It started out real simple. A couple of guys had this funny idea about how you could make friends on the internet. But they just couldn't take the idea to any level. Lousy salesmanship, poor planning, or just plain lazy attitude about the product....it doesn't matter.
So along comes this one punk kid, who picks up the concept and actually makes it work. The original guys? Oh, they are plenty upset, but they just weren't ready for what needed to be done.
The smart kid? Well....he needed a couple of people to make this work....so they ended up on the inner circle. So became Facebook.
Days, weeks, months, and years passed. Facebook grew. The potential for wealth also grew.
It was apparent about a year ago that the IPO for the Facebook stock was going to occur. In the midst of this IPO....was this guy, Eduardo Saverin. He was set to take home a fair chunk of money. However, sixty-seven million of that sum was supposed to go over to the IRS.
For Eduardo, this was a bothersome idea. The US government didn't do anything for the money in his mind, and just handing them the money....was totally wrong. So Eduardo found a lawyer or two, and then discovered that if you just gave up on being a US citizen (he was originally from Brazil, so he'd already given up citizenship once already).....then he could keep the whole sum of money (including the $67 million). So he found the perfect place....Singapore, which had no capital gains tax, and elected to give up US citizenship.
This ought to be a story that ends at this point, and we'd have a simple observation to make. But here enters last week....Senator Chuck Schumer (D/NY), and Senator Bob Casey (D/Penn). They get all upset and then waste hours and hours writing up the "Ex-Patriot's Bill". Basically, if you intend to exit America in this fashion....you lose a fair sum of your wealth.
The threat here? If you have two million and intend to exit, there's a review by the IRS. You likely will just hand over thirty percent of your wealth as you exit. The date it starts? Well....that's a funny thing.....once passed, it back-dates ten years. So if you left America in 2002 with sixteen million dollars....then the IRS would be coming for you.
The bill is simply a bill right now. Schumer and Casey will have to present it, and then have some hopes that the Republican House would readily agree with them. The odds? Since the Senate Democrats aren't willing to even pass a budget, but will get all peppy on this one singular issue....I'd say a one-percent chance to pass. It looks good in the press, and on some Sunday talk show.
But we aren't finished with observations yet.
You see, there's this tax expert out there.....Grover Norquist....who is fairly respected in Tea Party circles and the Republican Party. Grover spent a day looking over Schumer's tax bill. Then he finally started going back to the 1930s.....Nazi Germany, and this entire Ex-Patriot bill.....looks like the Nazi law that told Jews to cough up all their wealth, if they wanted to leave Nazi Germany.
Schumer has to be standing there now.....asking his aides....where the heck they got the wording for this new fancy bill that he's introduced, and I'm guessing none of the guys want to admit that they have this nifty Nazi information book that they keep for reference purposes. The bad part about this.....is that now the big guys from ABC, CBS, and CNN have to walk carefully around this whole topic. They don't want to appear being supporters of Nazis, but then they really hate rich folks. The NewsWeak crowd? Well....you can imagine the picture on one side of a Nazi official and a Jew, then on the other page....Chuck Schumer and this Facebook guy.
Who would have thought, that you could have taken a simple Facebook IPO profit story, twist it around $67 million, inject Singapore, toss in two Democratic Senators, create a fantastic title of Ex-Patriot bill, and then finish it off with the subject of Nazis? It's a story for Mel Brooks, if you ask me.