Tales from the Trail

The strange vogue in dumping U.S. citizenship

By Atossa Abrahamian
May 11, 2012

In 2005, a CUNY political science professor named Stanley Renshon compared citizenship without emotional attachment to “the civic equivalent of a one-night stand.”

Michele Bachmann’s fling with Switzerland lasted just 53 days – barely two of them public – before she came running back to Uncle Sam. That was right before Facebook’s co-founder Eduardo Saverin was found to have called it all off with the U.S, possibly for tax reasons.

Bachmann, who came out as Swiss to Politico on Tuesday, made headlines for deciding to split her allegiances – if only on paper – with a gay-friendly, abortion-happy Western European country. Her temporary Swissness made a farce of her fiery patriotic rhetoric, and added a cosmopolitan edge to her down-home image – an image she was counting on for her constituents to vote her back into office this coming term.

Yesterday, Bachmann declared that she had written to the Swiss government and asked them to withdraw her citizenship, which she’d acquired through her husband, Marcus. “I am and always have been 100% committed to our United States Constitution and the United States of America,” she said in a statement. “I took this action because I want to make it perfectly clear: I was born in America and I am a proud American citizen.”

Bachmann’s decision to become Swiss in the first place was a strange one – not because being a dual national is necessarily a bad thing (full disclosure: I have three passports, including one that is Swiss) but because it raised questions about the image Bachmann cultivated for years. She claimed to be naturalizing for her children’s sake, even though Swiss law does not require her to do so in order for them to acquire their own passports. She also put her eligibility for certain types of security clearance at risk, which isn’t a problem for members of Congress, but could pose complications if she ran for higher office.

That Bachmann reneged upon her decision so quickly also speaks to the troubled relationship Americans have with multiple citizenship. As citizenship scholar Peter Spiro has written, dual citizenship has been a contentious issue throughout U.S. history: In 1849, U.S. diplomat George Bancroft likened dual citizenship to polygamy, and Teddy Roosevelt called it “a self-evident absurdity” in 1915. As recently as 2006, Congress held hearings about the constitutionality of dual and birthright citizenship, during which a number of speakers decried it as unpatriotic.

This isn’t an attitude unique to the U.S, though. Europe’s nationalist movements of the 20th century wreaked havoc on the continent, yet in 1930, the League of Nations upheld the view at the Hague Convention that “it is in the interest of the international community to secure that all members should recognize that every person should have a nationality and should have one nationality only.”

Today, most countries have relaxed such attitudes. But in some places, particularly those with strong conservative or nationalist movements, the sentiment still holds. Despite the global nature of today’s economy, and the prevalence of cross-border cooperation in virtually all aspects of governance, it is still controversial for an individual to hold two passports

New proposed legislation in the Netherlands will require everyone who becomes Dutch to give up their original citizenship and force Dutch nationals who take a second citizenship to automatically lose their Dutch passports. In Egypt, a leading presidential candidate for the Salafi party, Hazem Abu Ismail, was put under immense pressure to withdraw, and was ultimately deemed ineligible to run, because his dead mother was a U.S. citizen. And last week, China Daily reported that lawmakers had spoken publicly about cracking down on dual citizenship by keeping better records. In China, dual citizenship is illegal, even though it’s estimated that over 45 million Chinese citizens live overseas, sometimes acquiring a second passport on the down low.

It’s impossible to know how many people in the world hold multiple citizenship: Roughly 100 countries, including the U.S., recognize dual citizenship in some form, but no one keeps track when citizens become naturalized elsewhere. Many people are eligible for a second passport based on ancestry alone – all Jews, for instance, can claim Israeli citizenship – and some countries even sell citizenship to complete strangers. As Eduardo Saverin shows us, renouncing one’s citizenship is also an option.

