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Ricedoll's Issues with US Taxation

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Re: Ricedoll's Issues with US Taxation

Postby BBCWatcher » Tue, 01 Mar 2016 11:17 am

Let's look at some more statistics, shall we?

Median gross income from work, including employer CPF contributions, for full-time employed residents of Singapore: S$3949/month (2015).

Median income from work, excluding employer Social Security contributions, full-time employed residents of the U.S.: US$820/week (2015) = US$3417/month (50 weeks/year) = S$4793/month at current exchange rates = 21.4% above Singapore (not counting Social Security)

Anyone want to argue that Singapore has a lower median cost of living than the U.S. does? ;)

OK, so how much is it worth to maintain access to an economy with a >21.4% higher median wage (and a lower cost of living)? Most people would probably not answer "zero," but isn't it nice that individual adult U.S. citizens (and Singaporean citizens, for that matter) get to decide such questions for themselves?

As a reminder, I think both Singapore and the United States -- and many other countries -- are fabulous. But to claim that the United States isn't fabulous is -- well, I think that's crazy. Fabulous doesn't mean perfect, but no country is perfect.

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Re: Ricedoll's Issues with US Taxation

Postby ricedoll » Tue, 01 Mar 2016 11:44 am

For one thing, I pay more for NOTHING than to join the American club in SG

http://www.amclub.org.sg/membership/joining-fees.html

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Re: Ricedoll's Issues with US Taxation

Postby BBCWatcher » Tue, 01 Mar 2016 11:51 am

Strong Eagle wrote:Each time a carrier strike force comes to Singapore, Singapore becomes richer by about $4 to $6 million. $2 million of that is dockage fees at Changi Naval base.

Wow. I knew there was some money involved, but that's more than I thought. To summarize, U.S. taxpayers pay Singapore to extend a bit of the U.S. defense umbrella over Singapore -- and, in particular, to maintain the free, safe, and secure passage of the cargo vessels that are the backbone of Singapore's economy. That's a rather good deal for Singapore, isn't it? ;)

But I don't think it matters, Strong Eagle. Forget U.S. taxpayers' contributions to Singapore's defense. Somebody just wants a spouse to buy an iPhone 6s with 128 GB to avoid suffering with only 64 GB. :mrgreen:

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Re: Ricedoll's Issues with US Taxation

Postby ricedoll » Tue, 01 Mar 2016 11:55 am

https://www.facebook.com/groups/AmericanExpatriates/

Then perhaps you should express your views toward's every US expat's greed to have a 128GB here then. I am sry that we are greedy towards OUR OWN HONEST HARD-EARNED MONEY?

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Re: Ricedoll's Issues with US Taxation

Postby BBCWatcher » Tue, 01 Mar 2016 12:15 pm

Want another example of what U.S. taxpayers -- including me -- pay for? We pay for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute. And we U.S. citizens also enjoy at least a right of first treatment from these truly world class organizations.

OK, so why might that matter? Well, consider the recent outbreak of Ebola virus in western Africa. There were a total of 11 Ebola cases in the U.S., but that's not the interesting part for this discussion. (A couple tourists stumbled into the U.S. with EVD, and a couple U.S. nurses were infected when treating one of the tourists.) The interesting part is that 7 of those cases were medical evacuees, mostly U.S. citizens. Only one of the 7 evacuees died. (He happened to be a U.S. permanent resident and not a citizen, so you can insert your conspiracy theories here if you wish. ;) He was married to a U.S. citizen, as it happens, and the U.S. government did feel some responsibility. Unfortunately he delayed seeking treatment too long.) Statistically one would expect 4 deaths among those 7, but no, the U.S. government evacuated them from another continent, got them to the world's best facilities, and saved them. My tax dollars at work, again.

OK, but this is Singapore, right? There's no value in having these U.S. government services, is there? Well, in 2002-2003 there were 33 people who died of SARS in Singapore. Let's just say I like having the insurance. I certainly don't ever expect to use that insurance -- I very much hope there's no "SARS II: This Time You Die!" sequel to that movie. We can quibble about how much this U.S. citizenship-based service is worth, but "zero" is the wrong answer.

