by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
David Lesperance emailed this message over the weekend:
Political pundits used to say that voters didn’t really focus on Presidential elections until after Labor Day. I have to say that this is true this round as it pertains to Wealthy Americans focusing on the future tax policy ramifications of the rapidly approaching November elections. In the past week I have been inundated with inquires to the point that I have five new client consultations booked for tomorrow and four for Tuesday. I’ve also completed several this past week.
Interestingly, these inquires have run the [gamut] from Trump supporters, Non-Trump Republicans to full-on Biden supporters who support additional taxation but are worried that the increases might go beyond what they believe is necessary into the realm of retribution.
You might remember Lesperance from a “Locker Room” entry last January addressing similar themes:
As someone who assisted my first wealthy American client to permanently legally leave the US tax system by renunciation in 1990 and who has helped hundreds of others do the same over the past three decades, … [t]his ‘extreme’ move has been taken by thousands of wealthy Americans annually for years. In fact the reason the numbers are not even higher is that the system to get an interview to renounce US citizenship is tremendously backlogged! …
… Wealthy Americans are looking at equipping themselves with a BackUp Plan which will give them the option to ‘Vote with their Feet’ should the increasingly likely outcome of a Democratic political grand slam take place in November 2020. If this occurs, those people with a BackUp Plan can decide to trigger their departure, long before something like Senator Warren and Sander’s proposed 40% exit tax could become law.
In a democracy American voters are free to elect politicians who propose policies such as a Wealth Tax or taxing capital gains at ordinary tax rates. Likewise, wealthy Americans have the freedom to sever their future tax obligation to the US. The US public should know before casting their votes that the undisputable consequence of a departure by even a relatively tiny number of Wealthy Americans is that the US Treasury will not only not have a tax windfall but will end up with significantly less tax revenue .