It is a very angry letter from an American in Switzerland who has decided to pack it up and move back to Vermont. In it you get a good feel for the collateral damage due to FATCA and what the U.S. is losing when they use a hacksaw instead of a scalpel in the war against tax evasion.
This fellow is an entrepreneur and has been in business abroad for 25 years "busting open nitch markets for American products, contributing to lowering the trade deficit, developing new markets for US producers, creating employment for my brethren back home, increasing the tax base where they live."
I'd say on the face of it this fellow is a true patriot who has done well by and for his country.
So why is he packing it in? Well, rock shake hands with hard place. FATCA has put him out of business. His local bank has informed him that he can no longer make money transfer to the U.S. They don't want the hassle of dealing with someone who has a U.S. connection - too much bureaucracy, too much paperwork, too much hassle. This issue with his bank (local to him but one of those evil "foreign' banks according to the U.S.) means he can no longer pay his suppliers and that means that the fat lady has sung for him.
Not only is he shutting down his business but he's not exactly relocating it back to the U.S. He plans to get out of the business entirely and do some farming back there in Vermont. Good for him. Hard to see how this is good for the U.S. though. Just how many more gentlemen farmers does the U.S. really need right now? Well, guess homelanders will be getting another one whether they like it or not.
I respect his decision to move back. I would not make the same decision though every so often I have this fantasy of simply showing up back home and saying, "You want me home? OK, here I am, folks." Let's see, I have no job or health insurance in the U.S. and I'm undergoing treatment for cancer. I'm sure the local county hospital (not to mention the good taxpayers of King County) would be thrilled to welcome just one more indigent American in need of care who can't work right now.
Instead I am in France where I have been paying into the social security system for years. The care is outstanding and I've been here long enough so that this is definitely "home" and I don't ever want to leave. But now I find myself paying taxes to two countries (France and the U.S.) The former (France) I understand completely because this is where I live and work but the latter? Makes no sense unless of course 1. I decide tomorrow to go back and throw myself on the mercy of the American taxpayers and their social services network (such as it is and it ain't much compared to where I am) or 2. I ask the French to send a partial bill to the U.S. for the cost of my care here. I am a U.S. citizen after all and, damn it, I pay U.S. taxes so if you all are going to claim me for a share of my revenue earned entirely abroad (to the detriment of my host country's revenue base) than I'd say you all have an obligation to provide me with some benefits. Covering a small percentage of the current bill which includes surgery, chemotherapy, radiation treatment and daily medication would be a good start.
As I said, it's a fantasy. :-)
To all the homelanders who refuse to listen, to every American politician who won't even give us the time of day, to the Obama administration which appears to be the regime of the clueless, the situation is untenable, the unintended consequences of your laws are leading to all kinds of injustice, and you are doing yourselves enormous damage by turning loyal Americans abroad (who were doing a lot of quiet good on your behalf) into people who throw up their hands in utter disgust and write things like this:
These absolute black boot fools in DC are shooting themselves in the foot and biting the hand that feeds them.Gee, folks, is this really what you had in mind?
Sure there were those evading taxes and there were many greedy bankers stumbling over themselves to help those evaders, but the numb nuts in Washington are ruining the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent American citizens, and just spitting in the face of our allies, by strong arming them (Remember the Nazis?) to enforce US tax law, when they have nothing to do with the US tax system.