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Eduardo Saverin doesn't owe us anything (Is Facebook co-founder a traitor for giving up on America?)
Human Events ^ | 05/17/2012 | David Harsanyi

Posted on 05/17/2012 5:03:07 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

When Brazilian-born entrepreneur Eduardo Saverin, one of the founders of Facebook, renounced his U.S. citizenship, allegedly to avoid paying millions -- or is it billions -- in taxes ahead of the company's Initial Public Offering, there was plenty of indignation. Saverin was blessed with an upscale Miami upbringing, a top-notch Harvard education, and has thrived in an entrepreneurial environment created by Americans, becoming insanely rich during the Internet boom.

So the question is: What does Saverin owe the United States?

Is it reprehensible for him to drop his citizenship before paying his “fair” share to the government that made all this possible? Edward Kleinbard, a professor at the USC Gould School of Law, was quoted as saying: "For Eduardo Saverin to expatriate struck me as perfectly lawful and, at the same time, profoundly ungrateful.” Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Maveriks tweeted, "This pisses me off." Similar reactions can be found across the Web.

The entire episode irks me, too. Yes, because Saverin seems like a selfish ingrate, but also for entirely different reasons.

If high taxation chases successful people out of the country, that’s the country’s fault. Daniel Mitchell at the Cato Institute likens this to a “fiscal version of blaming the victim.” Obviously, attaching the word “victim” to a billionaire in an age of class warfare is not going to do much to bolster Saverin’s case, but human beings will act in their own self interest. Surely, with every person, there are a host of reasons for making these kinds of decisions – who knows, maybe Saverin hates eating American cuisine or the weather – but once the tax code pushes people away rather than entice them to come, something is wrong.

Earlier this year a study by the Alliance for Savings & Investment, found that the United States has the world’s fourth-highest integrated tax rate on dividends and capital gains -- once the effect of the corporate income and state taxes were taken into account the rate 50.8 percent. Only the rates in France and Denmark were higher. That doesn’t sound a like a smart way to attract investment, or keep it.

But even more irksome is the implicit message by some of those complaining about Saverin’s departure. Paying taxes is does not show how grateful you are. Government should have no claim to person’s wealth. We’re not letting him “keep” anything that isn’t his to begin with even if we don’t like what’s done.

There is a myth –often perpetuated by Democrats , most (in)famously by Elizabeth Warren – that private sector success is predicated on a robust government. The reverse is true. Apologizes to Joe Biden, but there is nothing patriotic about funding a government that runs a 1.7 trillion deficit yearly – it might be my duty to do so in a democratic nation.

No doubt, Saverin (who has lived Singapore the past few years and according to his spokesperson, plans to reside in that nation for a while longer) has already paid in far more than his “fair” share of taxes. Saverin will reportedly pay as much as $150 million to leave behind his citizenship. Jim Rogers, investor and libertarian, who is a U.S. citizen living Singapore (where there are no capital gains taxes), says, “When you give up your American citizenship, it's not fair as far as I'm concerned, but the rules are that you have to pay everything, you have to pay taxes on everything you own and then you can leave.”

Whether his success was dumb luck, Saverin, as far as I know, went to Harvard on his own merit, he (with money borrowed from his family) made the investment into Facebook without any guidance from politicians, and has paid back his debt to government. Saverin’s role in creating wealth and job – as inadvertent as it may be – is a lot more useful than any taxes he’s going to pay.

-- David Harsanyi is a senior reporter at Human Events.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: brazil; eduardosaverin; entrepreneurs; facebook; saverin; tax; taxes

1 posted on 05/17/2012 5:03:12 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

“before paying his “fair” share to the government that made all this possible”

How did the government make his success “possible”? More likely they impede it at every turn,,


2 posted on 05/17/2012 5:11:54 AM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I have no problem with him expatriating himself. His life, his money, he can do what he wants. Especially if it’s to avoid giving obama more money to waste.

I do, however, believe he should be publicly horsewhipped (a few times) for forcing all facebook users into timeline.


3 posted on 05/17/2012 5:12:21 AM PDT by John O (God Save America (Please))
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To: SeekAndFind

He owes as little to the govt. as possible. The govt and markets are set up for us. Not we for the govt. Now, if he wants to freely donate something to the less fortunate then fine. But he is free to do so or not to do so.


