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September 20th, 2010
06:55 PM ET

If your wealth threatened by rising taxes, would you move to another country?

Raising taxes on wealthy Americans could drive them right out of the country.
Raising taxes on wealthy Americans could drive them right out of the country.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty

Raising taxes on wealthy Americans could drive them right out of the country.

In a recent letter to the Wall Street Journal, a California real estate executive wrote that although he makes more than $250,000, he doesn't consider his family wealthy. Glen Esnard says he's still paying off school loans for his three children, has no funded retirement plan except Social Security and no guarantee of permanent health care.

Yet he believes people making more than $250,000 are "vilified" and held accountable for paying for the government's runaway spending.

He writes, "Apparently our president thinks that living in America is so wonderful that we will never leave, despite being directly attacked... He should think again."

A Los Angeles Times reporter asked Esnard if he really expected wealthy Americans to consider leaving the U-S because their tax rate would rise from 35 percent to 39.6 percent.

Esnard responded that although he's not an expert, he thinks it's a real issue. And that he's received a lot of support from people who agree with him.

One possibility is Bermuda. It's a short hop from the U.S. and while you do have to battle an occasional hurricane, islanders pay no national income tax.

Meanwhile, most economists think it's a good idea to extend the Bush tax cuts for everyone, despite the president's call to let them expire for the wealthiest Americans.

CNNMoney.com polled 31 leading economists, and 18 of them said extending the tax cuts for everyone is the most important thing Congress can do to help the economy.

Only three backed President Obama's plan to raise taxes for the wealthiest Americans.

Here’s my question to you: If your wealth was threatened by rising taxes, would you consider moving to another country?

Interested to see which ones made it to air?


L.S. in Illinois

I've been considering the move for quite a while and I'm not even close to earning $250,000 per year. It's not only the federal income tax but rising property taxes. I paid off my home ten years ago and the escalating property taxes are almost equal to what my mortgage payment was. When people no longer own their own homes in this country but are forced to rent them from the state in the form of taxes, it's time to leave. I'm sick of all of it.

********************

Lex

Let them move. They seem to think that the conditions under which they earned their wealth magically appeared. It's taxes that pay for the education, health and infrastructure responsible for our great society. They can all fight for the small amount of high-paying jobs available in Bermuda.

********************

Anthony in New Jersey

I've traveled the world, Jack, and would never live anywhere other than America. The trouble with most citizens is that they're too provincial and have never traveled. Even in Europe, they don't have close to the amenities I enjoy every day. Believe me folks, there's no place like home!

********************

Eric in Montreal

Hi Jack, I just have to laugh. After a recent trip to Virginia this summer where I paid 50% less for some of my favorite wines and 35% less for gas than I do in Quebec, Canada, I am stunned by some who want to move to another country. If you do want to move, don't come to Canada where my salary of $70K a year turns into just over $34K after income tax and that still does not take into account $4/gallon gas and a general federal/provincial sales tax of 13%! Plus, there all sorts of other similar tax nightmares.

********************

Bimal

Jack, The problem is that taxes are not 39.6% but they are now going up to over 60%. You are forgetting Social Security, Medicare, Medicare on Capital Gains, State taxes (NJ at 10%), property taxes. I am of the opinion that after 60% a person making $250k should seriously consider leaving America. Why not look at life in growing economies like India, China other places.

********************

Frank in Indiana

Know any countries without FOX?


Filed under: Taxes
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Jeff In Minnesota

    Like I can afford that. However, I could see a Trump or others jumping ship if they thought taxes were too high. Maybe that would put an end to the reality show craze.

    September 20, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  2. Chris from Charlotte

    Jack,

    I'm trying move out of North Carolina and it N.Y. like HIGH TAXES and get back to Georgia the land of resonable taxes. That is if I don't move overseas first to avoid the downward spiral of the U.S.A.

    September 20, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  3. Luis

    Did you ask these same economists if at the time they thought a good idea to cut tax rates at the same time Bush was taking us into war. These clowns making $250,000 k/yr and saying therenot rich. Ask a single mother in south central if she thinks they are rich.

    By the way Jack, it is only their income above $250,000k/yr tthat face increase. You always state your questions in the most anti-Obama bias. i'll give you an example. Lets say the whiner Esnard makes $300,000 per year. If the Bush tax cuts are repealed, Mr Esnard stands to pay only increased taxes on $50,000. That would mean that he will pay 4.5% more taxes on $50,000 (34% TO 39.5%), or $2250 a more a year. That is less than $200 a month. Pose the question a such. Your question implies that the whiner would see taxes go up on all his income. Yaou always do this crap and never publish comments from people like me that call you on you biased bs questions.

    "A Los Angeles Times reporter asked Esnard if he really expected wealthy Americans to consider leaving the U-S because their tax rate would rise from 35 percent to 39.6 percent."

    September 20, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  4. Frank M

    No, as American's we get a chance every 4 years to change the leadership of our country. If we do not agree with the current President we can replace him. While I strongly diaagree with many of President Obama's policys, many of my fellow citizens felt he was the better canidate. Another 2 years is not too long to wait.

    September 20, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  5. rod from NC

    I don't make 250K per year, but I am moving to California for medical marijuana. I need it after listening to you, Jack. Your constant negative statements and reports have sent me into a deep depression. You never have anything positive to say. And neither does CNN. Yes, I am unemployed, but we all must have a positive and hopeful approach so we can get up in the morning. Maybe you can attract more viewers if you, Jack, reported something positive. Every time I hear you I must change the channel. Here is one...."Today it's official, as reported on CNN, The Recession is OVER!"

    Rod, Asheville, NC

    September 20, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  6. David LaBossiere Marlborough, MA

    No Jack. I am actually getting a little tired of all the talk about taxes and candidates promissing to go to Washington and stop the spending and control the deficit. I want to know which safety net program they are willing to cut and who they are going to throw out on the street. I would like them (the politicians) to be honest before the election and tell us who gets kicked to the curb. Concetrate on putting people to work, our roads, bridges, electrical system and the rest of the infrastructure needs repairing. Lets worry about the spending and deficit later, with people working it will take care of itself. Would I move from here if they raised taxes......heck no, where else in the world could I rant like this!

    September 20, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  7. chris

    you also have to consider how much more control of our lives govt is going to take over and less freedoms in that case if you get cheeper taxes in another country prpbably yes if our freedoms and decion making in our lives then we are no better than the dictator nations of what america was once was till now the american freedom going away

    September 20, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  8. AL

    If I were 20 years younger and taxes keep rising , I WOULD consider moving to another county Roll back the clock and I"m there!!

    September 20, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  9. Matt

    This guy SHOULD be villified!!! I make less than $80k/year, yet I manage to put 6% into a Retirement plan, and have for 10 years, it's now worth over $100k, despite my income starting out at less than $30k/year! I hope this guy does leave the country, it will create one new job opportunity for a RESPONSIBLE American to fill.

    What we should be worried about are Americans who HAVEN'T spoiled their offspring, and who HAVEN'T lived outside their means leaving. If the smart wealthy leave, they take their wealth with them. This guy doesn't have any wealth to worry about, good riddance!

    September 20, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  10. Jan

    I make less than half than this man and compared to my children, I'm really quite well off. I am a widow and I pay a lot in taxes already. However if this fellow feels that he is too poor to pay taxes and would be better off somewhere else, it really sort of sounds as though we would be better off without him. I'm sure that once Bermuda and other countries start getting those huge population increases from people who want services, but do not want to pay for them...,may end up going through some changes.

    The one thing that I do know about people with some money is that they have it and they hold on to it and they do not share. It's usually the very wealthy, people like Bill and Melinda Gates, and that great little guy from middle America that put the wealthy in a class by themselves. They are the folks that I would hate to see leave.

    September 20, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  11. Steven Hunsberger

    Jack,

    I would consider moving to another country. If we raise taxes only on the wealthy and not all American, it become a philsophical question of "what does America really stand for"? When this happens America is no longer a country built upon rights and if that happens it is no longer the America we have forged over the last 200 plus years.

    Telford, PA

    September 20, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  12. Paul L.

    Hi Jack,
    Let me start by saying I've always loved America. I've never known life in another country. However there are many factors right now that make me wonder if a move to another country is in my family's future. America is at a very ugly time and anyone who says different either lives in denial or needs to open their eyes. To be honest the current direction (Set by all political parties and special interests) scares me and I worry all the time what the future will be like for my immediate family as well as my nieces and nephews. My family is not wealthy but with the way things are playing out I am wondering if it would be a much better option to move to another country.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  13. dan

    Absolutely.

    I make over 250K and live in long island. I don't consider myself wealthy. I am in over my head in debt from the housing crash and school loans. Overall I break even after rent. Raising my taxes would certainly make me move out of new york and if I could find a job outside of this country I would do it until Obama left office.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  14. Courtney

    We are already looking at Central and South America. It is to expensive here in the USA!

    September 20, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  15. Tim M

    Personally, moving to another country is a bit of stretch for me, but I did move to another state for lower taxes and a lower overall cost of living. I lived in New York City for several years, and I moved to Las Vegas 6 months ago. Seeing how I own a software company with employees all over the world, living in a state with high income tax only took away from myself and capital that I could invest in the business. I do think something needs to be done about taxes as many of our country's entrepreneurs and producers will move to countries where they can be more profitable in a global marketplace.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  16. Ben Buerger

    Jack,

    I doubt I would move. The president is only playing the envy card. He knows that even if you took all income above $ 200,000 it would have little effect on the national debt. His purpose is to buy votes from those who are jealous of others who have more than them. He wants to divide the country.

    Ben

    Cincinnati, OH

    September 20, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  17. Dacrman

    This has to be the dumbest article I have ever read on CNN.com! Bermuda is this tiny little country out in the middle of the Atlantic! How many people do you think the government would accept! Raising the tax rate four points isn't going to drive anyone to move anywhere, that is simply silly! Did these people move out of the country when President raised taxes is 1993? Did they then come back in 2001 and 2003 when President Bush cut them? Articles like this one is what you get when writers lack ideas but have a quota to fill!

    September 20, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  18. Laurie

    I say let Glen Esnard and people who think like him go to where ever they think they can live a better life. Funny, they haven't complained before, when they were living high on the hog. Now they don't want to help get America back on track. That makes them part of the problem, not the solution. But as these people move out of the country to run away from there financial obligations, maybe they shouldn't be allowed to vote in the US unless they move back, and maybe they shouldn't be allowed to move back until they pay their taxes. Seems fair to me, since I'll be here, taking responsibility, and paying my obligations.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  19. G Hub

    The redistribution of MY wealth (AKA hard earned money) is out of hand. I'm tired of being in the top half of a the population that pays ALL the taxes. I have accumulated by nest egg and I will take it to another country to preserve it!

    September 20, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  20. Colleen O'Shea

    No, I would not move to another country. Most European countries impose higher taxes. I don't care for the weather in either Canada or Mexico. There's no better place really to live than the good old USA, which is why folks from all over the world are flocking to our borders. I don't mind paying higher taxes, although I make considerably less than $250K!

    September 20, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  21. Chandler in Rockaway, NJ

    Jack,
    Unlike the U.S., most countries won't let you move there unless you bring a whopping pile of money with you. The rest of us are pretty much stuck.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  22. David L.

    No, I would not move. We pay lower taxes than the majority of developed nations and also pay less than we've paid in most of U.S. history. The president made a great point today: So many people are demanding tax cuts and spending freezes but no one has the guts to say what we should slash. No one wants to say "slash veterans' benefits"or "axe educational funding." A small increase on the wealthiest Americans is past due.

    Orange County, CA

    September 20, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  23. Bill

    First, I'm far from wealthy. Before this question was posed, my wife and I have considered moving to Europe. My wife and I have federal Blue Cross/Blue Shield health insurance so that was not a consideration. What the consideration for us is cost of living, the recession we are in, and taxes. I love this country, I gave this country 35 years of my adult life but I do not like the way it is being governed.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  24. Ralph - Columbus Ohio

    We pay taxes for police and fire protection, but we don't want to pay taxes for financial protection. That is what to amounts to. The wealthy are trying to convince the middle on lower income earners that more taxes will hurt them the lower and middle income earners. If the truth be known more taxes will only help the middle on lower earners because the complex scams that the rich use to take money from the rest of us can only be prevented by writing and enforcing laws to prevent the scams. At the risk of sounding like a socialist, why is it ok for the wealthy to have more money than is required to live a comfortable life and many of those working a regular job cannot earn a living wage.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  25. Rick B

    No, I would not leave this wonderful country, and if an additional 4% income tax would threaten my well-being, then I am surely living beyond my means.