This raises questions about what citizenship even means in a globalized world. Does a passport denote a meaningful relationship between a government and an individual anymore? In theory, yes – legally speaking, blood is thicker than fondue. But as we’ve seen this week, the actual strength of Bachmann’s Swiss ties are wobbly at best. And should Michele Bachmann wake up tomorrow and discover a long-lost Iranian grandmother, she’d probably be allowed to take on Iranian citizenship, too, even though the U.S. and the Islamic Republic have been sparring politically for decades.

Recent drone strikes on U.S. citizens in the Middle East further problematize the political meaning of a citizen in an era of transnational crime and war waged by non-state actors. After Anwar al-Awlaki was targeted, civil rights activists pointed out that the U.S.-born al Qaeda member was treated like a common foreign criminal, rather than an American citizen. Did his involvement in un-American activities and his Yemeni nationality somehow dilute his birthright?

To understand the sometimes paradoxical nature of citizenship today, it is helpful to look at the way the concept of citizenship has evolved over time. As Benedict Anderson recounts in his 1983 book Imagined Communities, the entire notion of a nation-state itself is a social construct from a bygone era. Centuries ago, nation-states took over from dynasties, religions and tribes, and in doing so, became the new units with which we measured the world. Citizenship based on blood and locality was a crucial part of building the idea of a country, and it was possible because most people were born, grew up, married, had children and died not too far from where their parents did.

When people did go abroad – as when Marcus Bachmann’s parents left Thurgau for Wisconsin – they typically wouldn’t uproot themselves again a few years later to seek opportunities in Hong Kong or Dubai. They would buy a house, raise their children and assimilate. Our idea of a citizen remains tied to out-of-date lifestyles, even though people move around a lot more than they used to for professional, personal and economic reasons.

Today, people even self-identify as members of communities or countries that they do not technically belong to. Consider lifelong New Yorkers who feel more French than Yankee (Josephine Baker put it best: “j’ai deux amours / mon pays et Paris”) and the large number of undocumented immigrants who have no legal status in the U.S., yet can’t imagine living outside of Arizona.

Bachmann’s transatlantic flip-flop exemplifies how old-fashioned we are in our views about citizenship. Renshon’s analogy about the promiscuous passport holder makes no sense when we can go to sleep in Texas and wake up in Rome. Instead of seeing our countries as spouses or lovers, let us think of them as dear friends – friends with a great number of benefits.

PHOTO: U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann speaks next to Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney during a rally at Crofton Industries in Portsmouth, Virginia, May 3, 2012. REUTERS/Mark Makela

Comments
64 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Gee, could we get her to move out of the country? And while she is at it – take Sarah along?

Posted by Robert76 | Report as abusive
 

Citizenship in the US is le like being bound to a dying animal.

Posted by Blackorpheus | Report as abusive
 

Bah. I think you nation-free people are trifling opportunists. Michelle Bachman and Eduardo Savarin serve as cases in point. There is such a thing as “allegiance” — and if you don’t regard your US Citizenship as something more than a “dear friend with benefits” — you need to review your moral compass.

Posted by olHarley | Report as abusive
 

Bah. I think you nation-free people are trifling opportunists. Michelle Bachman and Eduardo Savarin serve as cases in point. There is such a thing as “allegiance” — and if you don’t regard your US Citizenship as something more than a “dear friend with benefits” — you need to review your moral compass.

Posted by olHarley | Report as abusive
 

This article does a fine job of pointing out the parochial attitude of the US govt and many US people regarding citizenship. For people who left the US, their country of birth, years ago to make new lives elsewhere, the parochial US attitude toward citizenship is creating extreme hardship for those simply trying to live their lives in other countries. People are free to choose their citizenship, yet the US is trying to retain/reclaim/regenerate US citizenship on hundreds of thousands of people who relinquished their US citizenship in order to become full citizens of their country of residence. Why is the US govt doing this? Well, supposedly it was to catch tax evaders and money launderers, but in reality it seems to be so they can apply draconian penalties to middle class people who live, pay taxes and save for their retirement in other countries. Check out the Isaac Brock Society site to see the true impact of this on regular people – not politicians, not millionaires, not tax evaders, not money launderers. Just regular folks. http://www.isaacbrocksociety.com

