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Monday, February 8, 2016

Democrats Abroad Interview The Presidential Candidates

Democrats Abroad was one step ahead of me.  Just a few short hours after I posted last week  asking when the US presidential candidates would speak directly about the issues facing Americans abroad, Dems abroad sent me a tweet and said, "We're on it."

Our Candidates Weigh In On Americans Abroad Issues is a Q & A with Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Rocky de la Fuente.

Democrats asked all the right questions about CBT vs. RBT, Medicare, Social Security, FBAR, the Same Country Exception, passport revocations (2015 FAST Act) and the Commission on Americans Living Abroad Act. I was fascinated by the answers.

What do I hear in the candidates' responses?  A balancing act between the interests of Americans abroad and homelander concerns. Note how both Clinton and Sanders talk about the tax cheats, corporate tax avoidance, and rich Americans emigrating and taking their money with them, and then they assure Americans abroad that they aren't talking about them.

Are we reassured?  I think we'd all like to be and yet so many of the issues we are facing today came from this desire to respond to homelander concerns and punish those traitorous tax evaders, with Americans in the homeland applauding the effort.  Have they learned that they need to tread a bit more carefully around the casualties (8 million Americans abroad) of the regulatory acid rain falling indiscriminately on the just and the unjust alike?  Or, once elected, will they continue to sin first and then ask for our forgiveness in the next election?

I thank Democrats Abroad for their efforts. Well done.  The candidates listened and answered.  I hope that all of you read the interviews and follow up with emails.  If they said something you liked, tell them so.  Ditto if they said something you didn't like.

The conversation has begun and the ball is in our court now.


bubblebustin said...

I suppose it could be viewed as somewhat of a start, the fact that DA got them to respond. Still, American renunciations are 25% over last year. Nothing in what either Clinton or Sanders said can possibly stem the flow. It's simply not enough.

Unknown said...

"Democrats asked all the right questions about CBT vs. RBT, Medicare, Social Security, FBAR, the Same Country Exception, passport revocations (2015 FAST Act) and the Commission on Americans Living Abroad Act."

Yes, Victoria, I too was impressed with the questions. However, ,my expectation is that instead of asking questions that Democrats Abroad develop a position paper, then inform the candidates of the position of Democrats Abroad then get feedback from the candidates on this position paper and issues/proposals outlined.

Otherwise outside of some questions, a FATCA survey, and feeble attempt at getting attention to SCE (which has its own problems), THEN @DemocratsAbroad = @TheDemocrats ; with variation by DA suppressed as they are to act as a single entity with @TheDemocrats, and chance of change in favour of overseas US persons diminished.

This is in contrast to Republicans Overseas which very much gets it (most of it) and who strives to influence and persuade @TheRepublicans at large. Not always successful yet contrasting and trying (could be trying more - they need to ask questions of all candidates like DA did - ask if they have read the Republican Party Platform). Examples of what RO did: getting RBT and removal of FATCA into the Republican Party Platform, and FATCA FBAR Lawsuit.

If DA launches their own lawsuit or pledges support for the ADCS lawsuit or ADCT lawsuits these would be true marks of independence and advocacy for constituents for which they are named for: Democrats ABROAD. Otherwise, IMO, they should change their name to Homeland Democrats Abroad without pretense of representation of all Democrats living overseas.

Anonymous said...

Clinton's comment "Ensuring the security of Americans living abroad was a central part of my job when I served as Secretary of State and, as president, will continue to be of great importance to me." frankly galled me.

When Israel boarded a Turkish-registered aid boat in international waters which was destined for Gaza (there was nothing even remotely military aboard, unless food and bags of cement count as "military"), there was a Turkish-American citizen aboard. According to news reports (including Israel's own report) there were no arms aboard. So obviously, the Turkish-American citizen was unarmed, but nonetheless he was coldly killed by the Israeli attackers.

Clinton's response when she was asked about this US citizen's death? In short, "he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, gee, what a pity". Killed on the high seas in what was an illegal act of piracy by a foreign government, and all Clinton could say was "Oops!"?

If this is her definition of "great importance", I'm not sure the rest of her statements should be accepted at face value either. And her callous dismissal of an American citizen's murder sent shivers up my spine.

Unknown said...

Victoria, you may consider the information / lack of information on the Democrats Abroad website. Under Our Party> Our Priorities > Taxation, only very short position about SCE. Not really much promised there.

It says:

Fortunately for overseas Americans, we can address the unintended adverse consequences of this important piece of anti-tax evasion legislation by....

Should now say: "switching to Residence Based Taxation."

Victoria FERAUGE said...

@bubblebustin, I suspect that you're right but I know some people who are holding out the hope that Something Will be Done. :-)

@Joe Citizen, Good question. Are Dems Abroad an advocacy group for US Democrats living outside the US or are they something else? From the way they do business I'd say (and you say) they are something else. That's fine and I'm not here to say that they SHOULD do things differently. But then I'm independent voter. I am very glad though that RO does take a more agressive position as advocates for.

@anonymous, Yes, I was a bit underwhelmed by Clinton as Secretary of State.

bubblebustin said...

I just have this sneaking suspicion that if "something" is done, it will be something right out of left field, "something" none of us would have ever expected...

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