    Gilbert, AZ

    September 20, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  26. Jimmy

    This is absurd. If you make $250K a year, you gross $1 million in 4 years. If I make $50K a year it takes me 20 years to make what you make in four. How are you not wealthy? I'd trade you my $1 million for your $5 million 4.6% tax problem any day.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  27. Lee

    Yes. I've already thought about it long and hard. Although we can't do it until our kids are out of school in 15 years, we are seriously investigating our "empty nest" options. Just look at the growth rate in the number of Americans buying 2nd homes in nearby countries with lower tax rates. The movement is already afoot, even if the physical moves haven't surfaced yet.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  28. Cliff in NM

    Why would they move, Jack? All their wealth is sheltered off shore in foreign banks anyway.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  29. Respect

    I tell this to Capitalist haters all the time.

    Remember, each year, business gets more mobile, more liquid. many businesses can be ran from anywhere. I always ask, to which I get no answer, what will the Capitalism Haters/pro tax on the rich/Nobody works hard for money they steal it crowd going to do when those people start leaving the country. Read expatriate blogs, it's already happening. What's even more interesting is those governments are giving tax breaks to Americans if they hire a few of the natives part time.

    First, the 250k+ group will leave.
    Next, the 200k group will leave
    Then 150. Pretty soon, all that will be left will be the Capitalism haters. And guess what, this country will crumble when all that is left are the whiners and the jealous people.

    Capitalism Haters, you need to learn one very, very important truth.

    Just because YOU can't do it, does not make it impossible. I'm one of those "evil white men making over 250K". I put in more work, thought, research and effort in an hour than most people do all day. Which is why I'm where I'm at. But ask any of the Capitalism Haters, and you will get a response like, "You probably stole it."

    Keep pushing, and me and my tax dollars will leave faster than your head will spin.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  30. Octodad - Las Vegas, NV

    Jack,

    I've already left other states due to rising taxes. Next stop, Germany.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  31. chris, tx

    We are all hurting. This is just an example of how even the "better off" people are having trouble. The main issue is we are ALL hurting, and sadly there is nothing real being done. Washington is too busy vilifying those who make >250k which is plain sad. Since when did 250k become the magic wealthy number. Those people still have their own issues to deal with. There are good things that are in the bush tax cuts that the dems are sacrificing just to drag bush's name through the mud yet again.and the only expense is on the American people. Supposedly the "Great Recession" is over and has been over and i don't know what we are all worrying about. But i'm worried. i'm worried about gross amount of spending/horrendous lack of saving/ the well being of the American people/ the amount our gov't is out of touch with the obvious needs of its citizens who are their employers.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  32. Terry NJ

    I would if I could. I think a better idea is for the gov't to stop the wasteful spending on wars and foreign aid and pork ect ect ect and take care of the people here first. A flat tax or fair tax would be better than the archane system we have in place now. I am certain we would have more than enough money to run this country.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  33. Texas Pete

    Technically it does not matter since the draconian tax laws of the US means that you are still required to pay taxes for income you earned even if you do not live in the US.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  34. Ed Kmiec

    Moving to another country by itself does not absolve you from paying U.S. Federal income tax. In order to avoid U.S. taxation, you have to renounce your citizenship.

    It would have to be one heck of a high tax rate in order for anyone to do that. And to what advantage? The country you live in will likely tax your income to some extent.

    So is renouncing your citizenship and giving up all the protections that the U.S offers, moving away from your family and friends worth saving tax dollars?

    Maybe so if you don't have any family or friends.

    Ed Kmiec
    Tewksbury, NJ

    September 20, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  35. Bill R in Oakland

    Jack,

    The US has some of the lowest tax rates in the world. Try living in Canada or any European country. Of course, those countries look after their citizenry with nationalized health care and spend money on infrastructure like transportation.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  36. Rene

    I know at least 10 people leaving the country for that very reason. Though the US is great, the rest of the world is developing quickly, and what they don't have...there is always UPS and satellite TV.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  37. Edward in Texas

    Yes, indeed. In fact we are retiring December 31, 2011 and moving to Panama. Between taxes and the cost of living, the US is no longer affordable for retired people.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  38. Diana

    If I could afford it as middle income consumer I would leave.
    What this government is doing anyone with any brains should now you can't stimulate job growth by making it harder for those who create jobs, It is just idiotic.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  39. Wendy in Charleston, WV

    Heck, no. We've been in the top bracket before and were always willing to pay for government services. Now we're knocked way back in earning power, and we'd dearly love to have to pay at our old tax rate or the proposed highest rate. It would be right to share our good fortune.
    What would make us move would be dragging on with no health care reform. Losing health care insurance for our oldest kid (preexisting condition, might as well be leprosy-never mind we've paid into insurance forever,) losing a job and eventually having an ultraexpensive COBRA policy run out; that's what would break us financially. The prospect really makes Canada look great.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  40. marie

    we will miss you... really..

    September 20, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  41. George Busch

    Anyone who says they will leave this country if their taxes are raised is either lying or an alien from another country who is intending to go home anyway. And stop calling it a tax hike. Letting tax cuts for wealthy is not a tax hike or a tax cut, just the end to a bad policy.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  42. Tim in Syracuse

    Jack,

    The County I live in just announced it will no longer plow its roads in the winter and that if the towns want them done to do it themselves. That's just one instance in a pile of them here lately. Homeowner taxes in some areas here are going up 105% this year and services are going down. People I work with are talking about selling or worse, defaulting because its out of control.

    This region has been hemorrhaging jobs for years and now its at the point where those that remain can't sustain the community. To have your 'wealth' threatened you have to have some in the first place.

    Would I leave? To quote a rather famous personality....You Betcha.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  43. Watchman

    Yes. i would move.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  44. inofritzn

    I won't leave, but I would like to send the reckless spenders of our tax money to a remote island.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  45. ann

    $250,000 a year may sound like a lot to the average Joe...but that is an income far from extravagant. Living in the U.S. has become unaffordable to most. I, like my husand, are very seriously considering leaving to be able to live in some sort of comfort after retirement. We have worked for the last 40 years and paid our taxes, insurance and dues to this country. What we are realizing is that when the cards are finally laid out on the table we are going to be behind the 8 ball. I would love for anyone to say it is going to o.k., but the chances of that are nil as far as we are concerned. A little help please.....is that to much to ask??

    September 20, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  46. J. Callier

    ONE nation, ONE universal tax code, Indivisible with Liberty and Justice for ALL.
    San Diego, CA.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  47. mrdoctormd

    Absolutely. Nice places i can move to and not be fiscally abused. I already pay more because. Imake more. Obama is a kook

    September 20, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  48. Hank

    I would love to see some of these Tea Party right wingers move to a foreign country. Our average IQ would surely rise!

    September 20, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  49. Tim

    We must remember what the Bush tax cuts were for in the first place. At a time that he put us into two wars and then cut taxes for the wealthy. it was in the disguise that it would trickle down and create jobs. He left office with an economic turmoil. Trickle down did not work for Herbert Hoover or any other republican president, yet they still make the wealthy wealthier by convincing the people in the middle class that it works.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  50. Sidney

    I moved from NYC to Texas, taxes being one of the few motivating factors.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  51. buckup

    You still have to file taxes if you leave the country, unless you give up citizenship.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  52. Den in Noo Yawk

    Ja...ve move to free country Sveden vere dey tax you only 60%...vait a minute, zat does not compute...

    September 20, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  53. Jack in Florida

    I would not move for tax reasons, but I would move to another country if the Tea Party Wingnuts get elected and control our government.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  54. Ted

    Jack – U.S. citizen pay lower taxes than almost every other industrialized nation. I hope Mr. Esnard does his research, because he could be in for a rude surprise if he moves to another country.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  55. richard in montana

    I wish all of you negative reporting reporters would just move to another country. Taxes pay for the freedoms we enjoy-without them, our military would not exist, without them, we'd have no reads, schools, etc. Jack you are sounding more and more like Lou Dobbs-when are you going to move over to FAUX?

    September 20, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  56. Jeff

    If my wealth was legitimately threatened by rising taxes then I would relocate to another country in a heartbeat.

    However a 4.6% increase that returns tax rates to where they were just a few years ago doesn't come anywhere close to threatening the wealth of myself or anyone else in America.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  57. mark barr

    if i was wealthy which am not i would ,its this thinking of greed that has gottin us in this mess and the ones with that wealth will always look for a e-z out or loop hole to make us poor or middle class pay the tab anyway

    September 20, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  58. Petey, ATL

    I already would move to another country for other reasons. Taxes would just be icing on the cake – these increases in and of themselves would not be enough to get me to leave if I didn't already want to. But the real issue, of course, is whether the other country will take you.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  59. KDS Irvine, CA

    Jack,
    I am not rich and I am not poor. I will however have to work the rest of my life because retirement is a thing of the past. If the president wants to raise taxes for people who make over a million dollars a year, he will. Even thought that decision will not effect me personally, I still disagree with that concept. This country cannot borrow its way to prosperity.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  60. Joe from Miami

    Its a fair deal. When a person can provide himself with wealth its his responsibility to secure his future with a health plan and college funding for his children. 250k after taxes is still suffient funds to provide a stable life for your family. A wealthy person should be in a higer tax bracket because without America backing them up their odds of aquiring wealth is slim. These taxes go to their America to help rebuild and build. Im in a high tax bracket as well and I play my part by paying my taxes and contributing to my country. We are a privledged few with a responsiblity to this country and the people around us.

    If they want to leave this country then they should go live on an island where there are no roads, no schools and let them finance their own city and build it from nothing.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  61. Michael in GA

    Not if I thought my tax dollars were being spent in a prudent manner.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  62. kazz

    if i was wealthy, why would i live here?

    September 20, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  63. Jeffrey Allen Miller NY

    My answer is "it depends." What is wealthy? The average household income is only $50k, and I'm there, so I don't know what all anger is about raising taxes on the rich because statistically speaking the majority of us are in that ballpark: Not rich. Therefore shouldn't worry. Is $150k rich? It is in my view, but not rich enough to leave this country. If I earned $1 million a year, would I leave to avoid higher taxes? I don't think it would be necessary... I'd have great tax shelters, and a country house in France (which would be where I ended up after retirement anyway.) Jeffrey Allen Miller NY

    September 20, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  64. Chuck Clark

    Not only have I moved from the U.S. to another country, but prior to that I moved my family & my business to 3 different states looking for a more friendly business climate. The Federal Government tentacles & mandates now control state governments and local municipalities as well. Bureaucrats run their own little fiefdoms & the public supports them through the too numerous taxes we all pay.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  65. Rachelle - Atlanta, GA

    My partner is a German citizen. It is already our plan to retire there. I love my country, but after watching my aging parents' woes trying to pay for health care after working so hard, that alone would drive me to leave. Add to that the denial of equal rights for gay and lesbian citizens, the complete sell-out of our government to corporations, and the utter disrespect and lack of a sense of responsibility toward our fellow man that pervades our society and continues to grow worse here in the US, and how could I responsibly stay?

    September 20, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  66. Jeff

    Let them leave

    September 20, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  67. Michael

    It's interesting how this person interviewed argues that he doesn't consider himself wealthy. Yet the fact that he can consider moving to escape taxes disproves his statement entirely. That's essentially the message that he's relaying. We make more than 250K, raise our taxes we'll leave. Meanwhile, the rest of "us" are stuck in a country because we lack the means to just get up and leave an "unfair" tax system. 40% of 250K is still 150K dollars. I wouldn't know what to do with that much money, but apparentlyt his guy still can find his way into debt and "struggle" to pay of college loans for his kids, meanwhile most college students don't have the luxury of a parent paying their way through. Perhaps he shouldn't be living in such a way where he can't manage 150K dollars a year?

    Rant aside and more towards your question: Would I consider moving if my wealth was threathened? No. I pay taxes on my income and adapt accordingly to what that entails on my finances. Not too mention that Obama didn't come up with the tax system he's just letting it default to its original levels under the Clinton administration. How many rich assholes jumped ship in the 90's? None, because they had grown far too wealthy from Reagan's tax cuts in the 80's. I have no problem paying taxes, it's just what they are spending it on that matters. How about: instead of a massive budget for defense we cut that down by 20% and put that money where it could be useful, education perhaps?

    September 20, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  68. John

    Typical right wing misdirection and disinformation. Everything on the right is about attacking this administration. We are talking about the level they where at 8 years ago. No body said they will move when the tax cuts were not made perminant under Bush. He set tehm to expire and not one Republicans whined then. Now the black president wants to let them expire for those making an quarter a million a year and you clowns want to cry about leaving the country? what at total fraud teh right has become. This is the reason we are in this mess, the extremist that destroyed the republican party care about getting power and nothing else.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  69. Marklar

    <-- Australia bound.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  70. Teaparty01

    I don't think it would lead hardly any Americans to leave the US although it will lead many people to move to other US states where taxes are lower and there is respect in the state constitution for Freedom and Liberty.

