Eduardo Saverin, the co-founder of Facebook whose falling out with the company and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg was the subject of the 2010 blockbuster The Social Network, renounced his US citizenship last week, and the right has wasted no time labeling him a hero.
Saverin, who owns a roughly four percent stake of Facebook, announced that he was expatriating last week, just in time to avoid paying a federal capital gains tax on the fortune heading his way when the social site files its IPO.
Forbes Magazine, the conservative-leaning and business friendly magazine, ran an article with the headline “For De-Friending The U.S., Facebook’s Eduardo Saverin Is An American Hero.” John Tamny writes:
Saverin’s departure is also a reminder to politicians that while they can obnoxiously decree what percentage of our income we’ll hand them in taxes, what they vote for won’t necessarily reflect reality. Indeed, as evidenced by Saverin’s renunciation, tax rates and collection of monies on those rates are two different things. Assuming nosebleed rates of taxation were a driver of Saverin’s decision, politicians will hopefully see that if too greedy about collecting the money of others, they’ll eventually collect nothing.
Tamny seems to be convinced that Saverin’s departure will open the floodgates for dozens of US executives, investors and other wealthy businessmen who have made fortunes off of stocks and bonds to dramatically renounce their citizenship, break through the shackles of big government and book a one-way ticket to wherever in an attempt to hold on to every last penny they’ve earned. What Forbes and The Heritage Foundation ignore is that the capital gains tax is at a historically low rate, and even proposals to increase it slightly would still fall well short of approaching the rate during the 1970s.
Saverin’s decision to flee the United States is also remarkably shortsighted. As Farhad Manjoo notes on PandoDaily today, Saverin’s life story in particular is one that is quintessentially American.
By: Adam Peck, Think Progress, May 14, 2012
Two weeks ago, Newt Gingrich said this is what he would do about Libya, if he were president: “Exercise a no-fly zone this evening”.
Yesterday, here’s what Newt said about Libya, where the United States is exercising a no-fly zone: “I would not have intervened”.
After a full day of people making fun of him, the former House speaker — who masquerades as an intellectual policy wonk but who is actually just a master self-promoter — explained himself in a lengthy Facebook post, Sarah Palin-style, that generally made no sense, Sarah Palin-style.
His position seems to be that he would not have intervened, but once the president said, “Gadhafi must go,” the United States had to intervene, to save face, and that’s when Newt would’ve exercised the no-fly zone, if he were president and had made that statement, which he wouldn’t have done.
Also, Gingrich says, now that we’ve done this we should also do it in the Sudan, Syria, Zimbabwe, Yemen and elsewhere, except we shouldn’t do it at all, anywhere.
We here at the War Room have just received, from the future, the next two weeks of Newt Gingrich’s public statements on Libya, and other assorted matters of national import.
“Meet the Press,” March 27
“What the president needs to do is have Congress vote on the use of ground troops in Libya, immediately.”
Neil Cavuto, March 29
“If I were president I’d unilaterally strike Iran right now instead of wasting our time and resources in Libya.”
Facebook, March 29
“My position on Libya has not changed: What the United States should’ve done is invade with a ground force, after receiving congressional authorization, but only if he hadn’t sought United Nations approval, which would’ve changed everything. Under the current circumstances, with the president already having totally blown it, our best option is a surprise airstrike on Iran.”
Human Events.com, March 31
“This is the single biggest foreign policy disaster I’ve seen since, literally, the Battle of Blandensburg, which I am writing a book about. We should pull out now and refocus on jobs, here at home.”
“Good Morning America,” April 1
“Look, if I was the commander in chief, I wouldn’t rest until we had Gadhafi’s head on a pike outside one of his gaudy palaces.”
Facebook, April 2
“Again, I’m distraught to see America so poorly led during this time of great international turmoil. My position is clear: The United States has a jobs crisis exacerbated by the failed policies of our current president, but after we committed ourselves to removing Gadhafi, we forced ourselves to take literally any action at our disposal to make that a reality, as long as we did it right, because if we aren’t doing it right, which we aren’t, but which I would, we should not do it.
“I also apologize to the hardworking staff at ‘Good Morning America’ for the incident with the chair, but I am growing tired of constantly answering such transparently biased questions about my very simple position on the conflict in Libya.”
“Face the Nation,” April 3
“I support gay marriage.”
“Fox and Friends,” April 6
“Gay people should be thrown in jail, forever, if they try to marry each other.”
Twitter, April 6
“deep respect 4 homosexual americans-vow to serve ALL americans if prez-inmate marriage will strengthen national respect 4 traditional family.”
By: Alex Pareene, Salon War Room, March 24, 2011