“War is failure”
– Once heard Colin Powell requote this truism
Today is an important day in Canadian History. Exactly 200 years ago today, the United States under President Madison attacked what was then British North America. The outcome of the war depends on which country’s historians you listen to. But what is clear is that – after three years, the United States failed in its military invasion of it’s British neighbour to the North. In other words U.S. expansion stopped at the 49th parallel – making the existence of Canada possible.
Cause of the War of 1812 – Start Date – June 18, 1812
A major reason for the U.S. attack on British North America was that the British Navy was stealing sailors off U.S. ships. Britain was involved in a long war with France and was experiencing a shortage of sailors. Now, many of these sailors considered themselves to be former British Subjects, who had expatriated and were now citizens of the United States. To put it another way:
Britain was “hunting” it’s former citizens to force them to work on British ships! In so doing, Britain was denying these former subjects the right to expatriate. The U.S. considered these former British Subjects to be American citizens. Britain was not recognizing the right of its subjects to cease being British Subjects and become U.S. citizens. Today the U.S. is hunting its former citizens worldwide – denying them the right to expatriate! The U.S. is now doing exactly the same thing that it went to war with Britain over!
In yesterday’s Toronto Star, York University professor James Laxer wrote an short article about the War of 1812. For those who know nothing about the war (which includes me up to a few months ago), the article is a nice introduction. In closing Professor Laxer writes:
Of course, Canadians should commemorate this essential chapter in our history. Those who have opposed such public commemoration financed by Ottawa ought to ask themselves whether they think that Americans of all political shades will stop feting their War of Independence or that the French will cease their annual marking of the storming of the Bastille.
In waging the War of 1812, the U.S. sent able bodied men, who were clearly identified as U.S. soldiers, into British North America. That was how wars were fought in 1812. That is NOT the only way that wars are fought today. There are (at least in the short run) less expensive options to wage war.
The War of 2012 – Exact start date unknown – but sometime in 2011 or 2012 – it’s continuing and escalating
Jesse Ventura commented to Pier’s Morgan, that the United States had been at war during most of Mr. Ventura’s adult life. The U.S. is the most “warlike” nation on earth (and possibly in the history of the world). Students of American History use wars to describe various chapters in U.S. history. U.S. “war mongering” is extremely costly. Britain entered the 20th century as the world’s dominant power. The two great wars of the 20th century were the end of Britain’s world dominance. Britain simply could not afford the cost of war. The U.S. penchant for war has caused its demise as a world power. Yet, the U.S. continues to be at war with the world both directly and indirectly.
Excessive war results in the end of all empires – the cost of war must be contained
The British taxes that led to the American revolution in 1776, were motivated by Britain’s need for money – war had depleted the treasury. The current fiscal state of the U.S. is largely the result of the financial cost of its wars. It is imperative that the U.S. learn to fight wars at less cost. How can war be made less costly to the U.S.? Here are two ways. You can be sure that the “bright minds” in the Pentagon are working to develop more.
1. The Use of Drones Means That U.S. Soldiers Need NOT Be Involved Directly in U.S. Wars – Less cost today means more cost tomorrow! – This does require the “up front” cost of the drone.
The U.S. must wage war less expensively. If one accepts this objective, then the use of drones to attack inhabitants of other sovereign countries, makes perfect sense. It costs less and there will be fewer U.S. casualties. Whether this should be done with Obama’s “kill list”, is I suppose a different question. But, the great thing about drones is that it means that U.S. soldiers do NOT need to be used directly.
Therefore, drone warfare requires less of a cash outlay. However, the financial costs saved by drones are more than outweighed by the increase in hatred of the U.S, throughout the world. Why do people hate America? Congressman Ron Paul put this very well in saying:
Congressman Paul notes that:
This dramatic increase in the use of drones and the lowered threshold for their use to kill foreigners has tremendous implications for our national security. At home, some claim the use of drones reduces risk to American service members. But this can be true only in the most shortsighted sense. Internationally the expanded use of drones is wildly unpopular and in fact creates more enemies than it eliminates.
Earlier this month a former top terrorism official at the CIA warned that President Barack Obama’s expanded use of drones may actually be creating terrorist “safe havens.” Robert Grenier, who headed the CIA’s counter-terrorism center from 2004 to 2006, told a British newspaper that, “[the drone program] needs to be targeted much more finely. We have been seduced by them and the unintended consequences of our actions are going to outweigh the intended consequences.”
After a drone strike in Yemen last month once again killed more civilians than suspected al-Qaeda members, a Yemeni lawyer sent a message to President Obama stating “Dear Obama, when a U.S. drone missile kills a child in Yemen, the father will go to war with you, guaranteed. Nothing to do with Al Qaeda.” These are the unseen victims of the president’s expanded use of drones, but we should pay attention and we should ask ourselves how we would feel if the tables were turned and a foreign power was killing innocent American children from thousands of miles away. Would we not feel the same?
The best investment in the future of the United States would be for the United States to nurture: peace, friendship and cooperation.