Posted by Outragec | Report as abusive
 

The U.S. had the recognition of dual citizenship forced upon in 1986,by the Supreme Court after a citizen successfully argued that there was no intent to give up American citienship while taking on the citizenship of another country. Prior that his decision it was U.S. law that when one secured citizenship in another country that you automatically lost your U.S. citizenship.
Now although the U.S. Congress has been forced to accept dual citizenship it has done so only with the view that it cannot strip you of your prior citizenship or deny you taking on another citizenship. There is another level though at which the U.S. has not accepted dual citizenship and that is at the level of “functionality”.
The U.S. official position on dual citizenship is that while it may have to TOLERATE the existence of a second citizenship as far as your right to hold a competing passport it does not have to accept the existence of a second nationality when it comes to how you live your life.
In other words although a person may have Canadian and U.S. citizenship, it is the U.S. citizenship that counts when it comes to such things as travel. An example is the U.S. prhohibition on travel to Cuba by U.S. citizens unless they have State Department permission. A Canadian/U.S. dual citizen may not travel to Cuba because the U.S. citizenship is seen as trumping the Canadian citizenship.
Another area comes in with tax reporting obligations. The U.S. practise of citizenship based taxation trumps the territorial taxation obligations that are the norm in every other country accept North Korea and Eritria.
Basically having dual citizenship with the U.S. is a one way street to second class citizenship in both countries.
Therefore since U.S. citizenship is so restrictive it has become easily apparent that the best thing to do is to drop it.
If there is any doubt as to the fact that the U.S. does not accept dual citizenship in any real way then I will point you to the U.S. citizenship oath which has the following statement of renounciation:

“That I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen;”

Posted by Sweetiepie101 | Report as abusive
 

Maybe nation free is what we have to be if we want to be war free. I believe that the lack of state allegiance is what is needed to eliminate or reduce wars.
We need more people who just want to be able to live a decent and long life and it that means holding more multiple citizeships then so be it.

Posted by Sweetiepie101 | Report as abusive
 

Switzerland is a prosperous democracy in which citizens are legally required to purchase private health insurance in four official languages. The Swiss enjoy long life expectancies, despite easy access to beer, cannabis, brothels, physician-assisted suicide, and deep-fried-schnitzel fondue. They are also security conscious and selective about who may move there. I’m surprised they let the severely psychologically challenged United States Representative, Ms Bachmann, enter the country, let alone claim citizenship.

Posted by TobyONottoby | Report as abusive
 

You are angry at them from getting through the system for being “nation-free” people and calling them opportunists? Really, you people are being snobs. They are working the system, so be it if they find a way. It doesn’t harm you at all so why all the hate.

It has little to do with their moral compasses and more to do adaptable arrogance. You need to hate something, so why not the rich? I love the hypocrisy. [sarcasm] Yeah.. you feel violated because they are not true Americans..sure[/sarcasm].

You people are feeling jealous of Bachman and the FB moron’s success and notoriety more likely.

Posted by johhnybgoood | Report as abusive
 

This puts a new spin on the old right wing rallying cry “America, love it or leave it.” I guess it has gone to the same grave as “If you get mugged, call a hippie.” I never did understand either sentiment.

Posted by IntoTheTardis | Report as abusive
 

As much as Tea Party Republicans hate the way we run this country, it stands to reason that folks like Bachmann would work as Michelle did, to become citizens of some other country.

Posted by SandersKaufman | Report as abusive
 

What a relief that this tea party lady is NOT a Swiss citizen ! She is deeply old testament American.