Of course the CDC and U.S. Army Medical Research Institute aren't selfish. They give priority to U.S. citizens, but the CDC also helps the global medical community save lives, all lives. I pay for that, too. They've made significant progress on an Ebola vaccine, and the world will be a better place when they've conquered this disease fully.

That's not to say that Singapore doesn't have medical researchers, too -- Singapore does! But Singapore cannot possibly match what the CDC and U.S. Army Medical Research Institute can do. There are some inherent advantages in having a big, developed country with much more medical spending. There's also a big advantage in having a big population, because the CDC can (and does) spot rare infectious diseases much more quickly. It's just how the infectious disease math works when you have about 5.5 million people versus about 320 million. The U.S. figured out what was happening with HIV, for example. The CDC notified the world medical community on June 5, 1981, that there was a new infection underway. The U.S. and (later, but soon) France played the most significant roles in understanding HIV and AIDS. The world is obviously a much better place thanks to their efforts -- and, yes, U.S. taxpayer dollars.
Last edited by BBCWatcher on Tue, 01 Mar 2016 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ricedoll's Issues with US Taxation

Postby ricedoll » Tue, 01 Mar 2016 12:22 pm

Oh and why Europeans enjoy EU services overseas without this Tax burden? I enjoy SG protection overseas too. Don't contradict yourself.

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Re: Ricedoll's Issues with US Taxation

Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 01 Mar 2016 12:35 pm

Ricedoll, you are tilting at windmills. The tax situation is what it is. Convince your husband to give up US citizenship, or as they said in some movie or another, "Shut your pie hole".

There are lots of things to complain about with the USA system of government. Taxation is one of them. There are also many things to be thankful for as a US citizen. On the whole, when presented with benefits versus responsibilities of US citizenship, I'd find it very hard to give up US citizenship.

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Re: Ricedoll's Issues with US Taxation

Postby x9200 » Tue, 01 Mar 2016 12:37 pm

ricedoll wrote:Oh and why Europeans enjoy EU services overseas without this Tax burden? I enjoy SG protection overseas too. Don't contradict yourself.

As I mentioned earlier, the burden is factored in into the taxes of the residents of the respective countries. Or do you expect there is something called a free lunch afterall? Like it or not, somebody has to pay for it to get it all even.

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Re: Ricedoll's Issues with US Taxation

Postby ricedoll » Tue, 01 Mar 2016 12:43 pm

Oh gosh i certainly hope you are not one of them who will vote for Hilary

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Re: Ricedoll's Issues with US Taxation

Postby BBCWatcher » Tue, 01 Mar 2016 12:44 pm

ricedoll wrote:Oh and why Europeans enjoy EU services overseas without this Tax burden? I enjoy SG protection overseas too.

You'll have to ask those governments why they tolerate "free riders."(*)

The U.S. has decided that its most well-to-do citizens (and PRs) living in lower tax jurisdictions -- about 6% of its overseas citizens in total -- won't get to be completely free riders. The U.S. Congress (with the President's agreement) made that decision all the way back in 1863.(**) Later, one potential free rider who was upset with that tax policy, like you are, challenged the policy all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1924 (Cook v. Tait) the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Congress and the President are within their rights to levy taxes on U.S. persons overseas as long as those taxes aren't discriminatory. (They aren't. We've already cataloged some of the many, many ways the U.S. tax code grants special favors to U.S. citizens living overseas. It didn't always.)

....Just like Singapore's government has decided the same thing in 2015, that it can no longer tolerate its citizens and PRs who live and work overseas, not paying any taxes, who then run back to Singapore for publicly provided medical care when they get seriously and expensively ill (cancer, for example). So there's now a regressive citizenship-based tax that applies to nearly all Singaporean citizens and PRs no matter where they live, except for those with the very lowest income and wealth.

Look in the mirror for the answers to your questions.

(*) Actually, increasingly they don't tolerate free riders. Practically all governments are making it more difficult to terminate tax residency, and some of them are cutting benefits. The U.K., for example, has dramatically cut back on even U.K. passport services to its overseas citizens. The Winter Fuel Allowance has been cut, and there are no longer cost of living increases in National Insurance benefits paid to expatriates in most countries.