    Eventually it will definately lead to an new American Revolution no matter what ; the question is only when and to what degree. If the US Military supports the people's revolution consequences are fairly benign and will be contained; it they oppose it and support Federal tyrants then all bets are probably off

    September 20, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  71. James

    I want to know what this guy wastes his money on that he has a hard time living on over $250,000 a year. I make about $30k and I live in California. What is his excuse that he has a hard time surviving?

    September 20, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  72. Tom

    Absolutely. I could live in Japan, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Burmuda.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  73. Minesh - Troy, MI

    Jack, I moved from India to USA to get more freedom and opportunity. If I am losing freedom as fast as I am and my wealth is attacked – why would I not go back to India?

    Minesh Baxi, Troy, MI

    September 20, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  74. Jay Boswell

    I have little sympathy for Mr. Esnard, my wife & I make far less combined than Mr. Esnard. We have a decent amount in our 401k's, paid for our childrens education (I'll admit it was at a state university) and have a long term health care plan. In other words we're not out of control spenders like Mr. Esnard. If you make 250k a year and don't have enough self control to have a retirement plan etc. you are just like the government he resents.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  75. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Jack, anyone who would leave this country rather than pay taxes is lower than the draft dodgers of the the 1960s. I served my country for 22 years in the USAF. I fought and killed for my country in Vietnam. I was in Germany with the Big Red One in 1973, ready to go to the middle east. I did a lot of logistics work supporting our efforts in 1991 in Iraq and Kuwait, and I was ready to go there if called. Why in the world would I let an increase in my taxes make me leave MY country, that I've already given so much for, and that I still owe so much to?
    Allen Brock
    Hartwell GA

    September 20, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  76. Matthew D

    As far as first world countries go, the US has some of the lowest taxes around, even if the taxes go up for the wealthiest Americans. So taxes would have to get pretty bad for me to move to another country because of them. Having said that, I believe the tax cuts should remain at the current rate for everyone for another two years, in the hopes that unemployment will go down by then. Priority One should be putting people back to work. That will raise more revenue for the US Federal Government than any tax increases could. When we have a stable economy, taxes should go steadily up and spending go steadily down – it's the only thing that can get us out of debt.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  77. Jerry Johns Creek, GA

    I would definitely consider moving to a different country. However, I have traveled extensively and have come to the conclusion that there really is no better place than home here in the good old USA. Now if we can just get our Congress focused on doing their jobs of balancing the budget and operating our economy on a positive cashflow basis we could all relax.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  78. Bobbi

    No. For better and for worse, I am an AMERICAN. I may not always agree with the policies of this country, but to just walk away instead of attempting to make good changes for ALL of us, is not an option I'd consider. The USA can't ever be perfect, but it will always be HOME.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  79. Christine, Houston, TX

    Maybe... but I am not a US citizen. My understanding is that US citizens would have to move out of the country AND loose US citizenship to avoid having to pay federal taxes. And also stop receiving any substantial (taxable) income in the US.
    Moving to Bermuda sounds great but would the person's income remain that high in Bermuda? I guess it depends on the source of income. Plus existing loans wouldn't vanish just by taking the plane...
    I would recommend keeping the job, paying the taxes, moving in a smaller house with a lower mortgage, and funding a retirement plan.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  80. Nathan

    In a word, Jack. Yes.

    I'm not rich. I don't make anywhere close to $250,000 yet, but I in fact I have plans in the works to ensure that, if I need to, I can move my operations over seas. Excessive taxes is certainly one of the things that would make me want to exercise that ability. I don't think 39.6% is a number that would do it, but if they got high enough, I would leave, definitely.

    Another good question you should ask is, "Is the person or company who signs your paycheck richer than you are?" After nearly 100% of all working class people say, or at least think, a quick "yes" to that question, ask them, "What do you think will happen to your job when that person or company gets a little bit poorer?"

    September 20, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  81. John, Iowa

    I think I missed something, contributing to the functioning and well-being of a country you supposedly love is a "direct attack"?

    Just the fact that they are free to say such things, much less actually move out of the country and not have all of their possessions taken from them, should make people realize that maybe it is that wonderful after all.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  82. TH

    IF I'm in the top tax bracket, I would not move if the rate increases. All these complainers seem to think that tax cuts come from thin air. The rates in the United States is relatively low when compared with other developed countries. At 39.6%, it's still much lower than the all time high of 91%. During the Clinton era, the most prosperous in US history, the economy operated just fine at a top rate of 39.6%. I'd say bring back the old rates and if we ever dig ourselves out of this hole, put all the surpluses in Al Gore's lock-box. That was sorely needed during the "lost decade".
    Also, are these the same people that complained about being taxed enough already when taxes are actually LOWER under President Obama? Are these the same people that complained about deficits, but god forbid if we reduce military spending? They can't have their cake and eat it too it.

    Arlington, VA

    September 20, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  83. Nate

    My wife and I are both CPA's from NJ. We decided to move to Grand Cayman to take advantage of the sun and the tax free living. We leave September 25! I sincerely hope that the US can get it's spending under control to bring these deficits down.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  84. Jay Kay

    No. But I would consider moving my bowel on the steps of the capital building.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  85. Alienative

    Yes, I would consider moving to another country and even becoming a citizen there. I believe me, I am not the only one neither the first one. It has been done before.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  86. Ken in NC

    Aus-ta-La-Vista Baby. Romulus here I come.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  87. Daniel

    I don't know about moving out of the country. I would certainly consider it and if I decided to start a business in that country I would certainly surrender my citizenship considering ex-pats get hit for income tax even though they don't live in the USA. I AM considering moving out of New Jersey if the proposed tax changes go through. You crank up my income tax, my property tax, sales tax, AND take away my income tax deducation for interest on my mortgage and my family and I will leave so fast you'll see skid marks in our driveway... and no... I won't bother selling my house... I'll just let the bank foreclose on it!

    Here is the 800 lb. gorilla in the room... when is Congress going to acknowledge that the AMT (Alternative Minimum Tax) is both in need of updating (when it was enacted it was called 'the millionaire's tax) and is borderline unconstitutional (it can be argued it presents taxation without representation as it is a 'parallel system to the Federal Incom Tax system)? It already impacts nearly 20% of all income tax filers taking away the vast bulk of their tax deductions. I realize in 1970 when it was enacted $100,000 per year for a household was considered a lot of money... in New Jersey in 2010... that is borderline between lower middle and middle class income, but yet... the 'millionaire's tax' still applies... FIX THIS!

    September 20, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  88. Joyce, Florida

    I find it interesting that someone making $250K is bogged down with student loans, etc. What happened to kids helping work their way through college? It's happening every day, everwhere. I don't think barring people of his income are the answer, but with the Republicans rabblerousing about doing away with Social Security, Medicare, etc. people in this man's position should really start worrying about saving.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  89. Frank Benson

    I would leave in a heartbeat. If I could cash out of the US, I would move away and live off the bare necessities. My childrens, children will not see a economy, like we did during the Clinton era.
    Huntersville, NC

    September 20, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  90. Deborah Ballweg

    I have actually thought about it, but I can't take my guns.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  91. K. Hanks

    NO! But I get sick and tired of being told the rich are sticking it to the poor and middle class. Its first rate Pelosi-ism. Let me spend more and tell the country at the same time that the rich are getting away with something. I won't leave the country. Most people can't because their job is here. But the super rich can leave and will. Any time you raise taxes you are less competitive in a world market. Mark my words...when the jobs never show up, Obama will be out.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  92. Anthony

    Yes, people who are making $250,000/year working in the US are going to just pick up and leave to another country. That makes TONS of sense....except for the part of them leaving the place where they are making their money.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  93. Jeff Froehle

    I would consider such a move, but the increases would have to be very significant. I am more worried about loosing my retirement to health costs than to taxes.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  94. Bob Feuerstein

    If Esnard can't find a way to fund a retirement plan on his salary, I have no sympathy for him. If I had the opportunity to make what he's making I'd be grateful to pay a small tax increase. And if didn't have a retirement fund in place on his income I would not be dumb enough to admit it.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  95. JT-Nevada

    Sounds like sour grapes to me. Nevada has no state income tax and is at most a few hundred miles away from your distressed real estate executive. It's a heck of a lot closer than Bermuda, yet he and the thousands of former Nevadans who move every month away from our record high unemployment don't seem to care that they are moving into states with higher taxes. Heck if he wants he can move to Afghanistan, I spent a year there and confirm no national taxes, no sales taxes, no property taxes. Of course also fire department, 911, honest police, or impartial court system.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  96. James

    Higher taxes would absolutely not lead to my leaving the USA. While I am not certain, I believe we have lower taxes than most other modern countries; therefore, I think those families making more than $250k per year should pay more in taxes.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  97. Charles

    Yes, I would consider moving my place of permanent residence. Certainly from a state with high income taxes to a state with lower income taxes to make up for the Federal increase. I would consider moving to another country, not only to escape higher taxes but also to escape a changing demographic that could transform the United States over the next few decades, both for my own sake and for the benefit of my children and grandchildren. I would consider Australia and New Zealand.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  98. Anthony from NJ

    I've traveled the world, Jack and would never live anywhere else than America. The trouble with most citizens is that they're too provincial and never traveled. Even in Europe they don't have close to the amenities I enjoy every day. Believe me folks, there's no place like home!

    September 20, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  99. Gigi Oregon

    Name a country I'd want to live in with a lower tax rate.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  100. Jeff

    The top 1% pay 40% of the total income taxes – how does Obama's statement that these people "don't pay their fair share" make any sense? The top 10% of earners pay 75% of the taxes, and the bottom 50% of earners don't pay already. This President is ignoring the facts for his idealogical nonsense that is hurting our country.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  101. Ann

    Question is: Where do these wealthy people who represent the "Something for Nothing Crowd" intend to go when they leave in droves from the USA? MARS ? PLUTO? THE MOON?

    Where do they think that they can go and not pay taxes. Maybe in Bermuda they do not have a national income tax but they are also not a first world country and do not enjoy the ammeneties that people in the USA are used to – it is all a trade off. If the Bush tax cuts have been working so well over the past ten yers, why is the unemployment rate at almost 10%. It is either defecits or pay more taxes pick one and for Gods sakes stop the whining.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  102. Theresa

    Couldn't that be considered tax evasion? If less than a 3% increase is going to make someone leave this country, then we probably don't need them. Maybe we could also bar them from doing business here at all. Or visiting.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  103. Doug

    No. And you wouldn't either. Because you couldn't make your $250K/ year in bermuda. There aren't those kinds of opportunities there. The only people that is really a viable option for are the ultrarich, with millions in savings, not hundreds of thousands in income.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  104. Brickell Princess

    Definitely! A bit over 35% of my income disappears in taxes each and every year and I get absolutely nothing in return. So you bet that I am considering leaving the United States. I have been country hunting since 2006 and I may have found my new home in Amsterdam. It is a careful move, but certainly one worth making. I wouldn't mind paying more in taxes as long as I receive something in return. The United States has lost the appeal it once had. There is absolutely no incentive to work harder in this country...even less of an incentive to make more money.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  105. Joyce, Florida

    The previous comment left off my intention of adding, no I wouldn't move, although a lot of Americans are investing in second homes in other countries, so maybe they are not so bad off as it seems.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  106. Jarrod Rager, Greeley, Colorado

    Isn't it all cost benefit analysis? Is relocating really worth it? Lots of people like to grandstand about government oppression but they aren't willing to do anything about it. An additional 4.6% on income tax won't cause people to leave, it will just piss them off. Anyone who wants to be out of the country or off the grid is there already. As for me, I am staying put. I might not like everything happening in our nation but the outlook is better here compared to everywhere else.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  107. D Brown

    To set the stage for my rezponse, my wife and make only half of the $250k cutoff so that particular tax issue does not directly affect us. However, as a military retiree, I've had the privilege and the pleasure of representing the US around the world as n ambassador (of sorts). I've seen what a failed state could look like and I've also seen what happens when here is no support from a strong central government. To that end, even though there are other places the extremely wealthy can go to avoid paying US Federal taxes, the cost of that escape is high in the area of families, friends and cherished institutions. If someone is so disturbed with a 39% tax rate that they'd leave all that America stands for, then they were pretty much out the door already. That
    rate is similar to what is was during the Regan administration, and I didn't see folks leaving in droves then.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  108. hurricanepaul from Hawaii

    No, Jack. I won't be the one moving because the Conservatives will be taking back our government starting this November 2nd.