Posted by erichheini | Report as abusive
 

Why people seek dual citizenship is beyond me. There is a tremendous amount of tax paperwork involved each and every year. And you can’t even open a checking account in Europe, unless you drop the US Citizenship.
About 1800 people drop their US citizenship, not because they dislike America but because of all the IRS bureaucratic paperwork. One needs to change the entire tax system to something much simpler.
If I could get Swiss Citizenship I take it any day, and move there. There is no more beautiful country, and privacy and freedom is a thousand better than the over-hype how free this Nation USA is.
We are living in a jail without bars where the government controls your life (including your private life) and the IRS breathes down your neck with a 12 million word Code which no one understands except the best of Tax Attorneys.
Not even CPA’s and Accountants know most of the code.
If she can afford living in Switzerland, more power to her. All else anyone says about her is pure jealousy and envy. Funny how humans have to justify their ignorance.

Posted by DDavid | Report as abusive
 

Well, some comments just proved for me, the modern “liberals” are simply timid totalitarists like Pol Pot or Hitler. The hystery about Bachmann’s would be dual citizenship shows, they are ready to close the US borders like USSR was if the Obama would succeed: rich people should pay for their liberal leasure not escape for Switzerland!
BTW, a lot of liberals sweared to escape for Canada if conservative would win. This hypocrites never mind conservative could ban dual citizenship.

Posted by Moshe1963 | Report as abusive
 

The nation-state paradigm is passe’.

National boundary lines are little more than a way for the rich to draw lines around ”their” property and to pen in their livestock.

Posted by DeSwiss | Report as abusive
 

People flee US citizenship at least partly because a US Passport is treated more as a Certificate of Title than a document of any sort of “privilege”. If you have a second Passport, the US Government does not “own” you as outright.

Once upon a time, Americans were “free” in the sense that they were not treated as chattle. Now the US Government claims that you are subject to its Law and Will wherever you go. The Government not only claims control of its territory but of all its citizens wherever they may be. It owns its People.

At the same time, it hands out citizenship as if it were stick candy without regard to how the receiver will fit into any sort of “Nation” that has ever existed. It is like getting hired by a Corporation. But if you are born here, it is a Corporation you can never quit unless you buy your freedom. This is our new “Corporate State”. You owe it. It owes you nothing. It is your owner.

This is why those of us born here get restless without a second Passport. Why is it difficult for the “poor” ( the bottom 90% by income ) to leave this behind? Once, we welcomed such people from other countries and would not cooperate with foreign States who wanted some claim on our new citizens. Now we insist that every country on the planet cooperate with our own human property claims. This is the moral “wrong”, not wanting to be free.

Posted by usagadfly | Report as abusive
 

Here in Australia 30% of people have more than one citizenship so it isn’t unusual at all. I felt I had an obligation to become a citizen of the country where I was living and working. I felt it was my duty to vote and fully participate in civil society. However, I was born in America and will always be American.

Taxes are a separate issue. America is one of a handful of countries who require their citizens to pay US taxes no matter where that income is earned or that citizen resides. (If I moved back to the States for example I would not be required to pay Australian tax on my income after two years.) Most countries require anyone, citizen or not, to pay tax on income earned in that country. In other words, my tax obligations did not change at all when I took Australian citizenship but would change if I gave up my USA. What worries ex-pats more than taxes are FATCA and FBAR (reporting requirements for US citizens and foreign financial institutions). I try hard to be compliant but it is more and more difficult to keep track of the rules.

I don’t take either of my citizenships lightly or think of them as “friends with benefits”. I feel an allegiance and love for both my home and adopted countries.

Posted by MackieJo | Report as abusive
 

Perhaps dual citizens are part of the future in which humans see themselves as world citizens rather than part of a system that fosters war

Posted by leekhat | Report as abusive
 

Something does not make sense why would a US elected govt. official want to have a Swiss citizenship? Something is fishy here, by the way take Sarah Pallin with you as well and a few others in your Tea party.