(**) In fact, back then there wasn't a Foreign Tax Credit. You owed your U.S. tax, in the same percentage, no matter where you lived -- high tax, low tax, or no tax. The Foreign Tax Credit and Foreign Earned Income Exclusion were 20th century inventions.

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Re: Ricedoll's Issues with US Taxation

Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 01 Mar 2016 12:58 pm

ricedoll wrote:Oh gosh i certainly hope you are not one of them who will vote for Hilary


Hillary or Bernie... whomever becomes the Democratic candidate for President. Otherwise, you are looking at these entirely unqualified muppets.

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Re: Ricedoll's Issues with US Taxation

Postby PNGMK » Tue, 01 Mar 2016 1:11 pm

Interestingly enough I decided at present not to pursue LPR and USC because of global taX.
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Re: Ricedoll's Issues with US Taxation

Postby BBCWatcher » Tue, 01 Mar 2016 1:25 pm

PNGMK wrote:Interestingly enough I decided at present not to pursue LPR and USC because of global taX.

No problem! You're an adult who acted like an adult, whichever way you decided. (More adults, please!) You took a look at a particular country's deal, evaluated it, and decided it wasn't for you at least as this time. That's perfectly fine.

The only thing I find somewhat hard to understand is why there seems to be a small cohort of aspiring Johnny and Jenny Galts who aren't actually very Galt-like. They love socialism (i.e. whatever their U.S. passport provides, even on a contingent basis), but they just don't want to pay anything for it, even if they're both financially successful and less taxed. I just don't comprehend these very odd people. Are these the same people who get a $400/year American Express card, move to some country where American Express isn't accepted, and then complain about having to pay off their American Express card for their previous purchases and that they have to close their account to avoid the annual fee?

Man or woman up, make a decision, and don't cry about it, metaphorically or literally. Your citizenship is yours to decide. It's valuable, sure, and who wants to lose something valuable? But sorry, free riding isn't always a legal option for U.S. citizens -- or for Singaporean citizens, for that matter. It's an all-or-nothing deal, take it or leave it. PNGMK didn't take the deal, and that's perfectly fine. I don't have a $400/year American Express card, and that's also fine.

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Re: Ricedoll's Issues with US Taxation

Postby nakatago » Tue, 01 Mar 2016 1:43 pm

BBCWatcher wrote:
PNGMK wrote:Interestingly enough I decided at present not to pursue LPR and USC because of global taX.

No problem! You're an adult who acted like an adult, whichever way you decided. (More adults, please!) You took a look at a particular country's deal, evaluated it, and decided it wasn't for you at least as this time. That's perfectly fine.

The only thing I find somewhat hard to understand is why there seems to be a small cohort of aspiring Johnny and Jenny Galts who aren't actually very Galt-like. They love socialism (i.e. whatever their U.S. passport provides, even on a contingent basis), but they just don't want to pay anything for it, even if they're both financially successful and less taxed. I just don't comprehend these very odd people. Are these the same people who get a $400/year American Express card, move to some country where American Express isn't accepted, and then complain about having to pay off their American Express card for their previous purchases and that they have to close their account to avoid the annual fee?

Man or woman up, make a decision, and don't cry about it, metaphorically or literally. Your citizenship is yours to decide. It's valuable, sure, and who wants to lose something valuable? But sorry, free riding isn't always a legal option for U.S. citizens -- or for Singaporean citizens, for that matter. It's an all-or-nothing deal, take it or leave it. PNGMK didn't take the deal, and that's perfectly fine. I don't have a $400/year American Express card, and that's also fine.


Yup; no one's expecting the Spanish Inquisition.

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Re: Ricedoll's Issues with US Taxation

Postby x9200 » Tue, 01 Mar 2016 2:02 pm

BBCWatcher wrote:Are these the same people who get a $400/year American Express card, move to some country where American Express isn't accepted, and then complain about having to pay off their American Express card for their previous purchases and that they have to close their account to avoid the annual fee?

There are tons like them around. I would not be surprised if this is them who are the norm.


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