Keeping the Slaves on the Plantation: Senate Says No Passport if You Owe Taxes
Thursday, April 5, 2012
CBS is reporting that Senate Bill 1813 that would “suspend passport rights for delinquent taxpayers” passed the Senate 74-22 on March 14th.
A bill authored by a Southland lawmaker that could potentially allow the federal government to prevent any Americans who owe back taxes from traveling outside the U.S. is one step closer to becoming law.
…The ‘Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act’ or ‘MAP-21’ includes a provision that would allow for the ‘revocation or denial’ of a passport for anyone with ‘certain unpaid taxes’ or ‘tax delinquencies’.
This is the most recent example of the U.S. government treating rights as privileges that they can remove through legislation. This bill should be renamed “Keeping the Slaves on the Plantation Act.”
Unfortunately, it’s understandable why this type of bill would draw majority support. Since more than 70% of Americans don’t have passports, the law doesn’t affect them. Additionally, many would equate this as a justified loss of freedom for wealthy people who seek to evade taxes by moving themselves and money offshore.
Indeed, Section 40304 of the 1679-page bill seems to only target well-off individuals; “that any individual has a seriously delinquent tax debt in an amount in excess of $50,000, the Secretary shall transmit such certification to the Secretary of State for action with respect to denial, revocation, or limitation of a passport”.