Posted by politicaljunkie | Report as abusive
 

That very rich Brazilian suffered from an American boy (the head/founder of Facebook)who wanted to squeeze him out of his part and contribution to the company. Now he got the money and good chunk of the company and all of that, he does not want the IRS this time squeeze him out of his nice stash. It is good to make money here and run somewhere else. even presidential candidates do that.

Posted by OmarMinyawi | Report as abusive
 

But But But, we have Obama as President, he is the great Messiah, why would anyone want to give up citizenship under his anointed leadership?

Posted by CountryPride | Report as abusive
 

Of course to be a citizen of any modern nation today does not mean a thing, citizenship is based on locality, language and ethnicity.

Not only the US but most countries on earth are now too big and diverse to have anything like that. And we are not missing much.

The attempt to scale-up that sense of commitment is one of the drivers of the fascist state in Europe. Based on propaganda and on an overgrown sense of their own differences to their neighbors.

Modern happily leave that behind, and for most modern states you are just a number, just a vote more, a welfare recipient or and a source of revenue more. It is a system that you join either you want it or not, by birth. By the way, US is one of the few in the world that considers its citizens as tax-payers regardless to where they live. It is like you are born on Uncle-Sams tax-farm for life. That is why people are getting interested on renouncing US citizenship.

You have your own background and whatever allegiances you have regardless of passport. Of course it is handy to have 2 passports, just ask any European running from war or any individual looking for a better job abroad.

Americans are not given much benefits on joining the group. The arrogance of your government shared by many Americans will push many great people out of the US in order to preserve their wealth and give better prospects to their children.

Posted by jcamargo | Report as abusive
 

What a wonderful feeling to know she is NOT a Swiss citizen !

Posted by erichheini | Report as abusive
 

Just a response to DDavid’s post above about not being able to open a checking account in Europe if you aren’t a citizen. I don’t know what the regulations are in other European countries but in Italy you can open bank accounts without being a citizen. In order to get a standard account you must be a resident but I believe there are also options to get non-resident accounts as well. It’s true, though, that there is a ton of paperwork involved related to U.S. taxes, as well as ever-increasing invasive paperwork (declarations related to foreign bank accounts and the new declaration on one of the voting forms asking you to declare your intention to return or never to return to the U.S. if you are living overseas).

Interesting article….

Posted by migarto | Report as abusive
 

Ddavid,

An American citizen can certainly have a bank account in Europe. I don’t understand your comment. I am an American citizen and I live in Europe. Moreover, dual citizenship places no restrictions on bank accounts.

Posted by RoderickB | Report as abusive
 

I wonder if Michele knows how lucky she is? If Switzerland had the same rules as the US for expatriation, she would have to:

a) book an appointment at the Swiss Embassy (not just write a letter, way too easy!), go through a long process of telling the US consulate how sure you are you really do want to renounce (often split up into several appointments) and pay $450 dollars to renounce.

b) She would need to deal with the tax consequences. As the US taxes its citizens worldwide (and ONLY the US does this except for Eritrea) , she would need to prove she has filed her taxes in the US and Switzerland (paying a double tax if she earns above 95K) for the last 5 years, even though she lives and earns in the US. If her net worth is high enough (it is) she would have to pay an “exit tax”, ie, a hefty percentage of the value of her WORLDWIDE holdings as if she sold them the day before expatriation. Ouch.

c) She would be plastered all over the Swiss media as a “tax evader”, “unpatriotic”, etc. etc. (aka Saverin). How dare she leave Switzerland??? WE OWN YOU FOR LIFE!!!!!

Yes, lucky for her, Switzerland doesn’t behave like the US. In fact… no one else does, except for the above mentioned Eritrea. Amazingly, the US decided to condemn Eritrea (in association with the UN) because of their worldwide taxation policy: http://isaacbrocksociety.com/2012/01/30/ only-the-u-s-may-tax-its-citizens-living -abroad-u-s-condemms-use-of-disapora-tax -for-other-countries/

Boggles the mind.