4 posted on 05/17/2012 5:12:25 AM PDT by HChampagne
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To: SeekAndFind
There's nothing fair about making some people pay more for government than other people pay. This guy's contribution to society was Facebook. I don't use it, but it seems to make a lot of people happy, and probably few people ever get angry about Facebook. Government is a different story.

ML/NJ

5 posted on 05/17/2012 5:13:06 AM PDT by ml/nj
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To: SeekAndFind

No one owes anything derived from the effort of their own labor to socialists. We owe all socialists an entirely different debt, but money isn’t part of it.


6 posted on 05/17/2012 5:20:10 AM PDT by Caipirabob (I say we take off and Newt the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure...)
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To: SeekAndFind
I don't blame a dog for scratching off its fleas. Similarly I don't blame Saverin for getting away from an even bigger parasite.
7 posted on 05/17/2012 5:21:09 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (You only have three billion heartbeats in a lifetime.How many does the government claim as its own?)
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To: SeekAndFind

Recently some cash strapped states passed laws targeting high earners. So they move to lower tax states.
John Kerry registered his yacht in a lower tax state than he lives.
Bill Clinton created a foundatation that pays his expenses but is taxed at a much lower rate than the rest of us pay.
Elton John expatriated himself from England to live in Atlanta to get a more favorable tax rate.

This is like the fedgov monster regulating and taxing businesses until they leave the country in order to stay solvent. Then the same feds bash those companies for being “unpatriotic” for leaving the country.
Duh, why did they leave?

What this guys is doing is not out of the ordinary.


8 posted on 05/17/2012 5:30:06 AM PDT by Texas resident (November 6 - Vote Against obama)
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To: SeekAndFind

I don’t blame Saverin one damn bit for giving up his U.S. citizenship to avoid the excessive taxes of Uncle Shark.

The federal regime in Washington wastes trillions of dollars on their insane bullshit, year in, year out. Saverin owes them nothing.

If anything, Zuckerberg and Saverin ought to run the federal government since they obviously understand running a business better than the government does.


9 posted on 05/17/2012 5:30:40 AM PDT by mkjessup (Romney is to conservatism what Helen Thomas is to a high fashion model walkway.)
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To: SeekAndFind

There’s a good chance that Obama’s 2013 intended tax increase, would have cost this guy $1 Billion.

“Sure”, you say, “If I had $3B in capital gains, I’d pay $1B in taxes...”

But, consider that NATIONALLY, the new tax is projected to return only $5B next year, you might ask yourself, why a single individual she set themselves up to lose control of $1B, only for liberals to waste it buying votes?


10 posted on 05/17/2012 5:31:21 AM PDT by G Larry (Criminals thrive on the indulgence of society's understanding)
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To: SeekAndFind

I thought all these whiny big government leftists were also the champions of helping out the developing nations?

It would seem that opportunities Saverin has to invest his billions will be much more effective in the emerging Asian markets around Singapore than keeping it here in the US where his taxes are just another drop in our 1.5 Trillion dollar bucket.

It sounds to me like they just don’t want to share.


11 posted on 05/17/2012 5:41:39 AM PDT by Can i say that here?
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To: SeekAndFind

I don’t understand the wealthy, why do they not support conservative candidates who want to lower everyone’s tax rate, and even eliminate capital gains tax altogether.

This election cycle is the best opportunity the wealthy have to secure their own future and that of the entire country, they should be pouring money into conservative candidates, but they give their money to the Oppressor. Go Figure!


12 posted on 05/17/2012 5:58:32 AM PDT by PoloSec ( Believe the Gospel: how that Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again)
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To: SeekAndFind

Everybody who is able is planning for a safe harbor in the coming storm.


13 posted on 05/17/2012 6:03:02 AM PDT by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: Travis McGee
Everybody who is able is planning for a safe harbor in the coming storm.

Hence, my tagline.

14 posted on 05/17/2012 6:05:29 AM PDT by OB1kNOb (The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty. - Prov 22:3)
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To: SeekAndFind

What he is is an economic-prostitute. He is taking his money and running before Uncle B. Hussein and Uncle Turbo-Tax Timmy confiscate it.