2. The Use of U.S. citizens abroad provides a second way to wage war without the direct use of U.S. soldiers – This is a method that can make war profitable – U.S. citizens abroad can be taxed! – But, this does come at another high cost!
The U.S. goes to war for many reasons (or I suspect in some cases for no reason think Iraq in 2003). But, since the days of Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, there has been an emphasis on cost control. The use of U.S. citizens abroad, allows the U.S. to wage war on the Governments and Treasuries of sovereign nations, at virtually no cost to the U.S. The U.S. is using its citizens to wage war on other nations.
This is a brilliant strategy. The other nations don’t even know that every U.S. citizen living in its borders is a U.S. soldier.
But, it gets even better. The U.S. is able to extract some revenue from these citizens abroad. In other words:
1. U.S. citizens abroad are a direct profit center to the U.S. – they are subjected to direct taxation
2. U.S. citizens abroad can and are used to attack the economies of sovereign countries – the FBAR Fundraiser, PFICS, OVDI (Note that under OVDI even those Canadians who had no idea they were U.S. citizens are required to pay 5% of their not worth to the IRS – yes you read right! The Canadian Press worked very hard to make Canadians believe that were required to enter OVDI.)
3. U.S. citizens can and are being used to control the banking systems of other countries – Think FATCA
In summary, the U.S. uses its citizens abroad to:
A. Harm other economies by directly harming U.S. citizens abroad (many such costs must be borne by the host country) – this is what citizenship-based taxation is about – U.S. citizens are soldiers left inside a “Trojan Horse” who pass through the gates of sovereign nations. The following description comes from Wikipedia
The Trojan Horse is a tale from the Trojan War about the stratagem that allowed the Greeks finally to enter the city of Troy and end the conflict. In the canonical version, after a fruitless 10-year siege, the Greeks constructed a huge wooden horse, and hid a select force of men inside. The Greeks pretended to sail away, and the Trojans pulled the horse into their city as a victory trophy. That night the Greek force crept out of the horse and opened the gates for the rest of the Greek army, which had sailed back under cover of night. The Greeks entered and destroyed the city of Troy, decisively ending the war.
Once U.S. citizens are residing in other countries, they can and will do harm to those countries.
Now, all of you reading this blog understand exactly how citizenship-based taxation (which includes information returns) makes all of this possible. This point was well expressed in the following comment to recent article in Metro News. An excerpt form the comment (begin with the article) is:
The IRS has not relaxed its stance one bit. All that the IRS has done is to go back to a previous position which said that if you owe no tax then there will be no penalty for having filed late or not at all. The current law requires penalties for neglecting to file even if no tax is owed. To characterize the reinstitution of the previous policy as a policy “relaxation” is to give credit where no credit is due.
The fundamental problem is that those who have tax due are just as innocent of knowing about this law as are those who do not have any tax due. A true amnesty would include this group of people who were also just as ignorant of the filing requirement as were those who just happen to have been fortunate enough to not owe any tax. If you truly understood the complexity of U.S. tax law with regards to taxation of none residents then you would know that there is virtually no way that anyone who has lived outside of America for any length of time is going to be able to get away “penalty” free.
The final thing that I would like to point out is that all Canadians should be angry about U.S. taxation of its none resident citizens because it affects the Canadian economy and is therefore not a merely private issue between the U.S. and its citizens.
When the U.S. imposes tax obligations on its citizens who have their earnings and wealth in a currency and economy other than that of the U.S. then what is being taxed is not the U.S. citizen but rather the economy of another nation. These U.S. citizens who have no earnings or wealth that is based in U.S. dollars but rather in Canadian dollars are actually being FORCED at the barrel of a gun to take Canadian dollars and convert them into U.S. dollars so that Canadian wealth can be used to fund the U.S. government.
When it comes to situations like this then what you have is two national treasuries that are playing a zero sum game. Every Canadian dollar that is converted into a U.S. dollar and handed over to the U.S. Treasury is robbing the Canadian Treasury and the Canadian economy of Canadian spending power, Canadian wages, and the fruits of Canadian productivity. Just think about it for one minute. Under the U.S. system of citizenship based taxation it is theoretically possible for the U.S. to become the second biggest expense to the Canadian balance of trade if U.S. persons were to become a significant portion of the Canadian population. In other words the last nation from which Canada now wants to draw immigrants is that of the U.S.
The U.S. tax regulations also impose significant invest restrictions upon U.S. persons who live abroad. Investments such as mutual funds, RDSP’s, TFSA’s, Pooled Pension Plans, income splitting etc. are either outright not allowed under IRS rules or if they are allowed they involve so many expensive form filing requirements as to negate any return and therefore mean that these U.S. persons cannot contribute to the Canadian economy. Their inability to contribute to Canadian capital is a cost for them and for Canada.
Now contrast this with the situation of a Canadian who lives in the States who is not under investment restrictions from CRA. It becomes obvious that the U.S. is actually in an hypocritical position.
I could say much more but I hope that I have said enough to prove my point that this is not some kind of harmless “tax” policy. This hurst Canada which means that even if you aren’t an American it hurts YOU.