    If anyone's going to be doing any "moving" this November, it's going to be Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, followed by the Biden's and the Obama's in 2012.

    Just WHERE they will move Jack, is of no interest to me.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  109. Sean V

    Jack,

    If we keep raising taxes on the rich, why wouldn't they leave? Just look at France. In 2006, according to a Washington Post article, due to excessive taxes there was on average 1 millionaire leaving France every day, which would be equivalent to 5 millionaires in the US.
    Also, let's not forget that their investments would also be leaving. If it takes the wealthy (or at least Obama's definition of wealthy of $250,000 in annual income) to invest in things like starting new businesses, then we won't have any new jobs and unemployment will remain at the 9.5% that it is today.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  110. Mike in NC

    Hi Jack,

    I am among the many Americans consider leaving this country out of disgust. I still consider myself the last of the Kennedy Democrats. (John F, not Teddy) The current version of the DNC is closer to Socialist than Democratic unless you compare their brand to Democracy to a Banana Republic. Bankrupting this country is the end goal of the surrent batcj of politicians, both Republican & Democrat.

    My parents came to the US (legally, by the way) for the freedoms and liberties. Those are being washed away by the current junta. If the tide does not turn in November, you can stand witness to an exodus of Americans to other loactions around the world.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  111. JIM California

    I would definitely move out of the country if I was in that category. Anything to get away from Obama.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  112. Chris N.

    If I was guaranteed at least a comparable income to what I make now and it represented bringing home substantially more money due to less or limited taxes, then, Yes.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  113. Frag

    I already moved, because I realized that all Americans care about, you too Jack, is the money. The mood in America is really ugly. Where's Lincoln when we need him? OH, he's already there, we just didn't realize it yet.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  114. Bob

    It would be nice to be in a position to answer that question. With kids in college and owning a small business, I couldn't afford even the airline ticket, let alone a move. If this country doesn't stop squandering our financial resources on political wars, and doesn't start evening the playing field, there won't be many small businesses around much longer. Small business get hammerred by taxes – we have no lobby, nor could we afford one. Were I able to financially, I'd leave right now. I'm tired of getting fleeced by this government, and getting absolutely no benefit in return.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  115. Bob

    If my daughter and grand child were not here I would have been gone long ago. Press 8 for English.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  116. David - Cleveland, OH

    No, I would not move. That said, the $250,000 level has to move upward to at least $500,000 or whatever level better protects small business owners. $250,000 in NYC or LA is not the same as $250,000 in rural America. It is not a one-size-fits-all number.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  117. Scott Rickey

    I make less than $250K, but have decent savings, and am already considering just this. I am 34. I look into the future and see that I will be taxed to death for the rest of my life in this country. It makes me want to drop out, sell all my things, and move somewhere with few taxes. I can live more cheaply in those locations to offset my loss of income.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  118. Dave

    Let em go then, im sure someone will be wiling to fill in for them in their $250,000 job that they cant relocate.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  119. Johann Vanzyl

    Pretty weak & speculative argument ....
    Firstly, the first $250K will not be taxed higher
    Secondly, the same 39% rates in 1990's did not inspire an exodus of wealthy Americans ...

    September 20, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  120. CathyH

    So their taxes might go up a whopping 4.6%? When they're probably earning at least double that with investments? No I would NOT leave the U.S.!

    However, if this country sways far enough to the Ridiculous Right by electing the latest crop of Tea Party candidates, Europe is looking better and better. I might decide to leave - no, make that escape - before this great land ends up an anti-science theocracy, still fighting the Crusades and with the mindset of Pilgrim New England.

    L.A., CA

    September 20, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  121. The Mudshark in Oregon

    I plan to retire in Mexico, not because of taxes though. I want out of this whacked out land where only the loudest nutjobs on the most extreme fringes get any attention. I'm sick to death of douchebags like Glenn Beck and Rachel Maddow controlling the dialogue. I'm absolutely disgusted that it's cool to be ignorant; uncool to be enducated. Y'all can keep your idiocracy! Hasta la vista, baby!

    September 20, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  122. Nick

    Haha, one of the questions on the ballot for Nov. 2 elections for MA is concerning reducing state sales and use tax to 3% from 6.25%. It's nice to think that it will pass and actually happen...but c'mon. In THIS state?

    September 20, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  123. Ruth

    This is a whole lot of hooey. Give up your American citizenship?

    People making rational decisions will not leave. There is no cheap, good place to live. You going to commute to your job from Bermuda? Checked out plane fare lately? Try paying for goods in islands like Bermuda. They have to pay for their public services, too.

    How many people left before the tax cuts? Letting the cuts expire is just reverting to the way things were. Before elections it is always just silly season.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  124. CA23

    Exactly which country would they move to? All other developed "Western" countries with a similar standard of living and similar rights have socialized medicine and higher taxes.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  125. CM

    I have thought about leaving the country, either Canada or Germany. But certainly not England, they have too much of a big brother is watching complex. If I'm going to be bled dry by taxes I might as well live in a country that has free health care rather then paying for endless wars.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  126. Harvey Scribner

    What blithering nonsense!
    The highest marginal tax rate under Clinton was 39% and we had the longest period of sustained growth since the fifties. (We also paid down the federal deficit.)

    September 20, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  127. Juan

    I am taking the first step by moving out of california, but yes, moving out of the country is an opton.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  128. Tim

    There is a fundamental misconception of what a wealthy person is.
    Couple 1: (non-working multi-millionare couple with 2 kids, lives in countryside)
    their investments earn: $580k, but also lose: $520k, netting $60,000/yr.
    Couple 2: (2 income family, that pays for parking, train, & day care, so they can go to work)
    they earn: $30,000 & $48,000, netting $78,000/yr.
    Should the federal government tax couple 2 more than couple 1? They do.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  129. Scott Stodden

    Absolutley Not Because Its Going To Be More Expensive To Become A Citizen Of Another Country And In This Country Sometimes The Rich Have To Pay More In Taxes What Is Wrong With That? If You Have All This Money Then Why Not Pay More In Taxes? Its The Right Thing To Do In My Opinion And Its How President Clinton Balanced The Budget In The 90's!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    September 20, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  130. nomobama

    I absolutely would move. I love this country, and I love living here. But, this isn't the only great place on earth to live, enjoy life and raise a family. I've traveled extensively in Europe, and there are several places there that I'd be happy to move to if it made sense for me and my family. The US was and still is the world's first superpower. But, in my opinion, the "bailout" and the incessant runaway spending - and consequent waste - at the federal government level is going to bring this country down from it's "superpower" status. Eventually, taxes will have to rise sharply in this country, and that's going to hurt our economy even more than we saw in 2008/2009.

    If the tax policies in this country are such that they threaten my livelihood, standard of living, and level of prosperity, of course I will consider moving elsewhere to protect my wealth... and I'll take my business and my personal spending with me.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  131. Rich

    It's easy to 'vent' your frustration and say that you would leave the country, but I doubt very many people would actually follow through with it. I'm 99% sure that I would complain about the tax hike, but not go so far as to leave the country to avoid it.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  132. Robert

    Jack,
    No, I won't move. Taxes will pay for the mess of the Bush administration. Two wars, meds for the seniors. Nobody likes taxes but raising taxes will bring thedeit down and also reducing budget.
    Nobody likes to pay taxes, especially republicans but if they really care for this country......then pay taxes.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  133. Joe

    I refuse to be pushed out of my own country by tax-and-spend democrats. I'd rather stay and see them become unemployed in the next election. America is my country...let THEM leave.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  134. mark ayers

    Let those that feel that way go Jack. It's one way to preserve the middle class and the American Dream. We have been through the trickle down theory and and it didn't work that's when we went from the "we" generation to the "me" generation of Reagan which is at the root of America's ills. By the way I'll be in the 39% tax bracket and I won't complain because I love my country. Mark Ayers. m

    September 20, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  135. Lily

    New York , New York

    Of course not.
    It would make more sense for the poor, to move.
    Reality, no one is going to change countries over taxes.
    Let's be serious.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  136. KD

    I know at least one oil company that moved their headquarters to a European country and saved millions in taxes. Why wouldn't individuals?

    September 20, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  137. Mike

    I may be wrong, Jack, but don't US citizens living abroad still have to pay regular US taxes on their income? I think you have to renounce your citizenship to avoid US taxes. Google some of the reasons why US expats have been renouncing their citizenship, and taxes and banking restrictiosn are the main reasons.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  138. orca17

    I am already considering moving to another country – not to protect my wealth (which is nonexistent), but rather because the income I will have after retirement will likely force me to live in poverty if I stay in the United States. I am actively considering a relocation to Panama, Mexico or Belize when retirement rolls around.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  139. Mike S., New Orleans

    The alleged California real estate exec with three kids who can't make ends meet on over 250K per year doesn't make sense. And if it doesn't make sense, it isn't true, says Judge Judy. Please don't ask us to whip up crocodile tears for a fictitious poor rich guy.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  140. Robert

    I can say that as as CPA I have counselled a number of clients about moving offshore and several of the have gone through with it. I expect to see more of this activity.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  141. larry wi

    Before I would consider that I would task my mind to figure out how not to pay them, or at least minimize my pmt!

    September 20, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  142. publius enigma

    If I felt threatened yea, but not for a 5% change, thats ludicrous. Anyway Im not in that bracket. I guess if I won the lottery I could move then mail in my ticket and collect my winnings. Would that work?

    September 20, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  143. Claire Wallter

    I wouldn't move because my non-existent weatlth was in jeopardy I would move someplace were politics were not so ugly and debates so counterproductive. I would move to a country that cared more about its people than giving a pass to corporations to skirt the law. I would move to a country where the streets were not accessible to gun-toting civilians with possible grudges against......?. I would move to a country that provided a decent education and good health care to all of its citizens without controversy or whining. I would move to a country that did not build walls to keep its neighbors out. I would move to a country that refused to be driven by fear, prejudice and blind hatred. If they wanted Americans, I would happily move to Switzerland, New Zealand or Australia.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  144. Darlene Cranston

    I am writing from Ingleside, Texas (Texas Gulf Coast) and I have always thought that living in the United States of America was the best place to live.
    One might consider staying in the country they wish to move to for at least 6 months before they decide to move permanently. I can almost bet they would want to come back to this country. Many places do not have certain kinds of taxes but they make up for it in other ways. I can almost bet that when that first category 5 storm came into town they would wish like hell they were back HOME in the USA. I wonder if Bermuda would hand out government backed debit cards for their people.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  145. Mike in TX

    First question is what wealth Jack?

    Next a good portion of the higher income folks pay income tax on a comparitavly small amount of their income due to tax reduction tactics they have available. A look at Bermuda would show that like TX and FL where there is no state income tax you would find there are other taxes (there have to be to support the govt.) that tend to make up the difference. They could look at a lot of other countries where they would be lucky to have less than 50 or 60% taxes, less freedoms, less of the comforts that they have come to love. If going back to the tax rate they had when the country was in very good shape (and their wealth was growing substantially) would cause them to give up on what this country is all about, what our troops fight for, and many other things for a few dollars then let's be sure they aren't on any airline or govt watch list that would slow them down.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  146. Henry

    Avila Beach California
    I live in the craziest stste in the union. Our STate government is the only thing MORE out of control than Washington DC. We pay some of the highest taxes in the USA and Sacramento wants more. Yes I plan to move as soon as it's feasible, first to another state like Idaho or Texas where the business environment is much more friendly, and then if the federal government continues it's present course I would retire to a foreign country and take my retirement with me. The only folks I know that favor Obama's plan for taxes fall into one of two groups: People who already pay no taxes so they could care less, or people who work for the government already and therefore their pay is based on taxes collected.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  147. Nate

    We have been considering New Zealand for quite some time. My wife is an Oncologist and I own a small electrical engineering consulting firm. We are first time parents at a comparatively older age because we worked to establish our careers through hard work and sacrifice before having children. Are we rich? No chance. We rent in a Los Angeles suburb. We will have child care and education costs for many years to come, in an area where the public schools are largely unusable (yet we must pay into the public system with no benefit). We contribute mightily to the U.S. treasury. We are good citizens who give back to the community in many ways (believe it or not doctors do an incredible amount of volunteer services and community outreach).... I suspect we would be a welcome addition to another country.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  148. Omar

    I have lived in California for 28 years. I had a serious sit down and weighed the pros and cons of moving to Las Vegas. In the end, with no state income tax, and almost free housing, I would be saving $3000 per month. it was a no brainer. When my lease expires in June, I will be moving to Nevada.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  149. chris

    Probably not to another country. I know how m parents struggled when they came to the US.
    But it already made me move to another community, another county, more rural, with lower taxes.
    12% per year rise in taxes is more than I get in my annual raise and way more than I get on my investments.
    Something is out of whack with our tax system, especially local taxes.
    Even though I no longer have kids in school, I still pay a whopping school tax bill. Morally and ethically sound living? Why should I pay for the masses that do not earn enough to pull their weight in society?

