Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Man Without a Country

The story of Eduardo Saverin reminds me of the 19th century short story about a man accused of treason who renounced his American citizenship. He was sentenced to live out the rest of his life on board a ship, never to set foot on American soil again.

Saverin will not suffer as the character in the story for his decision to abandon the country of his youth. By all accounts, Saverin is an asshole but he can use the money saved in dodging taxes to buy scores of "friends."

The interesting bit of the story is Republican reaction. There was a time not too long ago when Republicans would have leapt to the patriotic side of the story. But this is Mitt Romney's Republican Party where oligarchs are valued above patriots.

When Democrats proposed the common sense response (You are free to renounced your citizenship for filthy lucre but don't bother coming back. Ever. You or your stinking money.) Republicans started shouting "Nazis!" Sen. Schumer's bill, the Ex-Patriot Act," doesn't take a dime of Saverin's current wealth, it simply takes a healthy slice of any more capital gains he acquires inside the United States. Basically, if he wants to be a non-American he can make his money in non-America.

To Mitt-publicans, inconveniencing billionaires is equal to gassing children.

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