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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Operation Mosquito

Trust the Brockers to come up with something brilliant.

A few days ago the International Tax Bipartisan Tax Working Group Report was published. Many of us had high hopes for this report because public input was requested and Americans outside the United States responded.

In fact,  out of the 347 submissions concerning international taxation sent in response to the US Senate Finance Committee's call for public input on tax reform, nearly 75% came from Americans abroad.

But the final report didn't reflect that.  Instead it almost entirely focused on the tax issues of US multinational corporations.  Go figure.

However, at the end of the report the authors made an interesting recommendation:

"While the co-chairs were not able to produce a comprehensive plan to overhaul the taxation
of individual Americans living overseas within the time-constraints placed on the working group,
the co-chairs urge the Chairman and Ranking Member to carefully consider the concerns
articulated in the submissions moving forward."

Amen to that mes chers compatriotes.

So, how can we help this along?  How do we convey to them that we really REALLY want this on the agenda?

Call them.

That's right.  Operation Mosquito has been launched by the folks over at the Isaac Brock Society (hat tip to ShadowRaider for the idea) and it consists of picking up the phone and leaving the Senate Finance Committee a message that goes something like this:
“Hi, my name is ___, I’m a US citizen living in ___. I’d like to urge the Senate Finance Committee to overhaul the taxation of individual Americans living abroad, as soon as possible, as the committee indicated in a report it recently released. Could you please pass this message to the rest of the committee?”
Calgary411's post gives all the details.  There is a spreadsheet where you can sign up for a time you are available to call.  The short script above was drafted by Calgary but you are certainly free to  use your own words.

I've signed up and will be making a very early morning phone from Japan.  Please join us.  It's worth a shot,  Might even be cathartic.  Because we may be trivial and insignificant in Washington's eyes but that should not deter us from asserting ourselves.  The Dalai Lama was dead right when he said:

“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”


Janet said...

Thanks for posting this Victoria. The more of us that call in, the louder our "buzz", and maybe we can make it so loud that they will finally hear us this time.

bubblebustin said...

Dalai Lama XIV
“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”


Anonymous said...

"Sen. Rand Paul on Tuesday officially sued the Obama administration, seeking to stop it from enforcing a federal banking law that has led large numbers of Americans overseas to renounce their citizenship.

"In a move with implications for his 2016 presidential bid, Mr. Paul joined six other plaintiffs in a suit filed by Republicans Overseas Action (ROA), arguing that the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is unconstitutional.

(The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 14, 2015)

Victoria FERAUGE said...

Buzzing is a perfectly legitimate Weapon of the Weak and I'm so glad to see that people are willing to participate.

And here is what happens when people pick themselves up off the floor and DO something - they feel better, lose some of their fear, gain in assertiveness and aren't so hesitant to do it again.

As Scott said gotta exercise those activist muscles for when it matters. Start with the small stuff and work your way up - exactly like lifting weights.

Anonymous, still reading about the lawsuit and will post about it soon.

Janet said...

I am very disappointed that not very many people have signed up. The only chance to be heard is to create a very load buzz. Otherwise the committee members will rightly assume that there is no problem.

Marina said...

Janet, I would have signed up but was on vacation. I think a lot of people (like myself) go on vacation without checking their emails or cell phones.