    September 20, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  150. lynn

    No, most countries have some form of taxes. People managed in the 1990s with the taxes and that time was a good time for growth and earnings.
    Plus, there are deductions and people around $250,000 might not get hit.
    I think getting the deficit down so our Country can become more stable and the economy would this grow again is more important. We can't continue to have services and not pay.
    And, yes we would be affected and I don't want to pay more either, but I want our Country back on track sor my retirement accts and home value can increase again. Plus, I don't think the average person around $250,000 to $350,000 will be hit as hard as we fear.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  151. Patricia

    My husband and I have discussed it.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  152. DANIEL B. DAWLEY

    yes, it has been high on our minds -ever since nh passed a dividends and interest tax–our primary source of income. low real estate prices have held us back as well as, to which country?? we love europe but Brazil and Argentina have the stronger economies. decisions, decisions.

    dan dawley
    enfield, nh

    September 20, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  153. Bill

    Jack, as we continue with this debate I would ask that you and all in the media do some research on the idea of a "marginal tax rate." This post - and so many like it - are written so as to make a reader believe that, should someone have a family income of over $250,000, all income will be taxed at a higher rate. That is the clear meaning of this statement above: "because their tax rate would rise from 35 percent to 39.6 percent." However, that's simply not true. We have a system of marginal tax rates in this country so that the only amount of money that is taxed at the higher rate is any income OVER $250,000. So, someone making $300,000 would not pay $9,000 more in taxes, but only $1,500, since the only income subjected to the Clinton-era tax rate is that over $250,000. Please stop confusing Americans into believing that, above a certain income level, all a family's income will be taxed at a higher rates. The Obama tax cut is a tax cut for everyone.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  154. patrick in westminster md

    Jack – The wealth of the Middle Class has been totally decimated by 401k plans and IRA's that were manipulated by laws passed or not passed by Congress (Banking Industry) and by allowing Corporate CEO's to export most of the traditional Middle Class manufacturing jobs off shore. Too many boomers will never retire now. A person making 250k per year is the New Middle Class. Everyone below that is being affected by rising health care costs, virtually no job market and a declining education system. Where is the job creation? Forget wealth, people just want the dignity of a job!

    September 20, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  155. Joe Citizen - Anywhere U.S.A.

    No. This whole thing is nothing but a ruse to keep people from focusing on our real problems. With all the loop holes provided under the tax code no one has an excuse for paying too much taxes, besides, the amount of taxes paid if the cuts do lapse affects the overall picture minimally. Our only hope to turn this thing around is with massive spending cuts and downsizing of government. Let's quit this partisan bickering and start using a little common sense if it isn't already too late.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  156. Tom in Houston

    Though I don't make more than $250k I AM very well paid for working in offshore drilling so I'm accustomed to being vilified by my own leaders. If my company offered me the chance to live and work overseas, I'd be hard-pressed not to go. Unfortunately, though the Administration is already flying the "Mission Accomplished" banner for not losing so many offshore drilling jobs, I'm probably closer to being unemployed now than ever. I'm really, really worried I'll be unemployed by October but He has already decreed that very few offshore jobs were lost so it must be ok.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  157. Lee in Seattle

    No Way Jack !
    Living in the US is still the best place in the world (only those that don't travel argue that point) – we are blessed in so many ways... I make well over the $250,000 and if my taxes go up to 39 or 40% I'll accept it ! Hell, look at the UK, aren't they close to 50%????

    Everyone should stop their damn complaining and be grateful they make the money they do... a bunch of damn winers is all I hear these days!

    Thanks Jack -

    September 20, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  158. ProfessorDios

    I'm already prepared to leave the country even without my wealth being threatened. I fear that the USA has lost it's focus and is heading down the same path as the Roman Empire. It's the people that make this a country not the politicians yet the voice of the people are not being heard. My next Google search is for real estate in Bermuda.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  159. monica

    No, I would not move, but it will cause me to vote republican next election. Why should I be punished for working my behind off for years and years in order to make a good income? Thanks Obama. Thanks for punishing me for doing everything right.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  160. Glen CA

    What a load of malarkey! Boo hoo, cry me a river, does Mr Esnard have to pick which bill to pay and which bill he can eat the late payment on so he can keep the lights on a food in his kids months? Let him move, locals in these other countries have a good track record of rising up in rebellion.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  161. Tony Hebert from Wichita

    Seriously Jack? Are you posing that question to the true Americans who work for a living and make this country strong or the people who are trying weaken this country by bankrupting true Americans to further increase their ludicrous wealth by raping them of their life savings. Because the latter can get the hell out for all I care.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  162. Chris

    I would not move out of the country but I did move from NY to AZ becuase of taxes and cost of living.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  163. Leogane

    Leaving the country may appear as a viable option but not evevry country offers the possibilities of living one's dream like America. I am not sure one will find jobs easily elsewhere. Okay one may have the money to invest, but will the market and national income per capita elsewhere will allow someone to make as much money as in America. Those who leave will come back in less than a month. Only those who never travels outside of America may think of leaving. America is a land of opportunity and it's hard to replicate it elsewhere. The positive side is that those who leave will better appreciate all that they take for granted in America.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  164. Joyce Tudor

    No I would not move to another but all of you that want to go right ahead it will give the rest of us more room. Please the CEO's of the companys that have sent jobs elsewhere move to the country you sent the jobs. We will make out just fine here.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  165. Daniel

    I may move If I made over 250k. Unfortunately Jack, I only make 60k and will have to live under the horrible tyranny of the worst country in the world. POOR ME!!

    September 20, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  166. Dana

    Oh boo hoo – if you can't cover your expenses while making more than 250,000, even with a 40% tax, then you have personal spending problems. You justify being "vilified" when you think you have it bad enough to desert your country, when record numbers of people are living below the poverty line. Suck it up, rich people –you can manage. If you can't manage while making that much, you need to consult someone to acquire some budgeting skills.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  167. AHarris

    Yeah, if my greed out weighed my love & gratitude for the country and people who made me wealthy in the first place. Was it "...land of the free and home of the brave." Or was it land of the greedy and home of the dumb?

    September 20, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  168. BRains

    Get real. If people moved because of taxes, everyone would be living in Texas where there's no state income tax. The wealthiest 2% of Americans will only "suffer" a 2-7% increase – back to the previous level before Bush stimulated the economy. Did that tax break create jobs and add economic growth? No, it created a mind-boggling financial meltdown because the rich invested in shaky financial products instead of people and hard goods.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  169. Dan from Seattle

    No, I would not leave. I would be less likely to spend, to invest as much or to be willing to help to stimulate an economic system that punishes those who already pay over 80% of the tax burden. Why are we so ready to punish success and take away incentives for growth? That is counter to all that the free enterprise, capitalistic system is about. Dumb me, what was I thinking. That argument won't work with socialists like our current administration!

    September 20, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  170. Tom from LA

    If you are attacked, you will respond. Those that practice class warfare have to understand that if you make someone a combatant/enemy they will defend themselves. And what is the easiest way to respond – take my money and leave. Will we as a nation now practice outsourcing our own people? Have we become that shoddy a nation as to expect people of whatever income level to just take it because the government says so?

    September 20, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  171. Edgar Friendly

    "Yet he believes people making more than $250,000 are "vilified" and held accountable for paying for the government's runaway spending."

    These people are presumably voters, so this spending is on their head as much as anyone else's. I'm trying to understand why people think they can wriggle out of the bed they've made for themselves by claiming they're not being represented, but it's not working.

    You elected this administration, and the last one, and the one before that. You're responsible for what they've spent. Every last dollar. So am I. So is every other American of voting age.

    The "government's" run-away spending is spending you co-signed on. Deal with it. Or, as you've discovered, you can leave. You have that option. Many Americans don't have neither your resources, nor your options, so be happy. They're certainly not considering Bermuda.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  172. Bimal Gupta

    Jack

    The problem is that taxes are not 39.6% but they are now going up to over 60%. You are forgetting social security, medicare, medicare on Capital Gains, State taxes(NJ at 10%), Property taxes. I am of the opinion that after 60% a person making $250,00 should seriously consider leaving America.

    Why Not Look at Life in Growing Economies like India, China other places.

    Thanks

    September 20, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  173. Mike in So. Cal.

    No Taxation Without Representation. If you get the same vote (one), you pay the same percentage.

    While I wouldn't move because of the increase in rate, I'd consider moving due to the inequity listed above.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  174. V Saxena

    I think they should raise it to $500,000 and above. I totally understand and sympathize with individuals making around $200,000 to $300,000 (many of my family friends are Doctors and Surgeons who fit into that category), but once you've rich the half-a-million marker, it's time to pay.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  175. Jeremy

    Yup, I'm in this category and I've considered leaving the USA – which is a very sad thought. The way this is being debated, it's essentially taxation without representation for everyone who makes over $250K. Not enough people making that to vote against a tax hike.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  176. LexP

    Let them move. They seem to think that the conditions under which they earned their wealth magically appeared. It's taxes that pay for the education, health and infrastructure responsible for our great society. They can all fight for the small amount of high paying jobs available in Bermuda.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  177. david

    I dont think I would unless I was ready to retire. and even then, I cant see a significant number of rich people leaving this country because of taxes. You might leave your state for another less taxed state, but to run from America because of taxes, seems a huge over reaction considering all the opportunities this country offers.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  178. USCitizenForever

    If you are saying that 250,000 is not that wealthy and you are threatening to leave the US to live elsewhere cuz you would be taxed, I think you just admitted that you are indeed wealthy.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  179. Bob

    Isn't it a crime to flee the country so you can dodge taxes? Also, those people making all that money, what job would they be able to get in that foreign country? Third, just to set the record straight, Obama is not raising taxes... in fact if he did nothing at all, taxes would go up anyway.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  180. Eric in Montreal

    Hi Jack,
    I just have to laugh, after a recent trip to Virginia this summer where I paid 50% less for some of my favorite wines and 35% less for gas than i do in Quebec Canada, i am stunned by some who want to move to another country. If you do want to move, dont come to Canada where my salary Of 70K a year turns into just over 34K after income tax and that still does not take into account $4/gallon gas and a general federal/provicial sales tax of %13!!!!!!!! as well as all sorts of other similar tax nightmares. Yes i know some will talk about how great our medicare system is but over 60% of quebecers do not have a General physician and waiting times in emergency rooms can often top 16- 20hrs and good luck trying to see a specialist, also our roads resemble a 3rd world country.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  181. Ed

    Of course not. A few percentage point increase is not going to make the wealthy suddenly not wealthy–especially since many tax loopholes are still in effect that allow many higher income folks to avoid paying full taxes anyway.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  182. Andy Batson

    Let him move. Has he checked out the cost of living in Bermuda? I doubt that when he sees the cost of renting a house, they have restrictions on who can own the very expensive real estate, cost of soft drinks and clothes for the spoiled kids he wouldn't mind paying the same taxes he was paying before Bush tax cuts of 2001. This is just plumb dumb.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  183. Brian (From Chicago)

    There is nothing LESS American.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  184. Jason

    I wouldn't, no. (from San Diego, CA)

    However, I do wonder about the intentions of those who do. Would the point be: Move to Bermuda and still work your American job for American wages, simply minus the taxing? If so, there should be safeguards in place (i.e. tarrifs) to prevent this sort of reverse outsourcing.

    If these 250k + individuals are instead planning on moving to Bermuda (or wherever) and getting a job in Bermuda helping Bermudan people, more power to them.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  185. Ken LeBert

    No. Why would I ? All the other countries are coming here.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  186. Bob

    The top income tax rate was 91% at the point in history when our economy was working best. But then, ceo's only made 40 times what their employees made not 4000 times.

    Sad times.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  187. Dan in AZ

    Easy answer. No! Most, if not all, countrys worth living in have higher taxes than the US. It's a pretty safe bet that those who have significantly lower taxes have little to no services or cultural life, Hey, if the guy wants to live on an island the size if a shoe box for 4.5% of his AGI income, he either has no life or no sense of the economics or both. Of course, besides Bermuda for low taxes, there's always Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Albania. Good riddance to him!

