Originally posted on The Isaac Brock Society:

S. 1813, the highway (robbery) bill with amendments that let the Treasury Department ban credit cards from non-FATCA banks and give the IRS the power to take away expats’ passports, passed the Senate by a vote of 74-22 with 4 abstentions. The bill will now go to the House, where it will face off against H.R. 7, a competing surface transport bill by Rep. John Mica (R-FL).

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  1. The USA continues to take away the freedom of Americans. This bill has already passed the senate, it is very important that you contact your representatives to oppose senate bill 1813 and request that the amendment giving new power to the IRS to revoke and suspend passports removed. It is very easy to contact your representatives by email, here is the link. https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml

    Below is my draft response to my representative, it may be helpful for other people that oppose this bill and also explains my views. You are welcome to use whatever you want when you contact your representatives.

    I oppose S.1813 – Transportation Research and Innovative Technology Act of 2012. I also oppose the attached Amendment giving power to the IRS to revoke and suspend passports.

    Specifically I oppose the bill because it creates additional spending and even more important I also oppose the attached amendment giving power to the IRS to revoke or suspend or renew passports. I oppose the IRS having the power to prevent or prohibit Americans from traveling. I oppose giving the IRS any additional powers. Please do what it takes to remove the amendment from Senate bill 1813 and all other bills it may get attached to in the future.

    First of all Americans have the right to dispute an IRS claim and the amount of the dispute is unimportant. Everyone knows the exorbitant penalties and high interest can hyper-inflate any claim to a much higher figure than what is mentioned in the amendment. The politicians in the senate are obviously trying to circumvent justice and give the IRS the power to strong arm the taxpayers and take away their right to dispute an IRS claim.

    The IRS is already the most feared and ruthless collection agency in the world, politicians should be limiting the IRS powers not giving them more power. The politicians have promised to reduce the powers of the IRS many times before but instead they attempt to give the IRS more power. The hypocritical politicians need to be stopped now. Please also introduce a bill to reduce the powers of the IRS.

    It is obvious once again the politicians that authored the amendment and attached the amendment to Bill 1813 and the senators that approved this bill 1813 are not thinking correctly. As a general rule the rich and the poor do not have tax disputes with the IRS of course their are a few exceptions but not many, it is the small business owners that have the majority of tax disputes with the IRS. In addition it is the small business owners that pay the majority of the taxes to the IRS. So the stupid or ignorant politicians that authored and attached and approved the amendment giving power to the IRS to revoke or suspend passports are targeting and attacking the small business owners which pay most of the taxes in the USA, that sounds kind of stupid to me. In addition the small business owners that do international business will be affected the most, unfortunately that is the fastest growing portion of American business. Small business owners that focus on international business are the companies that are hiring many people at this time. Obviously business owners that do international business need their passports to make money and pay taxes. Once again targeting and attacking the fastest growing and most vulnerable part of American Business sounds stupid to me. The amendment could obviously have a negative impact on the hiring of Americans and jeopardize desperately needed jobs. Please do everything possible to prevent bill 1813 from becoming law and remove all Amendments giving additional power to the IRS.

    If this bill 1813 with the amendment giving the IRS power to revoke passports is ever passed, soon after some ignorant congressman will attempt to take away the drivers licenses of the American people for some frivolous reason. That will accomplish nothing and further anger and polarize the American people as well as erode American values and pride as well as restrict the freedom and liberty of Americans. I assume they may soon revoke all the driving licenses of Americans that cannot afford to pay their student loans or some other asinine reason. I am sure this will happen so please be prepared and vote no for any such action. Next they will restrict travel between states for unpaid government backed mortgages or loans or other reasons. These attacks on the freedom need to stop now.

    Restricting Americans freedom to travel in order to help reduce the deficit is unconscionable and stupid.These soviet style tactics of limiting peoples freedom are going to backfire. As was in the other repressive societies in the past the wealthy and middle class people that can afford to will just leave the USA permanently and start paying their taxes to another country that does not have soviet style repression. Many wealthy and middle class people are already leaving the USA. So the end result would be that less people would be paying taxes. You already know this is already happening. This Senate Bill 1813 needs to defeated and the amendment giving power to the IRS to revoke and suspend passports needs to removed permanently from all bills. Please make sure it happens.