Posted by xpatnhappy | Report as abusive
 

There have been US ex-patriots for over a century but in a time of war it is too like “rats deserting a sinking ship”.

It also throws another argument behind my suspicion – and I’m not that surprised – that those most eager for the wars of the last ten years probably never expected to have their own lives and fortunes compromised in the least. These were very much “wars lite” and very nearly on automatic.

The complaint in the comments that this country “owns its citizens”, should remember that members of the arm forces don’t have the same legal rights as civilians. They didn’t expect a decade of warfare to pinch them?

It was easy for the conservatives and a lot of the liberals (at the start) to support the wars, but now that the imperial pretensions of a lot of people have met a stone wall, they want to jump ship.

Country Pride. All the presidents tend to be considered someone’s “messiah” You’re surprised Obama is seen as one too? I haven’t believed that kind of political rhetoric since High School over 40 years ago. There is a simple way to figure how popular a president will be. If he raises taxes – he mounts the scaffold. If he lowers them, many people would want to make him a king.

It does seem that the new ex-patriots may be jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

Posted by paintcan | Report as abusive
 

Only Americans could be so ego-centric to think that their citizenship is SOOOO amazing that anyone who would want another is a traitorous fool. The era of nation-states is coming to an end (none too soon either) and for people that participate in the world, full rights in several districts of it are a must. Essentially every citizen of a EuroZone country is a citizen of all 17, and the other 14 periphery country have special rights in all 31 as well – that’s the future.

Geez, I think something like 30% of American citizens don’t even HAVE passports… way to run from the future!

Posted by CDN_Rebel | Report as abusive
 

Josephine Baker was born in Saint Louis, Missouri, went to NY after 15 and is therefore not a life long New Yorker. She is also not the best example to use in comparing love of two countries because her life in the US was very rocky.

Posted by Jonta | Report as abusive
 

Atossa needs to find a good photographer and get a better picture taken.

Posted by DougAnderson | Report as abusive
 

IRREVOCABLE. Bye, bye!

Posted by SeaWa | Report as abusive
 

@CDN_Rebel. Are we so arrogant to realize we live in one of the most solid and free countries in the world? Are we so arrogant to see one of the most stable governments in the world? Are we so arrogant to see that we have one of the most solid economies in the world?

Posted by SeaWa | Report as abusive
 

Stop calling ILLEGAL immigrants “undocumented immigrants”. By that stupid token you seem to claim that they are assimilating to American culture and nothing could be further from the truth. They flaunt their immigration status and want OUR rights without earning them. They are parasitic racist criminals. Screw them and their sympathizers. I never saw dual citizenship a good thing because of the taxes owed to both countries. I think it’s fun to visit but I wouldn’t want to live in many anti-American countries anyway let alone have dual citizenship there through marriage, etc.

Posted by LogicLover | Report as abusive
 

The right wing have always been fake patriots.

They lie, distort and wrap themselves around the flag while doing it. The simpletons eat it up.

Posted by TheUSofA | Report as abusive
 

Those who want to go should be permitted to.

Very few who do so would want to come back, voluntarily. Outside, there is freedom. Inside, take off your shoes and bend over so that some jerk can invade any place he wants without worrying about his security. And throw in your “Insurance Contributions” to pay for it all. And your retirement plans. And just try to find an option for change on the ballot. It ain’t there and has not been for a long, long time.

I would point out that in every country on this planet, the people in league with those running the Government have a great deal of freedom indeed. The test is the freedom of those outside “the system”. Those without power. It is the very definition of “liberty”, which is sprayed liberally all over our currency. The powerful never like those who disagree with them. The measure of a country is what it does to those people.

Posted by usagadfly | Report as abusive
 

usagadfly – You describe most of the countries of the world. The USA is still one of the most free places to live.

Posted by SeaWa | Report as abusive
 

I am going down with the ship IOUSA!

Posted by minipaws | Report as abusive
 

What a blow to the American ego, ahem I mean eagle.