    September 20, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  188. Ed

    Having traveled to Bermuda frequently and being very familiar
    with the country, I can assure you if said person thinks he can move
    to Bermuda on 250k per year, he'd better do some research.
    He can not afford to live there being a non-resident. Bermuda is
    a tax haven for the VERY wealthy ie the Ross Perots.
    I would very much like to "squeak" by on 250,000 per year as would
    many of my friends.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  189. JackinSD

    I earn more than $250,000 per year. $270,000 to be exact. But I am certainly not wealthy. I am already getting hit on all sides. I have to pay for my kids schooling, because they don;t qualify for any government aid. I have been breaking even, even at the current tax rates.

    I'm not sure where someone cam up with $250,000 to be the line for good v. evil.

    As far as moving to another country, heck I can't even afford to move down the block. My house is currently $200K under where it was when I bought it. Yet until most of america, I have decided to pay my mortgage not matter what it takes.

    And now they are going to raise my taxes? I'm alreayd paying 20% more on healthcare this yea. YES! I have to pay for my own healthcare.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  190. The Pickle Man

    Who cares if they move? It's not like they are actually paying any taxes anyway. They all have mailboxes in the Caymans.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  191. frankie

    What wealth? I trust President Obama to make sure I have a fair standard of living, far more than I would trust anyone on the right or the far right or the religious right or the radio right or in the Republican or Tea parties.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  192. JIM El Paso Tx

    Jack.....I just wish I had that to worry and think about!!!

    September 20, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  193. Rose

    Queens, N.Y.

    The guy above who makes over $250,000 a years says he's paying off
    school loans for his three children. Why aren't his children helping pay
    off the loans ?
    My husband and I together, never made that kind of money, yet we
    managed to college educate two children; of course, with student loans. Once they graduated, they took over the repayment. What's
    up with his three college educated children ?

    September 20, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  194. Eric López

    How much of our earnings are we supposed to give up cant make it off of what i bring home as it is

    September 20, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  195. Nate Burr

    Dear Jack,

    Although extending tax cuts for the masses - while simultaneously winding-down government spending on economic stimulus, and the like, is something I'm in favor of - I have to question one's judgement when he/she believes a tax-hike in the US is unfathomnable and/or reflects a rapidly growing government. Do these same people realize what the tax rates, and subsequently the redistribution of wealth, are like in the better part of Europe? Sure you could move to Bermuda, and in turn, pay no federal tax, but remember what you WILL BE sacraficing.
    Instead of telling President Obama to do so, Mr. Esnard, Sir, you're the one who should "think again."

    Nate Burr
    University of Michigan Student
    Ann Arbor, Mi

    September 20, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  196. AB

    Yes – we would certainly move.

    America was once considered the choice place to live in the world – but things have changed much in the last fifty years. Now America is one of many countries that offer opportunities to live "free". All have upscale services with most being modeled after America. In a sense – America must compete for citizens willing to pay more for a better quality of life – especially in retirement.

    If your income doesn't meet threshold tax levels then your way of life won't change – but for those of us who exceed those levels there is little reason to stay.

    Arizona

    September 20, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  197. Jeff in Chicago

    What is their effective tax rate? If I was a betting man, I'd bet their effective tax rate is less then mine and I'm in 28% tax bracket! According to the Tax Foundation the effective tax for the top 0.1% of tax return is 20.5% with an average income of $7.4 million. Please go out and make all the money you want but can't we come up with a fair tax system? By the way, what income group are those econmists in?

    September 20, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  198. Andrig Miller

    I don't have the means to move to another country to escape higher taxes. Besides, I'm an American!

    September 20, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  199. Kenneth Wayne Bloodworth

    Taxing the rich at higher rates is just another form of socialism intended to redistribute the wealth. The whole tax code needs to be scrapped and replaced with a flat tax – no deductions, no exemptions, every person and every company pays their fair share. With the number of people not paying any income taxes approaching 50%, it is no wonder that folks are voting in politicians that promise even more entitlements that will be paid for by a small number of wealthy people. That 50% have no interest in containing government spending, especially when they are getting government perks. Unfortunately, this vision is short sighted and will lead to the total destruction of our free enterprise system. Free enterprise is what made our nation great and socialism will lead us into the gutter. The rich would be foolish to stay here and give up their earned wealth when they have the means to move elsewhere.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  200. Randy

    Yes. How dare someone ask me to part with the money i made from using american infrastructure, tax laws, roads, courts, law enforcement etc. just because the country can no longer afford it. I "EARNED" this money in a bubble all by my self, and i'll be darned if i pay my fair share.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  201. frank staten island

    Jack, I don't really think moving out of the country will reduce your tax commitments very much (even if you renounce your citizenship). Think about where most of our wealth (though currently significantly reduced) is located – house, 401k, pension and social security. Whether you live here or in some other tax haven country, I can't believe our federal, state and city governments won't take their "tribute" when you divest.

    No, Jack I'm going to move out of this country because of the morons (all of them) that run this country as if it's some short term trading strategy instead of what used to be the greatest country on the face of the earth.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  202. Pete in Arizona

    No Jack, I would not! Further, I would consider anyone contemplating such a move to be a _ _ _ _ (expletive)! If people did this, I say don't let them back inside our borders when things get better for them. Make them sneak in, undocumented.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  203. Richard Oak Harbor, Wa

    Immigration policies of most Nations require the payment of taxes. Everyone cannot move to the Cayman Islands.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  204. Jerry J.

    I am old and poor. I wish I did have the option of emigrating. I would leave if they did NOT raise the tax on the wealthiest Americans.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  205. evinia bruce

    Anyone i know would consider making over $250,000. a year [ $20,000 per month] VERY well off...if those wealthy Americans feel they can no longer stand living in the US ..i say ...get out then!!!....try living in England or Canada ..where the tax base is W-A-Y higher ..and not the numerous tax write- offs afforded to these people....GET REAL!! TAXEs are what makes the government run ..now why don't you DEMAND those taxes be used for the good of the people [and therefore the eonomy ]..instead of wars and military bases all over the world , sending billions to Israel ..and funding the militarty complex...if you were to leave the US in protest to that ..you would be on firm ground....and somewhat admirable...otherwise quit being such cry-babies!!! B.C. Canada

    September 20, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  206. Mark, Oklahoma City

    Better to be homeless in America than Wealthy in most of the rest of the world. Thanks but no thanks.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  207. Jim

    The more wealth the easier it is to move. People on the margin of $250,000 will not move, but higher you go the more likely. Notice how people move out of high tax states or cross state lines to buy items in low or no sales tax states. The business will move to where it is advantageous to do so. More and more jobs to not have to be located in a particular geographic location. More and more people can telecommute and thus choose those localities with lower taxes.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  208. G. Roberts

    He was able to send all three of his kids to college and he doesn't consider himself wealthy? Sorry buddy, I got NO sympathy for you, I don't know anyone who got a free ride to collage through their parents money. Maybe he should spent some time on food stamps and living in a trailer park, then maybe he'll understand the concept of wealthy.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  209. Jim - Michigan

    Jack,

    I think the answer is found in the cities that have the highest tax rates. Yes, high earning tax payer may leave, but that is not a concern of this administration. We hear repeatedly from the democrats that the republicans are attacking the middle class, the truth is this is not about the rich or the middle class – it is about taking from both and improving the inner city poor. It is about redistribution of wealth, plain and simple.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  210. Thomas in Texas

    I'd be tickled pink to have such a burdening problem as making too much money. Even if such a cursed tribulation were placed upon my shoulders I wouldn't consider for the smallest instant leaving the good ol' US of A. This is America Jack, and if I'm so blessed to–cough–make "too much" money–cough, cough– I'd be glad to pony up a few extra thousand for the good of my country.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  211. Gharlow

    No.

    Lets be realistic here. We're creative and we'll find ways to write off the extra 4%. There are too many advantages to living here. If you think you have it bad here take a real close look at the hidden problems of other countries.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  212. tom steen

    Yes. We're considering it now.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  213. xhanay

    Talk about blackmail! You raise my taxes to levels of the 90's and I'm gone! Democracies cost money and I'm willing to pay my share because unlike many people in this country who only think about themselves I believe in helping our fellow citizens.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  214. Elizabeth

    Jack

    Funny you should ask this question as I am from New Jersey, I have already formulated a plan to leave the State of New Jersey before I retire so my pension, as modest as it is will not be taxed by the State yet again NJ taxes your 401ks or 403bs as income as it is accululated and then retaxes your income as you withdraw that money after retirement As it is now, New Jerseyeans pay the highest real estate taxes and insurance premiums in the entire U.S. and no one I know can afford to live here in retirement. And now we have another Republican, Christie, who is about to give cuts to the rich while the State goes down for the count. Having said that however, if I did make over that $250,000 threshold, I would expect to be paying more Federal taxes than someone in my present tax bracket. I do not feel sorry for these people crying the blues over a possible tax increase considering they have been playing less than their fair share of the tax burden for the past few years due to some voodoo economic idea of money trickling down to business. If you are living in some affluent area, send your kids to private schools, take expensive vacations and really indulge yourself, it is time for a wake-up call and dont expect the middle class to subsidize you anymore. It is a shame that the people really who should be taxed are not the ones who barely top the threshold but rather those who are over the $500,000 mark and up and I could see raising the cap to $500,000. However, looking at the political landscape these days, especially among Republicans, people have become very greedy. They are not interested in anything but lining their own pockets. It is extremely obvious that their attitude is to hell with the elderly, the infirmed, the people without a job and medical coverage. The whole lot of them should be ashamed of themselves. Wonder how much John Boehner pays for a tan, how much Sarah Palin pays for transportation, how much John McCain pays for his image consultants. These people are just grifters,. Using the American people to gain power and money. We should make these people and their cohorts pay their way.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  215. taptrick

    Jack, When the Clinton admin. had the tax rate for the wealthy at 39.6%, the economy was growing & strong. Bush's admin. drops the percentage to 35% and the economy falls apart. The percentage going back up will not effect the wealthy, unless they are not very good with their money (which doesn't sound like they would stay wealthy in that case anyway). Is it possible that the wealthy were spending that additional 3 1/2% on starting a new business, giving to a charity or investing. Possible. Is it more likely that money was used for fun, toys, vacations and useless material items. More likely. If Mr. Esnard thinks his standard of living is be repressed here in the US, then let him to Bermuda. I'm sure the real estate trade on that island will afford him the same quality of life.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  216. Meg from Troy

    Jack–
    The wealthy live anywhere that they please now. Let them take themselves to Aruba or whever they like. It seems they don't care about America or its survival. And Jack, if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem–enough said.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  217. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    No.

    Why would I want to crap in the hand of the Nation that allowed me the opportunity to acquire that wealth?

    Apparently Mr. Esnard put many things before his children's education, and is a minute minority with his thinking. Besides, don't the extremely wealthy have residents in many countries?

    September 20, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  218. taptrick

    Jack, When the Clinton admin. had the tax rate for the wealthy at 39.6%, the economy was growing & strong. Bush's admin. drops the percentage to 35% and the economy falls apart. The percentage going back up will not effect the wealthy, unless they are not very good with their money (which doesn't sound like they would stay wealthy in that case anyway). Is it possible that the wealthy were spending that additional 3 1/2% on starting a new business, giving to a charity or investing. Possible. Is it more likely that money was used for fun, toys, vacations and useless material items. More likely. If Mr. Esnard thinks his standard of living is be repressed here in the US, then let him move to Bermuda. I'm sure the real estate trade on that island will afford him the same quality of life.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  219. Janet Pelosi

    Jack, I'm not even close to that category but if you are, why wouldn't you consider a less costly living environment. People and corporations move to states that have no taxes or give tax breaks. Corporations already move to other countries to avoid the high tax burden then people cry over jobs being sent overseas. If it's your money/corporation, wouldn't you consider what was best for your bottom line. Of course you would because it's your living. It's crazy to expect people who work hard to earn THEIR money to be the only ones to sacrifice more to support out of control spending. I'm betting if EVERYONE had to pay their fair share there would be a much greater outcry over this runaway sending spree and you would hear a lot less about how it's okay to raise taxes. It's funny how people start to care when it's their money they're giving away and not someone else's.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  220. John, Fort Collins, CO

    Anyone who earns in excess of $250,000 per year and can't afford to educate their children should be required by law to move to a third world country. The problem isn't about higher taxes; it is about people who are so lacking in fundamental values they finally wakeup to the fact that they are no longer able to impress their equally phoney friends on a quarter-of-a-million-bucks per annum.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  221. Ken in Maryland

    Let's keep in mind that you only pay the higher tax rate on what you earn OVER the $250,000 level. I consider myself very lucky to be in that category, and would not dream of leaving this wonderful country. A couple percent more on the money above that level won't hurt me anywhere near as much as it would those making under $50,000. It's the right thing to do.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  222. Greg Who? Mechanicsburg, PA

    I wouldn't go. People pay tons of taxes today with a blind eye. They don't realize that when they buy a loaf of bread they're paying the farmers taxes, they're paying the processors taxes, they're paying the retailer and wholesaler taxes. Every time we tax a business, we lay another hidden tax on the consumer. Other countries seem to pay high taxes when in fact they may be paying less simply because they do not fetter their businesses with health care costs and taxes. No wonder American businesses are moving to other countries just so they can compete. Meanwhile our personal taxes must increase due to the shrinking business tax base. Insanity!

