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realclearworld

Coming soon: exit taxes for those leaving insolvent states

We Cuban-Americans are often ridiculed when we mention the similarities between the discourses of the modern American left and the revolutionary left of cold war Cuba and the Soviet Union. The truth is that the pie in the sky rhetoric is a little softer in America but the goals are the same.  This should send shivers down the spine of any Cuban-American with any sense of history:

Government debts are accrued on your behalf by elected officials for whom you had a chance to vote, all supposedly representing your interests. In a democracy, all citizens are obliged to pay the government's bills as determined by the duly empowered taxing authorities - regardless of whether they voted for a particular officeholder or not. What's to stop legislators from passing laws that make debt obligations due and payable by any citizen who decides to leave for another jurisdiction? After all, they don't hesitate to take your money when you die...

And can't you just see the progressive commentariat lining up behind a movement designed to deter well-heeled blue state residents from seeking refuge in those despicable red hinterlands?

...

Exit taxes imposed on emigrants have a long history, including their use in both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. They were imposed under the theory that, since citizens were educated by the government and were either provided benefits or allowed to profit from jobs and business held while living under the government's protection, they were obligated to pay back some of that money on their way out.

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