know since the Census Bureau refuses to count us and Congress repeatedly rejects bills whose aim is get information about expats upon which they can base their laws.
In the case of Rand Paul, a man I don't particularly like but who I'm beginning to at least respect (ironically, I used to feel that way about his racist father), the Wall Street Journal article avoids pointing out that Rand Paul isn't necessarily driven by compassion for expats, but perhaps is acting more in line with his virulent anti-tax beliefs driven by that starry-eyed conviction that Libertarianism is the path to nirvana.
Of course, Paul's beliefs do cause him all sorts of problems. He's backtracked on his civil rights views, for example, such as his beliefs that government laws to end private discrimination are wrong and that public pressure, which had already failed repeatedly, is the tool of choice. You don't want to hire black people or serve gay people? Paul thinks that's your right.