    September 20, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  223. Toni

    If the tax cuts for the past 10 years had worked we wouldn't be in this mess we found ourselves in when Obama took office. Businesses have made record profits. Demand is what drives businesses to hire.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  224. Kim, Dodge City, KS.

    Yes I would. There are plenty of beautiful places to live besides here. Unfortunately, most forward thinking countries have strict immigration laws that are actually enforced, and they won't let you in just because you are a wealthy America trying to dodge taxes. Most countries that are worth living in are progressive socialist in nature, that's why they are attractive, and they frown on wasteful Americans to begin with.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  225. Ken in NC

    Leaving the country makes about as much sense as walking on a plane and seeing you Jack and speaking to you by saying "Hi Jack". Not a very smart thing to do. Neither is leaving the country.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  226. James Jones

    No, would be worse elsewhere, as we will be correcting the problems "starting" this Nov. as well.
    When Bush cut the taxes millions of jobs were created, he did that after the Tech Bubble and Recession from the Clinton ADM (by the way did he ever blame Clinton....NO ).
    The Spending and policies were taken over by the DEmocrats in Nov 2006 as they took control of Congress, and after that the econmy went to "you know what". No one READS the facts anymore.
    We are from generations of Democrats, and now Indepenents...and many of our friends have made the change...embarrassed by the Dems.
    James J
    Wi

    September 20, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  227. Rick McDaniel

    No wealth here, but one thing is for certain. If you want a job, you are going to have to look off shore, as there will no longer be any jobs in America, which basically means you have to leave America, wealthy or not.

    Guess that Mexico will take over the US, by default, as everyone else leaves.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  228. Cathy in Alabama

    Yes, Jack! I'm TIRED of politicians stealing my money to pay off their special interest groups, and in this case, the Democrats are paying off the unions, the global warmists, and the welfare gang.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  229. Ann Marie from SC

    If my wealth were threatened by rising taxes, I would pay them and stay here. Whatever has happened to American values? Is money the only reason we live here? I thought I was living in a country in which I could live in freedom, in which I could vote for my country’s leaders, in which I could get a free public education, and in which I was protected by the Bill of Rights. Why are we so obsessed with money?

    September 20, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  230. Cliff Brock

    You bet I would consider it. I already have. The world is global and standards of living are similar to those of the United States.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  231. Paul Lucero

    Yes!

    I will make plans to move to Panama orSwitzerland!

    September 20, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  232. paul

    The republicans and the Tea Party claim to want fiscal responsibility and this is one step closer to achieving it. The only way I will consider leaving is if Sarah Palin gets elected in 2012.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  233. Jamie

    I finish school in about 2-3 years and will be making good money. Taxes I can handle, but if Palin gets anywhere near the White house, I am gone along with any hope for America.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  234. Claire, Melbourne FL

    Never – if they want to leave – good bye, good luck and don't let the door hit you on the way out. What Whiners......... they've enjoyed their tax cuts for far too long at the expense of the middle class and poor people.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  235. Buck Nelson

    Yes, I might. I am a 17 year old who has been watching what has happened to this country. It is unfair to direct taxes at the wealthy and because of that tax them more. Everyone should be taxed in an equal, fair manner regarding income.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  236. Sherwin

    If any of the super-rich would rather leave this country instead of paying their fair share of the cost of protecting their castles and limos, let them go.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  237. Randy - Texas

    I'd be more likely to leave the country to escape the tea party wacko's if they take control of congress than to avoid tax increases.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  238. LaJollaman

    No. Life for me, and most people would be better if the majority were relieved of the burden of subsidizing the rich.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  239. Latrisha

    First of all, to leave this country shows the ignorance of the man and any other American that agrees with him. The fact that you are paying loans for your three children says that you have not made them responsible for their own education. Especially, if these children have graduated.

    I would also like to think if you can afford to relocate your family or yourself to another country then you are not really feeling this financial pinch.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  240. Brandon

    I think the real question should be: "Did the wealth trickle down last time as it was supposed to do?" To answer the question more accurately, if you would like to move to another country so that you could continue to spend lavishly due to the hard work of others, especially LEGAL Americans? Then please, be my guest. I'll show you the door.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  241. Tillie / Texas

    Cafferty where were the analysis when this mess got started. They were not saying a word and now they know everything. Now they know the resolution to the problem? What is up with that. One of these you need to as them that question!!!!!! Where would they go?

    September 20, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  242. Penny

    I may not move out of the country, but I would most certainly decrease my tax burden. I already have an exit stragety from my profession should it become necessary. in 2 years all debt except house will be paid for and my husband and I could live very comfortably on a much smaller salary. The Plutocrats need to curtail their binge spending. this country is addicted to spend, spend, spend.l

    September 20, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  243. scarletto44

    Leave the country and let someone else have you job! I am soo tired of people thinking every other country is better than ours'. See ya and good luck.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  244. Bil Heinemann

    Jack,
    Come on Jack. If you want to be in the club, you pay your dues.
    Let's get the club out of debt.
    Bill

    Jupiter, FLA.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  245. Ron D-

    I suspect some would leave. Perhaps some Bankers, Money Managers and multi-million dollar executives who we'd hardly miss.

    After WWII wealthy Americans paid over 90% marginal taxes to help pay off the debt. I don't recall an exodus in the 1950's.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  246. Not fooled

    They are not going anywhere stock market is up. Things are looking up. GDP up 50%. That's a riddiculous question.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  247. P Chambers

    Heck no I wouldn't leave. Its a shame that some people in this country think they are so entitled to all of our riches while paying as little as possible. I may soon fall into that category over $250K. And when I do, I will have no problem paying higher taxes to live in the greatest country on Earth. Freedom isn't free folks – wake up.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  248. Lisa Illinois

    NO Jack. I live in the greatest country in the world. Money is not everything, after all it is just paper, the USA is home.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  249. Jewrry Tinnono

    Jack, maybe it is you that needs to leave the country. You are certainly getting on my nerves with your "Lou Dobbs" brand of arrogance. At least, if you don't leave the country, you could leave CNN and go over to say...Fox. Much better fit there...

    September 20, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  250. Fred

    Maybe they should leave so that they can see how much you can be taxed in other countries and start appreciating how good they have it in the USA.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  251. Patricia/Georgia

    So you think it is o.k,. for the wealthy 2% to hold this administration and the country h ostage by taking their toys and going elsewhere. They are the lowest of low and instead of hiring and helping...they are sitting on a whole bunch of money and until and if they get their way. To hell with everyone else...they are spoiled americans who don't give a damn about this country so I say...you already had these tax cust for 10 years and we are in a recession so obviously it did not work..go elsewhere and see how you like it and stop threatening the rest of us.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  252. stillonline

    What do you say to those who would rather leave this country than pay Clinton Level taxes in order to stabilize the economy?

    Don't let the door hit you in the....
    This new group of high rollers are a sorry lot.
    What happened to "Ask not what your country can do for you
    ask what you can do for your country."

    September 20, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  253. Robert

    Are you kidding me? Leave the best country in the world...never!

    September 20, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  254. TIm Jenson

    Anybody making over $250K is used to making business decisions. They won't move to another country because that would cost them far more in initial and ongoing expense then paying a couple more percent per year in taxes. If we can't get our wealthiest people to pay slightly more taxes we will never take down the deficit. Everybody wants to cut spending but then can never identify what should be cut. We need to get new jobs in this country. It's not just blue collar jobs anymore but white collar jobs leaving by the 100s of 1000s. Address this Washington as this is more important then these 'distracting' minor issues.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  255. David

    Have the wealthy leave because of a little tax increase? Ha, let them leave, it'll educate them a bit on how high taxes CAN be in other countries. They don't realize how good they have it here!

    September 20, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  256. David Shor

    The US has the lowest tax-rates, by far, of any developed country in the world with a population above 200,000. If the rich were not moving in in 90's, they're not going to move now.

    And it's downright sociopathic to be so adamantly opposed to funding the improvements in the society that made them rich in the first place.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  257. Paul Rausch

    I haven't seen this comment, which surprises me. It doesn't matter where you live, as a United States citizen you are required to pay United States income taxes where the US income tax rate is higher than the native rate. This entire question is a moot point since US citizens cannot avoid their tax obligations by leaving the US.

    Of course most wealthy americans avoid this by using off-shore shell companies which are not subject to US law. However this is not effected by your country of residence.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  258. jim

    They could have moved to the Bahamas years ago but why go to a place that is that expensive when you can just move your money over there to keep from paying taxes.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  259. Anthony

    Please leave. Let all those people leave. See how tough it is to be successful in another country.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  260. Bill

    They're no better than CEO's with their GOLDEN PARACHUTES who play the company game and bail out with a huge chunk of the cash. Let them leave.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  261. Tom in Va

    what's higher taxes have to do with the decision to relocate? My bags are already packed. I don't like Socialism. Subsequent to that, don't want higher taxes either. Don't like Obamacare. Don't like wealth re-distribution. Don't like Obama!!

    September 20, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  262. Aria

    I would ABSOLUTELY move out of the States!
    Frankly, the tempered response of our Commander in Chief has shocked me today. Barcelona here I come!

    September 20, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  263. emoderate

    Why would anybody want to run away from the country they love? It makes sense to tax the wealthy, and what do they have to lose? Honestly. If their so weathly then shouldn't they have more than enough to support themselves and their family w/o the tax cuts? It all sounds like greed, when it comes to these conservative-respublicans crying for their tax cuts that shouldn't have been in effect. It doesn't take an economist to figure this out, you know, I'm sure even high school freshman can figure out this is a greed at its finest.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  264. Sincerity

    Of course no one is going to leave America. The well-off Americans are plagued with greed and their main focus is their money, which is why they're threatening to leave. But the threat is false, they wouldn't leave because they'd have to spend that money, they'd have to worry about not getting income to break their spending even. They'll threaten to leave, but they won't leave. They won't leave because they make money in this country and, as much as they feel 'wronged', they're going to stay here to keep that income flowing. Empty threats aren't cute.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  265. David P Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – If you want to avoid US income taxes, it is not enough to move your residence – you have to move your source of income too! Money made here is taxed here no matter who lives where. The guy who proposed this is certainly no expert – if he were , he would know this! Furthermore, there is nowhere else to make the kind of money they make here – so this is not a real option for anyone. Anywhere you can make more, as a non-citizen, the tax rates are HIGHER!

    September 20, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  266. Ralph Rodriguez - NY

    Oh please Jack!
    Corporate bailouts? Rampant in your face greed? Blank checks given to corporate execs, shareholders and the wealthy by those that represent our best collective interests in the government?
    Where else if not America, will the wealthy be able to get away with murder?? Give me a break, Jack!!

    September 20, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  267. Marianne Burke

    Those who say they will leave should check the the income tax rates in the country to which they plan to run. Most other countries with similar standards of living have much higher income taxes than we have – and socialized medicine. No, I wouldn't leave, even if my taxes increase. Those with higher incomes should be taxed at a higher rate.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  268. Tony, Sacramento, CA

    No Jack, these are empty threats and it should be pointed out that Obama does not want to raise taxes, he only want to let the tax cuts that Bush instituted expire. I do not consider a $250,000 income rich but it still is a good living and the tax increase is still quite modest when compared historically, we cannot continue increasing the debt the way we have or we'll all be in big trouble

    September 20, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  269. Ryan

    I make nowhere near $250,000.
    By no means do I think I am doing that great in this country but I am still happy. For those people making above $250,000 whining about a 5% tax increase; we don't need them. They can leave. If you can't manage your finances well enough with that much money, you don't deserve the money.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  270. Don Pickens

    Do your homework, Jack. Even if you leave the US, as a US citizen you still have to file and pay US taxes on worldwide income no matter where you live. If you try to renounce your citizenship, and you're worth more than $500k US consulates are advised not to accept your passport since they assume you are trying to evade taxes. So tell the rich folk to pitch in and help pay their fare share as they used to and stop with the crocodile tears and childish threats.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  271. Rod

    Small countries, such as the Bermuda, Monaco, etc., are often tax shelters for the rich. Show me a country with very low or no income tax and I'll show you a non-democratic (sometimes despotic dictatorship or absolute monarchies, i.e Saudi Arabia, Dubai, etc.) country where you would not want to leave.
    PS When in 1997 I moved from the UK here my taxes went considerable down while my income went nicely up!