    Everyone knows that the true cause of huge budget deficit and the astronomical debt is overspending and over borrowing. Always keep in mind that the politicians created the huge deficit and astronomical debt. The taxpayers with IRS disputes did not create this problem. If the debt was not so large and the taxes not so high and the IRS penalties not so unreasonable there would be far less tax disputes and no need to harass American taxpayers. The politicians created all this debt so it would better if you introduced a bill that gives the IRS the power to revoke the passports of the politicians that created this huge debt and deficit problem, please do that. This repressive amendment may be a feeble attempt to cut the deficit however it appears more like a distraction designed to distraction Americans from the real problem of overspending but it will obviously not work. It is not possible to reduce the huge astronomical debt by making the USA into a debtors prison. You could take away everyone’s passport and driving license and you still would not be able to fix the huge budget deficit and the astronomical debt of our country.

    The amendment that gives the IRS the power to revoke or suspend passports is extremely repressive as well offensive. It is something you expect from Russia or China, not the USA. Turning the USA into a debtors prison is something I thought could never happen in the USA. This country has gone down hill rapidly, the politicians are destroying America. The amendment attached to Senate bill 1813 giving the IRS power to revoke or suspend passports proves that the government really is turning into a repressive regime against American’s right to freedom, liberty and the pursuit of justice. Already the USA has the highest percentage of it’s citizens in prison, a higher percentage than any other country in the world including Iran, China, Cuba and Russia. Now the politicians want to make the entire country a debtors prison, it appears that the politicians in the Senate may be mentally ill or intentionally trying to create a repressive regime to totally control it’s citizens. I value freedom and liberty above everything else as did my forefathers that founded and fought to keep this country free. The inclusion of the Amendment of giving additional power to the IRS in any bill is one step closer for the USA to becoming a police state. Please do everything possible to prevent this bill 1813 from becoming law and remove the amendment giving the IRS any additional power (including the revocation or suspension or preventing the renewal of passports).

    Even though the huge debt and budget deficit is a catastrophic problem it appears that the Senate politicians would rather spend their valuable time harassing Americans instead of trying to find ways to cut the out of control spending. The only thing that will fix the huge deficit and the astronomical debt of our country is to cut spending so I am also instructing you to reduce spending now. I oppose any additional spending, I also oppose any additional debt. I want you to cut spending. Please concentrate on the problem of overspending and prevent socialist senate politicians from passing laws that give more power to the IRS to harass and imprison American citizens in their own country. The politicians caused the huge deficit now fix it by cutting spending and cutting borrowing.

    Please vote no for all such amendments and bills that polarize the people and/or attempt to create class warfare and/or harass American citizens and/or limit Americans freedom and/or take away the rights of Americans to dispute claims with the IRS or make it more difficult to dispute claims with the IRS.

    There is an ever growing erosion of American values and pride as well as an ever increasing embarrassment of being American. Politicians that create and pass laws that limit American freedom and erode American pride are making the USA the laughing stock of the world. America is supposed to be a role model for other countries when it comes to freedom. Instead now the amendment attached to bill 1813 giving power to the IRS to revoke or suspend passports prove that the USA is one of the most repressive governments in the world.

    When I see attachments to bills like the one giving the IRS power to suspend or revoke an Americans right to travel it makes me sick. It makes me feel embarrassed to be an American. Please try to stop the other politicians from destroying our country. Can you imagine what reaction our forefathers the founders of this country would have if something like this happened 200 years ago? It is obvious that would have never happened because they understood what freedom means and fought and died for the freedom of Americans. Now politicians are trying to take away the freedom of Americans. So why is it happening now? I think you already know, this country is going bankrupt and bad politicians would rather polarize and harass American citizens than cut spending. As always politicians put their own interest in continuing their career as a politician ahead of the needs of the American people. The overspending socialist politicians are addicted to spending other peoples money (the tax payers) and borrowing more every chance they get.It is easy for them to spend other peoples money, specifically my money (Americans are responsible for the debt of their country.). That is sad and it makes me sick when politicians spend my money foolishly. I would never authorize anyone to use my money to overspend and then over borrow. I am instructing you to cut spending now and stop harassing Americans. Please oppose Senate bill 1813 and remove the amendment giving the IRS power to revoke, suspend or refuse renewal of passports.

    It is hard to believe that in the USA travel is a privilege and not a right. The USA government continues to increase control over it’s citizens at an alarming rate. When the American government controls your ability to travel it is easy to see that the American government is out of control.and needs to reigned in by it’s citizens. Please initiate a bill that makes Americans ability to travel freely a right and not just a privilege so other politicians will never be able to do this repressive act in the future. I don’t want my government to be able to limit travel and control Americans like other repressive governments. I want Americans to be to be free and I want to be proud of my country.