15 posted on 05/17/2012 6:10:34 AM PDT by MIchaelTArchangel (Da Bro' Gotsta Go!)
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To: MIchaelTArchangel

The situation is more of a sad comment on the intrusive, overarching government than it is on some “selfish” individul. It is sad that such statist policies drive the creative away from this society.


16 posted on 05/17/2012 6:16:30 AM PDT by hal ogen (First Amendment or Reeducation Camp?)
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To: SeekAndFind

I take Saverin’s expatriation as a black mark against the onerous US tax system. He is perfectly entitled to move where he thinks is best for him. And shame on those tax-grubbers who covet his wealth. What he earns is his to do with as he pleases.


17 posted on 05/17/2012 6:37:22 AM PDT by theBuckwheat
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To: mkjessup
I don’t blame Saverin one damn bit for giving up his U.S. citizenship to avoid the excessive taxes of Uncle Shark.

I agree, it's his life. But that being said if he needs the USA's help in the future if the STHF in whatever country he is in he needs to be be given the finger.

18 posted on 05/17/2012 6:42:25 AM PDT by trailhkr1 (All you need to know about Zimmerman, innocent = riots, manslaughter = riots, guilty = riots)
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To: PoloSec
I don’t understand the wealthy, why do they not support conservative candidates who want to lower everyone’s tax rate, and even eliminate capital gains tax altogether.

Why are so many rich people socialists? They already have their money....imposing socialism on everybody else locks out their competition. Rich people hate competition.

19 posted on 05/17/2012 6:46:15 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Texas resident

Don’t forget Bono, that Irish asshat who lectures Americans to pay more taxes to help the Africans .....and who also moved his wealth to the lower taxing Netherlands.


20 posted on 05/17/2012 6:47:17 AM PDT by Lizavetta (You get what you tolerate)
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To: SeekAndFind

That thing hitting him in the butt, is the door.

Bye.

America first.


21 posted on 05/17/2012 6:47:25 AM PDT by Cringing Negativism Network (America doesn't need any new laws. America needs freedom!)
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To: Texas resident

John Lennon “Imagined No Taxes” and moved to the US.


22 posted on 05/17/2012 6:48:12 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Lizavetta

Paying taxes is for the little people.


23 posted on 05/17/2012 6:49:12 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: SeekAndFind

Funniest thing is that you gotta know he was a liberal until it came time for him to “PAY HIS FAIR SHARE”. Once more the mindset of liberals. Having said that to save tens of millions dollars I am not sure what I would have done. It really doesn,t bother me one way or another.


24 posted on 05/17/2012 7:04:21 AM PDT by ontap
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To: SeekAndFind
To borrow a phrase from Judge Posner, “This is blaming the victim with a vengeance.”

Government has taken too much in taxes and squandered that productivity on:
1. A seething horde of life long welfare system Gimmie-Pigs.
2. Those welfare wenches were subsidized to breed vast herds of illegitimate and unacculturated Urban Ferals.
3. Bureaucratic AgencyPerson “trough feeders” more numerous than can possibly be justified.
4. The ‘pooklic skool collective’ of unprecedented expense, waste and incompetence.

No surprise that the productive do “Go Galt”.

25 posted on 05/17/2012 7:12:04 AM PDT by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon freedom, it is necessary to examine principles."...the public interest)
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To: DesertRhino
If you believe Obama, the gubmint invented the internet.

Without gubmint, there’d be no interwebs.(so he claims)

26 posted on 05/17/2012 10:50:34 AM PDT by TurboZamboni (Looting the future to bribe the present)
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To: PoloSec
This election cycle is the best opportunity the wealthy have to secure their own future and that of the entire country, they should be pouring money into conservative candidates, but they give their money to the Oppressor. Go Figure!

That's simple: they have learned the hard way that buying influence with the Socialists is a safer path to guarding their wealth than supporting "conservatives" who really don't believe what they say on the campaign trail and are scared of their own shadows.

27 posted on 05/17/2012 10:56:00 AM PDT by Mr. Jeeves (CTRL-GALT-DELETE)
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