    September 20, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  272. Sabrina

    Little incentives would be left to stay, rising taxes, increased government.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  273. David Benjamin

    I would. I'd move to a location from which I could easily return to the US, but if people have the resources to leave while maintaining what they earned, why stay? I choose to give to the charity of my choice, not the government. The federal government has an unbroken record of failure for the past 50 years.
    They do succeed in throwing money at a problem without solving them. How are the wars on Drugs, Poverty, Cancer, etc going? White flag anyone? We do very well at killing people, breaking things, and building roads.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  274. Alton

    Bill Clinton moved to dodge the draft, why not....

    September 20, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  275. Steve Kemp

    Of course I wouldn't leave the United States.
    You see, I actually love my country.
    And if the rich truly wanna leave...I'll help them pack!

    Oh, and about that guy that dared state that $250,000 a year isn't alot.
    I want some of what he's smokin'!

    September 20, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  276. Barbara in Las Vegas

    Let 'em go, Jack! The Triangle awaits! The very fact that islanders in Bermuda don't pay any national tax and that these folks would consider going there says plain and simple that they don't want to pay taxes, period. This is greed, pure and simple, especially since those making over the $250K mark would pay that higher tax only on that portion that IS over that mark. In other words, and if my understanding is correct, their first $250K would not be taxed at the higher rate. The more you make, the more they take, as the old saying goes. As to the Bush tax cuts, there is NO bill that Pres. Obama has passed, including the stimulus, that would add as much to the national debt/deficit as continuing those Bush tax cuts, even for ten years, and the number is in the trillions...no way to pay that back. It would be one thing if extending the Bush tax cuts WOULD result in more job creation, but I've heard more than one economist say that historically, when the really rich get tax breaks, they buy another home/jet/car/other luxury item...they do not create jobs. Maybe in this case they can just buy some more beachfront property with all the money they'll save in Bermuda.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  277. Kelly from Buffalo NY

    While I sympathize with Mr. Esnard, Uncle Sam's reach runs pretty far these days. US citizens are taxed on their worldwide income which means that even if you move you are still obliged to pay US income tax. You could always renounce your citizenship, but that sounds a little extreme simply to avoid paying a percent or more in income taxes.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  278. jeane

    No I would not. I am proud to be an American. I love my country and I know it is only as good as what is put into it. To those with the most comes a greater burden. The only thing I ask is that it is done smartly and efficiently.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  279. Olga

    Absolutely not!

    Remember the song..."This is my country, land that I love..."

    I would work towards giving this administration a chance to work out the kinks in their legislation.

    It is crazy to change horses in the middle of the stream. Only the insane want to do that!

    Olga
    Austin, Texas

    September 20, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  280. Buddy from Illinois

    Jack,

    If I were making over 250K I would not even think about leaving the country over taxes. I served this country for twenty years and like to think my loyalty is to the country rather than to my bank account.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  281. Robert

    If the rich want to move out of the US because a 3% rise in taxes, I say let them. There are a lot of other countries with much higher taxes for the wealthy that make the US look like a bargain. I say to the rich stop crying over spilled milk and that goes for you Jack. The media should focus more on the 98% of the country that doesn’t know where their next pay check will come from.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  282. Jim Blevins

    I'd really like to know where you got those economists from and exactly what question you asked them. If a wealthy person wants to leave the country rather that contribute to it, i will be glad that he is gone.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    September 20, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  283. James in Ohio

    Outrageous! The rich are always attacking America for insisting they pay their fair share.Our tax rate is the fourth lowest out of 32 industrial countries. Every rich person and corporation pays only about 50% of what they really owe in taxes. They are allowed to not report large parts of their income, while the rest of us must report every dollar earned. The rich pay only around 22% tax rate, not the 35% they whine about. And many Wall Street big shots get away with 16% tax rates.

    Two years ago the GAO reported that there are 235 foreign-owned companies that have paid NO taxes in at least 12 years. And there are
    some 250 American owned companies not paying any taxes either. If the rich and the big business types had paid all their taxes over the last 30 years the Government would have run budget surpluses every year. Talk of fleeing America is just anti-American terroristic threats.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  284. Stephen P.

    If a business owner making 250k plus is forced to pay all these extra taxes so the FREE Loaders can feel good about themselves, then the business owners can cut a few employees and make up the difference. Don't the wealthy own the businesses or create the jobs? you want to punish success??? A business owner has to think about his business 24/7, while the worker punches the clock and goes home. This is not Russia, although Comrade Barry is pushing us that way.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  285. Harvey, FL

    Middle Class Jobs have been off shored for quite a while, replaced with low wage nothing jobs. The Government needs money to pay for bills to provide services for its citizens. If i was making 250K or higher I would gladly pay the higher tax rate and contribute to the greater good.
    Let them Threaten to lease, they wont go because the alternatives are worse. But if they moan about paying their share, just tell them not to let the door hit their behinds on the way out.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  286. Jackson

    My income is threatened, but it's because
    I make less than 250K, not because I make more.
    And yes I will have to retire out of country because taxes would cripple me otherwise, in the meantime I'd move to any country that offers a living wage in a heartbeat.
    Let the rich have America, for the middle class it’s a shell of its former self. I wouldn't complain if I was making 250K plus, I’d trade his high taxes and high pay for my lousy pay and low taxes any day; sounds like he needs a big cup of SHUT UP.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  287. Bob Kirby

    Jack,

    The increase in taxes will NOT only be at the federal level - but also the state and local governments will also raise them. I, regretfully, live in the Empire State i.e., New York, that has deficits of $9 Billion at the state level and $166 Million at the Westchester county level. Therefore, my effective tax rate might rise to APPROX. sixty (60%) because the Democrats in charge - at every government level –ONLY know how to RAISE TAXES - not CUT SPENDING!! In terms of moving for tax reasons, my wife and I will first look to move to a state like Texas (NO state income tax) but would consider an offshore tax haven like Bermuda because I have recently retired. We still live in New York to be close to our grown children but they might have to get on a international flight in the future to see us!!! C'est la vie!

    September 20, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  288. Gerry luimes

    No reason to complain about taxes when a large proportion of citizens overspend ,underpay credit cards,purchase goods for which you "do not pay until 2012" Fine,and WHAT THEN?It has been mentioned before by people with a realistic outlook: Repeat: Live within your means.Forget those Joneses !.Above all; Strat to pay of your debt !

    September 20, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  289. Doc Thompson

    A working married couple earning $300,000 will owe an additional $4,000. Are you so greedy that you would leave this country – the country that made it possible for you to earn that $300,000?

    September 20, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  290. Dee in New Paris OHIO

    It will never even be something that I will have to think about, unless I win the Power Ball this week!

    If I were a person who was REALLY wealthy, would I be a person who loved my country, or would I be a greedy self-centered idiot? If so, yeah I would probably move. Because I would if course altready have moved my MONEY offshore!

    September 20, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  291. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    This sounds just like blackmail, the same blackmail that we are getting from the corporations, the banks, and the ultra rich, how much money is enough, how many boats can you own, how many cars, how many houses, while the country suffers and then you demand give us even more tax cuts, when they are at the lowest that they have been in U.S. history. Enough already!

    September 20, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  292. Donna

    It sure is tempting! With some exceptions, those earning over $250K have worked hard to get where they are. With the 39.6% tax, Robin Hood is alive and well. Weathy Americans not only pick up the tab for the poor but also the weathy on Wall Street not to mention the billions spent on "assisting" foreign countries. What is wrong with the idiot politicians who think Americans are obligated to help everyone? Stop building bridges to nowhere, stop allowing hedge funds to rule the market, stop sending money to foreign countries just because they ask for and expect handouts. Do any elected officials even know how to add? In addition to 39.6% federal tax add: state taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, gas taxes, excise taxes, road tolls and on it goes. Why don't the politicians just have employers mail the checks directly to the government?

    September 20, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  293. Dan Aherin

    Nothing would be better for our country than for Esnard and like-minded people TO leave. Making more than $250K in the real estate market the last couple years, especially in California, seems a bit fishy to me. From everything I've been hearing, real estate prices have crashed through the floor and continue to free-fall. Esnard should consider himself lucky to be in that income bracket. That's beside the point. Instead of paying some pompous dimwit like Esnard 6-figures to be the middle man on shady real estate transactions, why don't we escort him out of the country and use his inflated salary to pay 3 or four people to build affordable housing or upgrade existing housing. Seems like we'd have 5 less mouths to feed and 3 or 4 people could go back to work at a great salary!

    Dan Aherin–Lewiston, Idaho

    September 20, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  294. Michael Adams

    From the day I was born, my wealth has been always threatened because capitalism, which was once effectively tempered by government regulations, is increasingly devolving into pure social darwinism. But this is a middle class perspective and makes your question cynical and disingenuous, since most rich people, if not all, would have no need to ponder such a juvenile exercise.

    Futhermore, anyone with sixth grade math skills know that cutting taxes without paying for them, while having a deficit was a republican gimmick designed to con the middle class and benefit, as GW Bush called them, his rich base. So no matter how many economists you may have to underwrite your sophistry 1 minus1 is still = 0. Thus, we either keep the tax cuts for the middle class or let them expire for everyone!

    September 20, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  295. Bill in Houston

    Jack, I am far from the so-called wealthy and $250,000 a year in gross wages or adjusted gross wages is far from wealthy but I do know this...I have been out of work for over 2 years and I have probably lost my home to foreclosure. So....the short answer is yes...I will leave this god-forsaken country because I can't take it anymore.

    The trick now is figuring out a way to make it happen financially.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  296. Pam

    I'd love to see some of these tax whiners move to any other developed country. They would really have an eye-opener in regards to how burdensome the U.S. taxes are! I work in international sales and have many colleagues in other countries with whom I've discussed taxes. They're always astonished that Americans complain about taxes!

    In Japan, for instance, the personal taxes run ca. 15% for people with incomes $23000 and less, and 50% for people over $212,000.
    Germany – 42% personal plus 19% VAT. U.K. 40% personal 15% VAT. and so on. They also have higher fees for various things like vehicle registration and so forth.

    U.S.? 35% highest and highest current combined state taxes – is Alaska at 11.67% highest rates. (Explain this Sarah!)

    I think people in other countries realize there's no free lunch!

    September 20, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  297. Suz

    250K is not a lot of money especially if you have a business and/or children. I have a business and employ 4 people. I have seen a drop in sales 30% and now its going higher especially in the last 2 months. Most small mom and pop places like mine are getting ready to shut their doors. Where do these so-called recovery numbers come from? This economy is not getting better but it is getting worse. Get your feet wet CNN hit the pavement and talk to the real people out here in the trenches!

    September 20, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  298. Cindy W

    Jack, sounds like a for this guy but not me!!! He sounds worse off then us! My husband only makes $39000/yr, i cant find a job been unemployed 2yrs, i lost my unemployment in july, the kid goes to college next yr and all our savings is gone and no 401K! Man i would hate to be him!

    September 20, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  299. Paul

    Jack:

    I really enjoy your commnentary but you really need to do your homework before making some of your comments. I am an American citizen who lived in Bermuda for more than a decade; a great experience! Your comments about incomes implied
    that Bermuda is a third world nation ("although making $250,00/year might be difficult in Bermuda"). I would like to point out that Bermuda has, I believe, the highest standard of living and highest median income in the world. This includes a single payer health care system, where both of my children were born, which is one of the best in the world, which we sorely could use here. Further, due to its very sound management and commitment to its citizenry, immigration laws do not allow Expats to take jobs from native Bermudians. All Expats such as I work on contracts that require regular review (1-3 years) to see if a Bermudian is qualified fir the position. I lost my job because of thisd, but I fully support their policies. Again, check your facts.!

    Shep

    September 20, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  300. Ian

    You get what you pay for in life. Americans complain about the poor job their public schools do. They complain that excellent health cost is only available to the rich. They complain that people on average do not live as long as people in other countries. They complain that their life savings can be wiped out if they get sick when they retire. You do not hear complaints like this in Canada, Sweden, Finland and several other countries where the top income tax rate is a lot higher than 39.6%. So they think going to Bermudat they would be better off. That is a laugh. Bermuda's standard of living is higher than the USA and it is far more expensive to live there than in the USA. The average house is $1,300,000 and this is not for a mansion. Everything is imported and you pay a hidden import tax which makes everything twice as expensive or more as the USA. Furthermore, they make it almost impossible for an American to become a citizen of Bermuda,

    September 20, 2010 at 6:53 pm |