Iceland has been led on by a bullshitting lawyer. And it\’s all most fun.
Here\’s the set up as brought to us by The Guardian.
The story took most everyone by surprise. Ten mega-rich investors from the US and Canada had contacted Icelandic authorities and were pledging to invest up to $15bn into our cash-strapped economy. All they wanted was a teeny-weeny favour in return: Icelandic citizenship for themselves and their children.
To the glib observer, the deal certainly sounded attractive. The tycoons\’ Canadian attorney, one David Lesperance, gushed to Iceland\’s national public-service broadcaster RÚV that the group had been so taken with the country that they wanted to \”join team Iceland\”. They were, he said, \”motivated beyond money\” and were primarily looking to invest in the country for political and philanthropic reasons.
Complete bollocks of course. So why are they wanting to do this?
When the reporter sounded doubtful, he quickly added that they were also concerned about the number of nuclear power plants being built where they lived,
Sounds a bit odd…have there actually been any nuclear starts in the US since 1979?
and about their children being drafted into the military.
Aha, no. There hasn\’t been a draft in either country for decades. So this is bullshit.
Our intrepid reporter then tries to double down on the story:
Could it be that the golden geese are flying away from US authorities, who are currently cracking down on citizens with offshore bank accounts? Those citizens will face hefty fines
unless they come forward and declare their accounts. Something that could likely be avoided with new citizenship.
Err, no, it couldn\’t be avoided with new citizenship. The US, almost uniquely, taxes its citizens wherever they live. There are allowances, yes, but you still pay US tax on world wide income. Gaining a new passport doesn\’t absolve you from that responsibility. Only giving up your US citizenship manages that. And at the point that you do give it up the IRS charges you all the tax you would pay in the future anyway. Finally, any tax liability that would be payable now (for example, hidden offshore accounts) will still be payable in the future because that liability is already there.
No, this story is bullshit, from start to finish. It\’s David Lesperance getting himself in the papers, that\’s all.
Oh, and the true glory? Once you add in the VAT Iceland\’s taxes are higher than the US anyway.
Hmm, I wonder who else might get taken in by this story?