In 2008, the number of US citizens that formally renounced their citizenship reached a record low of just 231 (See for yourself: 2008 Q1, 2008 Q2, 2008 Q3, 2008 Q4), since the government began publishing this info, in mid 1997. But just over three and a half years later, under the Obama Administration, more US citizens – 239 – handed in their US passports and renounced their US citizenship in just the third quarter (2012 Q3), than did in all of 2008.
The reason why this is important is because the people who are leaving are the people who pay more than 70% of all US Personal Income Tax and who create the vast majority of US jobs. Poor people don’t expatriate from the USA. They can’t afford it. Almost all of those expats are likely to be at least moderately well off.
Back in 1996, a non-health-related amendment was added to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This amendment created what has become widely known as the Taxpatriate Lists. That legislation requires that the names of every person who formally renounces his US citizenship, be published quarterly in the Federal Register. The overt idea was to “embarrass” prospective expats into not leaving.
It didn’t work. In fact, being on those lists has become something of a badge of honor for those expats who take the step of formally renouncing their US citizenship. They say that it shows their bravery, since they were willing to “tell the jailer where they were going, when making their escape.”
But although those lists had no effect on slowing formal expatriation, they do provide solid, factual data on expatriation that was not available to the general public, before that bill was passed. The result is that ordinary people are now able to watch formal expatriation climb and fall.
By counting the names on each quarterly Taxpatriate List, we can tell exactly how many US citizens are formally renouncing their US citizenship. Since those lists first appeared, the number of annual formal US expats had not fluctuated very widely and had remained rather low, through 2008. But all that ended in 2009, immediately after Obama took office. Expatriations jumped more than three times, in just that first year. They continued to increase in 2010 and 2011, both years breaking the previous record high and peaking at almost 8 times more expatriations in 2011 than in the year before Obama took office (2008). Moreover, the new 2011 record high number of formal expatriations was not just a record, but it was more than double the expatriation rate in any year before Obama took office.
These new third quarter official renunciation numbers show very clearly that the Obama-driven expatriation will continue to drive out many of those who pay the vast majority of US income taxes and create the vast majority of US jobs.
Some in government have taken to calling those who renounce their US citizenship for tax purposes, “Taxpatriates”. So I suppose that we should start calling those who renounce their citizenship to avoid Obama’s “Soak the Rich” campaign and demonizing of those who he believes to be TOO Successful, “Obamatriates”.
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