Lawmaker quotes about expatriates


Quotes from lawmakers regarding expatriates


“If a man draws his income from our public debt, or from property here, and resides in Paris, skulking away from contributing his personal support to the Government in this day of its extremity, he ought to pay a higher income tax.”
– Senator Jacob Collamer (Rep., Vt.), 1862


“[The point of citizenship-based taxation is so that] if an American citizen went abroad and carried the protection of his country, of his citizenship with him, he did not escape its burdens… There are a great many people, I am sorry to say, who go abroad for that very purpose, and some of them went abroad during the late [Civil W]ar. They lived in luxury, at the same time at less cost, in a foreign capital; they had none of the voluntary obligations which rest upon citizens, of charity, or contributions, or supporting churches, or anything of that sort, and they escaped taxation.”
– Senator George Hoar (Rep., Mass.) , 1894


“The renunciation of one’s citizenship is deplorable, but it is a right that we respect. But the renunciation of citizenship by individuals so that they do not have to pay their fair share of taxes is wholly unacceptable. It is sufficiently compelling to generate a resounding vote.”
– Sen. Edward Kennedy (Dem., Mass.), 1994


“[These are] Benedict Arnolds who would sell out their citizenship, sell out their country in order to maintain their wealth. Jet setters who are able to… enjoy the full benefits of all the wealth that they have accumulated in the United States of America as citizens, and renounce.”
– Rep. Neil Abercrombie (Dem, Haw.), 1995


“This proposal is not designed to prevent Americans from shifting their assets and citizenship to another country. If it was my instruction, it would. Why should I give two hoots about somebody that wants to give up their U.S. citizenship and shift their income to another country…?

It has been brought up about double taxation. I say, ‘You can triple or quadruple tax them as far as I’m concerned, run it up to a hundred percent if they want to give up their citizenship because they don’t want to pay their taxes.’

How can you say that we should all do our share in America, including making all the kids, and the elderly people, and everybody else, have to contribute to the deficit, to bring it down, and at the same time allow these sleazy bums, who don’t want to pay their taxes, to leave this country, and renounce their citizenship, and expect me to have one iota of sympathy for them.”
-Rep. Neil Abercrombie (Dem, Haw.), 1995


“The superwealthy who make their fortunes in this country and then renounce their citizenship to avoid paying taxes, in my view, have betrayed the United States and it is time to end special favors to these billionaire tax evaders and make the super-rich pay their fair share… They made a fortune in this country by the sweat of working people [and then] take that money offshore and use it for their own purposes; for what they want to do and not to increase the economic viability of the United States.”
– Rep. Rosa DeLauro (Dem, Conn.), 1995


“[T]hese [are] wealthy individuals [who] have engaged in the despicable act of renouncing their allegiance to the United States [due to the supposedly] punitive levels of taxation in this country… Their argument that our taxes are at punitive levels is totally false. The United States has one of the lowest tax burdens of all industrialized nations in the world. It is true that our rates exceed those provided by the tax havens to which these wealthy people are fleeing. However, those individuals can reside safely in those havens only by reason of the defense expenditures of this country which enable wealthy expatriates to live safely anywhere in the world… They condemn as class warfare our attempt to make a handful or two of the wealthiest of the wealthy bear the same burden of tax as all the rest of us.”
Rep. Sam Gibbons (Dem., Fl.), 1995


“If you’ve gotten your riches from America, you should pay your fair share of taxes. These expatriates are really like economic Benedict Arnolds.”
– Leslie Samuels, Assistant Secretary for tax policy, U.S. Department of the Treasury, 1995


“I hope that one day we will just publish the names of people that America has given so much to and that they care so little about that citizenship that they would flee in order to avoid taxes.”
– Rep. Charles Rangel (Dem., NY), 1995


“No one in my family, no matter how much money they made, would have ever renounced their American citizenship. We’re talking about basic patriotism and basic fairness.”
– Rep. Martin Frost (Dem, Tex.), 1996


“Some Americans have grown so prosperous that they can afford the arrogance of renouncing their citizenship and discovering one day that the Port Royal Golf Course in Bermuda is their hometown, that they have new citizenship. This expatriotism problem represents a multi-billion dollar scandal of people renouncing their citizenship for the sole purpose of dodging taxes.”
– Rep. Lloyd Doggett (Dem, Texas), 2000


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