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Sunday’s Presidential Debate: More Painful Than My Tax Returns

11 Oct
Sundays Presidential Debate had me wondering if it's a no-win for the country, whoever candidate we choose.

Sunday’s Presidential Debate: More Painful Than My Tax Returns

It’s Time To Change The Game

I listened to the presidential debate last night while finishing my 2015 tax return.

I’m not sure which one bothered me more.

My tax return is more than 50 pages. It’s mostly information forms reporting my assets rather than actual income reporting.

My non-American friends laugh when I complain to them about what a pain in the neck it is to prepare my U.S. tax return each year. They have no such obligation to their countries of origin. They file tax returns only in their countries of residence.

The vice-presidential debate last week was like two kids posturing in a school yard. That was bad enough, but the attacks and general misdirection both candidates leveled at each other last night got to me more than the amount of time I spent preparing my tax return to tell the IRS that I owe them less than it would have cost to pay someone to prepare my tax return for me. (That’s why I do it myself every year.)

The United States is more polarized right now than at any other time since the Civil War. If you don’t agree with someone’s position, you’re attacked. You’re either pro-whatever or you’re anti-whatever. I’m accused of being pro and anti all kinds of things by readers every day.

If you knew me, you’d appreciate the ironic reality. In today’s world, I’m a middle-of-the-road guy.

But little room is allowed for middle-of-the-road thinking right now. Civility has taken an extended holiday.

For the record, I’m anti both candidates. In fact, I’m anti all candidates. I’m anti politics.

Which candidate might I be more anti in this case?

Clinton wants to reduce the estate tax exemption from the current US$5.45 million per person to US$3.5 million while increasing the top estate tax rate from 40% to 45%. Make the 1% pay their fair share, she says.

It’s good posturing to get the votes of the masses who aren’t at risk of ever reaching that level of wealth. Practically speaking, it’s silly. Those changes won’t generate enough revenue to impact the national debt.

Trump wants to put up a wall and tear down free trade agreements. Neo-isolationism isn’t going to create jobs, but it will make whatever products are still available very expensive. Americans may like being told that Trump has a plan for protecting their jobs, but I think it’s possible they like their cheap stuff from Wal-Mart and Amazon even more.

Neither repealing Obamacare (Trump) nor fixing Obamacare (Clinton) will resolve the underlying problem of the U.S. health care system. The underlying problem is that the insurance companies are in charge. Being offered, even before I asked, a 50% discount for paying cash as a self-paying patient for a doctor’s visit in the U.S. recently made this point.

I see this election as a no-win. Better, I say, to change the game.

If you haven’t already begun internationalizing your life, you seriously need to get moving. You want at least the start of a plan in place by Jan. 20, 2017.

In two weeks’ time, I’ll be bringing together more than two-dozen friends and colleagues. These are the world’s top experts in taking your life and your investments, your assets, and your future offshore.

With their help, I’ll walk all assembled through all the best current options and opportunities for establishing residency, obtaining second citizenship, mitigating your tax burden, protecting your assets and your wealth, keeping your affairs as private as possible in today’s world, opening a foreign bank account, and diversifying your investment portfolios.

You need a Plan B. Right now more than ever… you need a Plan B.

Lief Simon