    The politicians created all the problems in my country so please start fixing this country now by cutting spending, please stop spending my money without my permission, please stop borrowing without my permission. Most of all stop attempting to harass the American citizens and don’t forget the taxpayers that the Senate politicians are attempting to harass pay their salaries. Please initiate a bill to reduce all congressman’s salary by 50% until the astronomical government debt is zero.

    This bill is already causing stress and strife in this country. Politicians are trying to polarize the American people and imprison Americans that want to dispute IRS claims. It is a lame idea and it will not work. The whole idea of a debtors prison is archaic and repressive. It appears that the politicians that approved this bill in the senate are obviously trying to distract Americans and divert their attention from the real problem (overspending & over borrowing). You politicians need to remember that our forefathers that were rich and poor fought together to create a free country. The rich and the poor fought to keep an oppressive government from controlling their lives. It appears that once again it is time for the rich and poor to work together to change this repressive regime that you politicians call a government. It is time to vote against all the politicians that attempt to attempt to create a repressive regime that tries to control the freedom of it’s citizens.

    Once again, I oppose Bill 1813 and I oppose the attached Amendment giving the IRS additional powers to revoke, suspend or refuse to renew passports. I want you to remove the Amendment giving power to the IRS to revoke, suspend or refuse to renew passports from bill 1813 and any other bill that contains similar amendments. I oppose any bill that changes the freeways to toll roads.

    Sincerely,

    • Travel is a right (under the UDHR : http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/) Personally, I am appalled that many Americans do not have passports. In Europe and in many other places, a passport is a basic identification document that most citizens hold in recognition of their nationality, whether or not they travel, and whether or not they carry such passport on a daily basis (or leave it in a dresser-drawer when not needed). In many European countries, it is possible to request a passport through the local authorities with which one registers one’s official residence address. In the US, as far as I know, one usually fills out the paperwork for a passport request at the post office and waits weeks for a response from a far-off federal passport office.

      Many Americans and US persons abroad did not benefit from the bubble (were denied brokerage accounts even), did not live in “McMansions” and are living in apartments and modest housing abroad. Such persons cannot be expected to “bail-out” the US simply because they have some historic connection to the US. Instead of screwing US persons abroad, leave us be, and let us build trade ties between the US and our countries of residence.

      • @jefferson,

        Here’s an excerpt from the document on the history of taxation in the US compled by Andy Sundberg, founder of ACA. He has lived in Geneva for many years.

        “1962 Congress eliminates the total exclusion for a “bona fide” foreign resident. A $20,000 per year overseas earned income exclusion is established, rising to $35,000 after three years abroad. Tax credit, however, is given for taxes paid abroad even on excluded income. The Act also introduces separate rules for “unearned income” abroad, and Subpart F rules for controlled foreign corporations. (Revenue Act of 1962, PL 87-834, Chapter 11, 76 Stat. 960 (1962)). (See Conference Report No. 2508 of 1 October 1962).

        1963 The OECD Model Tax Convention, is first published in 1963 and will be regularly updated, It is the basic reference manual used by both OECD and non-OECD countries for the negotiation, application and interpretation of bilateral tax treaties co-ordinating their direct tax systems.

        1964 Congress reduces the exclusion for physical presence and bona fide residents to $20,000, rising to $25,000 after three years abroad.”

        The compete doument is available on the ACA website http://www.aca.ch. Here is a link to the document:

        http://www.aca.ch/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=288&Itemid=132.

        For many years, up until 1962, the US taxed its citizens who were temporarily living abroad but totally excluded from taxation those who were permanently domiciled abroad. There was legislation which exempted those who were present in a foreign country for certain minimum, time periods as well. Yes, it was the Supreme Court of the United States which has ruled on the constitutionality of taxing US citizens outside of the United States. This is the “higest authority” as far as US taws are concerned.

        These laws have been changed and amended numerous times as can be seen in Andy’s document. It is very thorough with details.

        I hope this helps.

  2. @Jefferson T. I personally agree that it ought to be unconstitutional. Unfortunately the Supreme Court ruled several years ago that it was not a violation of the constitution. It will probably requred a new lawsuit which ends up in the Supreme Court, with new facts, in order for the Supreme Court to address this position a second time. At that time Congress ruled that it was constitutional but did not make any recommendation that it be imposed,because that was not the question upon which it ruled.

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