B. Harm other economies directly by attacking their banking systems – the use of FATCA which even makes the other country pay the cost of their being harmed (In China they make the family reimburse the government for the cost of the bullet used to kill the family member.)
Much has been written about the arrogance and cost of FATCA. It is quite obvious that FATCA is needed only because U.S. citizens reside in other countries. Or is that the excuse? This post is not about FATCA. Suffice it to say that the dangers of FATCA are well known and should be clear to all sovereign nations. To be clear: FATCA makes banks in sovereign countries subservient to the U.S. FATCA is an outright declaration of war on the sovereignty of other nations. In the early days FATCA was referred to as the “Neutron bomb of the financial system“. That is certainly true. But, it is far more!
FATCA is a clear attack by the United States on the sovereignty of other nations. In considering whether to comply with FATCA other countries must ask one simple question:
Do we want a world that is completely controlled by the U.S. or do we want a world that consists of a number of sovereign nations? Worldwide adoption of FATCA will mean the end of the sovereignty of other nations. It will also mean the end of democracy.
In a very real sense the response to the U.S. FATCA demands, should be viewed as :
“Democracy’s last stand!”
I emphasize that the U.S. can use its citizens to wage war on other nations, only if U.S. citizens are permitted to reside in other nations! Peaceful resistance to FATCA is possible and will result in a new world financial order. This is desirable to all those who believe in freedom and democracy. The U.S. has clearly demonstrated that it does not have the “moral authority” to be at the center of the world’s financial system.
The unintended cost of attacking other nations by using U.S. citizens abroad
The fastest and newest growing form of anti-Americanism is from U.S. citizens abroad.
What does U.S. citizenship-based taxation and FATCA imply for Canadian immigration policy (and other countries)?
The answer is evident. Canada should not allow any more U.S. citizens to immigrate to Canada. Every U.S. citizen who immigrates to Canada is a “Trojan Horse Soldier” who, because of obligations to the U.S., is waging war on Canada’s economy, people, cultural institutions, sovereignty and freedom every minute of every day. Given the realities and practical effects of citizenship-based taxation and FATCA, it can be no other way. It is essential that the Government of Canada wake up to this reality.
As one commentator suggested on the ACA Facebook Page:
I say with every ounce of facetiousness I can muster up: Every government of the world should stop letting Americans come to reside in their country. Eventually the ones that have slipped in before the draw bridge was raised will die off, leaving each country sanitized of these toxic elements. No more punishment for leaving the homeland, no more drain on anyone’s resources trying to hunt us down. Citizenship based taxation, the sacred cow of stupidity.
My specific suggestions are:
1. A complete end to accepting U.S. citizens as permanent residents of Canada.
2. The question of what to do with U.S. citizens living in Canada who are NOT Canadian citizens must be considered. Should they be required to become Canadian citizens?
3. What about Canada/U.S. dual citizenship. Should this group be encouraged to renounce U.S. citizenship?
Would a ban on U.S., citizens in Canada violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?
S. 15 of the Charter of Rights reads as follows:
15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.
(2) Subsection (1) does not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged because of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.
The first case where the Supreme Court of Canada interpreted the Charter of Rights confirmed that “citizenship” is a a prohibited ground of discrimination. Therefore, at face value, a ban on immigration based on citizenship would violate S. 15 of the Charter. That said, the Charter also includes S. 1 which reads as follows:
1. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.
In other words, a right guaranteed under S. 15 of the Charter, is subject to a limitation, prescribed by law, which can be justified in a free and democratic society. The existence of U.S. citizens in Canada is a threat to Canada’s freedom and democratic institutions. Therefore, not only does S. 1 of the Charter allow for the government to ban U.S. citizens from Canada, but it may compel it.
A possible solution short of banning U.S. citizens from Canada – But It Does Require The Government To Take Action
The Government of Canada can solve this problem by:
1. Prohibiting Canadian financial institutions from complying with FATCA – peaceful resistance to FATCA
2. Prohibiting U.S. citizens resident in Canada from filing FBARs which include bank account information of non-U.S. citizens (Think of the problem of Canadian politicians.)
3. Imposing special taxes on Canadian citizens who reside in the U.S. in an attempt to repatriate the money lost to U.S. looting – as suggested by Queen’s law professor Arthur Cockfield
Conclusion – We don’t want the War of 1812 to have been for nothing
The war with the U.S. is every bit as intense as it was in 1812. Wining this war will require strong political leadership and sacrifice from Canadians. If Canada does NOT take a stand now, one day Canada will cease to exist as a sovereign nation. The War of 1812 will have been for nothing!
Oh and by the way:
What is true of Canada is true of the rest of the world? If FATCA is really about containing tax evasion, isn’t it easier to just get rid of those pesky U.S. citizens? Actually, it’s the cleansing the world of U.S. citizens is starting already. Hard to live in a place where you can’t get a bank account isn’t it!
Of course all of this could be solved if the U.S. would: