Skip to comments.Eduardo Saverin doesn't owe us anything (Is Facebook co-founder a traitor for giving up on America?)
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, thats the countrys 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 Saverins 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 worlds 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 doesnt 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 Saverins departure. Paying taxes is does not show how grateful you are. Government should have no claim to persons wealth. Were not letting him keep anything that isnt his to begin with even if we dont like whats 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. Saverins role in creating wealth and job as inadvertent as it may be is a lot more useful than any taxes hes going to pay.
-- David Harsanyi is a senior reporter at Human Events.
“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,,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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!
Everybody who is able is planning for a safe harbor in the coming storm.
Hence, my tagline.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.