May 31, 2012
In what appears to be a growing movement in the United States Congress, at least two different pieces of legislation have been introduced during the course of this year that would involve the stripping of travel rights and the possession of passports for a variety of reasons.
The more draconian of the two bills, The Moving Ahead For Progress Act (MAP-21) S. 1813, actually allows for the “revocation or denial” of a passport for anyone who has delinquent or unpaid taxes. This is why Eric Blair of Activist Post has labeled it the “Keeping the Slaves on the Plantation Act.”
Section 40304 of the bill states in clear language, “that any individual has a seriously delinquent tax debt in an amount in excess of $50,000, the Secretary shall transmit such certification to the Secretary of State for action with respect to denial, revocation, or limitation of a passport.”
At first, this section appears only to target wealthier citizens yet, as is always the case, the language of the bill can easily be twisted in order to apply to almost everyone else.
This is because the amounts of “delinquent taxes” claimed to be owed by the individual is generated by the IRS and the burden of proof is subsequently placed on the citizen, not the agency making the accusation. Thus, an obviously outrageous claim of back taxes can be made against anyone and the responsibility to demonstrate that the money is owed or not, along with all of the financial and legal inconvenience that accompanies it, now falls squarely on the shoulders of the citizen. Once again, in America, you will be presumed guilty until you prove yourself innocent.
The MAP-21 law, which has actually passed the Senate on March 14 in a 74-22 vote, not only allows for the denial of passport applications but also for the revocation of passports even in the event that the citizens are currently residing abroad.
Indeed, citizens need not commit a crime in order to have their right to travel revoked. They need only to have outstanding debt. CBS acknowledges this much when it writes,
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
However, there does not appear to be any specific language requiring a taxpayer to be charged with tax evasion or any other crime in order to have their passport revoked or limited – only that a notice of lien or levy has been filed by the IRS.
In other words, if you owe money, you are in danger of having your right to travel revoked. Thus, the concept of this bill dovetails with the recent reappearance of debtor’s prisons inside the United States
The second law, the Ex-PATRIOT Act
(The Expatriation Prevention By Abolishing Tax-Related Incentives for Offshore Tenancy Act
) is similar in scope to MAP-21. Like its counterpart, this bill will have serious consequences for any individual who renounces his American citizenship for that of another country.
In fact, under this new law which has only recently been introduced
by Sen. Chuck Schumer D –N.Y. and Sen. Bob Casey D-PA, any individual who renounces his citizenship for “tax avoidance purposes” would be subject to a higher capital gains tax
, as well as being banned from ever re-entering the country again.
What’s more, the tax provision of this law could be enacted retroactively.
While the case for raising the capital gains tax on individuals renouncing their citizenship can most definitely be made – especially considering that the amount (30% percent
) would only be equal to what other non-resident aliens must currently pay – the idea that these individuals would be banned from ever re-entering the country is absolutely outrageous.
Not only that, much like the MAP-21 bill, the burden of proof regarding whether or not the citizen has renounced citizenship for “tax avoidance purposes” is laid directly on the shoulders of the individual, not the state which has made the accusation. Indeed, this bill forces the citizen to prove that he is not leaving the U.S. for these reasons as the new law creates an environment where it is automatically assumed that he is.
What’s more, the fact that provisions of this law – or any other law – can be enacted retroactively
has startling implications for every American citizen. Indeed, it has startling implications for the basic concept of justice.
When a law can be enacted retroactively, it becomes the case that individuals or organizations are then held liable for committing a crime that they had no way of knowing existed at the time it was committed. Unless one is able to see the future, it is impossible to anticipate what further laws may be passed in the same way. Only a psychopath desiring more control, or a complete idiot unaware of the repercussions of his actions, would pursue legislation in this manner.
The fact is that there is a much bigger agenda afoot than mere reactionary politics and attempts to score political points with voters over a Facebook executive skipping out on his tax bill. As Congressman Ron Paul stated
on his Texas Straight Talk recording on May 28, 2012,
The characteristic mark of a tyrannical regime is that it eventually finds it necessary to erect walls to keep people from leaving. . . . . We live under a Federal Government that has eviscerated our Fourth Amendment rights, that can detain US citizens indefinitely based solely on the President’s word, and assaults toddlers and grandmothers at airports in the name of security and regulates virtually every aspect of our economic lives. No wonder increasing numbers of Americans feel this government is engaged in outright warfare against its own citizens.
From the U.S./Mexico border fence to the new MAP-21 and EX-PATRIOT Act bills, what is clear is that those in power are becoming increasingly aware of the desire of many Americans to abandon the ship before it finally sinks. What is also clear is that there is a great deal of effort being spent in order to prevent them from doing so.
This article first appeared at Activist Post
This article was posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012 at 3:29 am
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