Posted by WJL | Report as abusive
 

Your write that most countries have relaxed their attitudes to dual citizenship – in the western world perhaps. However, throughout Asia, dual nationality is still regarded with suspicion and hostility. Unavailable in China and India, available only until age 22 in Japan. Other countries similarly resistant.

Posted by Lissandreau | Report as abusive
 

More evidence we need to scrap our 72,000-page tax code and start over. Make sure the 47%+ of households who paid no taxes last year actually start paying too, and stop making all the tax credits “refundable” which enables the bottom 20% to pay a NEGATIVE (-3%) tax rate.

Posted by Delphinus13 | Report as abusive
 

Correct. Switzerland requires all its citizens to buy health insurance. They don’t love their freedom like we do. Yet somehow their national health is much better than ours. How can this be? Maybe their government and their corporations haven’t yet gotten married yet like in the US.

Posted by possibilianP | Report as abusive
 

Bachman is nice looking and a completely delusional lunatic. But heck, in the US all we care about is the facade.

Posted by possibilianP | Report as abusive
 

Expand your thinking a little. Most african and middle east countries borders were defined by Europe. Maybe they should go back to the Tribal/ Nomad concepts and eliminate the country lines. A very definite mess as far as international commerce and banking but what about all the deaths its causing.

Posted by Slodog | Report as abusive
 

Much to do with tax evasion – first the coporations and now these one-percenters. Funny thing is – these folks if still alive, will beg to sneak back for better security, when global calamity hits in about 30-40 years.

Posted by Mott | Report as abusive
 

Any publication that would devote space to several thousand words trying to make sense of anything Michelle Bachmann does or says must be really desperate for filler.

Posted by Art_In_Seattle | Report as abusive
 

@SeaWa how would you know if you’ve never been anywhere else? America is NOT one of the more free countries in the world — the presence of your security forces is nearly ubiquitous within your boundaries; your govt is so unstable that your national debt rating was downgraded because of it; your economy has had 11 straight quarters of growth, but sub-par by your own standards — and more than half the country thinks the American economy stinks. So yup, I’ll stick with my call of arrogance, a call that your tone backs up quite well.

Posted by CDN_Rebel | Report as abusive
 

gee, i wish i was someone important, so when i did something not important, it would be important

Posted by running | Report as abusive
 

What’s the big deal?

Corporations are abandoning the US? Aren’t they citizens too?

US citizens that take dual citizenship for work elsewhere are simply taking part in the great large marketplace. Isn’t that what Free Marketers say we should be doing?

Posted by Racetothebotom | Report as abusive
 

When the average person chooses a neighborhood to live in they do so based on their wants/needs and economic ability. Wealthy people do the same thing except they can afford to survey a Global Neighborhood. This is not surprising. What is surprising are the deteriorating incentives for the best and brightest to come to, or remain in America.

Posted by GLK | Report as abusive
 

If you write for Reuters it is a given that you are left wing. Often, however, it is also a given that you are a starry-eyed naive displaying an almost childlike lack of grasp of the complexities of a situation. (Example: Palestinians good; Israelis bad).

Atossa (does she have a big nose or is it the picture?) completely misses the point about US citizenship that is so egregious. US taxes you whether you live in Sheboygan of the South Pole. And if there is no tax treaty between the US and where you live you often end up paying double taxes.

Under the Obama regime this has worsened so that even dual Canadian/US citizens are subject to harassment by the IRS in Canada! The only thing to do is renounce US citizenship. And even that costs you money.

No wonder people are leaving the decadent sinking ship. Not a big deal, however, within 30 years the place will be a laughable backwater peopled with Hispanics, Nigerian taxi drivers (and Obama’s relatives), Arabs, Indian motel owners and greenies in Vermont and Oregon. And the Hollywood and TV elite fawning over a US Chinese president.

The rest of us will have moved on in disgust.

Posted by eleno | Report as abusive
 

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