Not for sale.
For the longest time, online pal Claire used to have splashed across the masthead of her blog "Hell yes, I'm an American." Sadly, this seems like an odd statement for a resident of Mordor. But I sure as hell can empathize.
I was talking to my good friend Bill The Accountant on the phone the other night. He's realizing that his master's in Accounting isn't going to do him as much good as at the firm he's with as a master's in Taxation. So he's re-enrolled, and is on track to get his second master's in about 18 months, maybe less. I suggested that, with the results of the most recent election, more people than ever will need assistance with tax preparation. He agreed.
Anyway, he was talking about one of his tax professors, who was discussing how the goal of the tax accountant is to ethically represent his client, not by providing a tax statement with the least taxes possible, but by providing a tax statement that is as accurate as possible. A good tax accountant also can provide advice to his client, however.
Bill's professor had a client who came to her and asked about how to avoid the most taxes on his prospective income. He had done a lot of work on a device that he was about to patent, he said, and he expected a great deal of revenue from this patent, as it was in demand, and buyers were waiting in the wings. A price of $4.M was being thrown about. She advised him to move to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emerates, and give up his United States citizenship and obtain U.A.E. citizenship. You see, there is no income tax in the U.A.E.
He did just that, and saved a ton of money when his patent came in and he sold it.
"I couldn't do that," I told him.
"Sure you could," said Bill, who's no stranger to patriotism, himself. "After you thought about it, you could."
"Give up my birthright, as an American? Throw away my claim as a citizen of the greatest nation this planet has ever seen? I could not," I insisted.
"Look, it's not like the kids would have to give up their citizenship. Just you and your wife," said Bill. "And you could easily come back to visit. Do you realize how you could live over there with four million dollars? All the comforts, with paid help? You couldn't withhold that from your family. Not if you think about it."
"Nope. Not for sale. And if my citizenship were for sale, it would take a helluva lot more than $4 million," I said.
"Yeah, because you'd do it for $20 mil, right?" he jeered.
"I wouldn't even open discussions before they offered $100 million," I said with prim indignance.
"Well, now that we've established that..." he said.
"We're just dickering over the price," I sighed. I suppose it's possible that every man has one. But I didn't say I'd do it. Just think about it.
For all its warts, this nation has been pretty damned good to me. Why would I want to give that up? Men and women have died --in my lifetime-- to protect the way of life that I enjoy here in this nation. Many others have and do risk their lives to do so. Take a hard look at life elsewhere, and think about how good we've got it.
Hell yes, I'm an American.