Today, as Facebook co-founder and United States citizenship-renouncer Eduardo Saverin becomes an even bigger billionaire, he's also become a hero of the conservative media establishment. All it took was a legislative attack from Democrats and the Brazilian-born businessman went from evil tax dodger to benevolent job creator.
The piece of legislation in question is the Saverin bill, an attempt to keep people like him from renouncing their U.S. citizenship to avoid taxes which is co-sponsored by Democratic Senators Chuck Schumer and Bob Casey. Before that bill, which would permanently bar Saverin, and others like him, from re-entering the States, the co-founder was widely despised. Give a welcome to the right's most recent folk hero.
Saverin is merely escaping harsh, leftist policies. That's the assessment of National Review's Mario Loyola. "It is the foolish and counter-productive tax policies of the left that are chasing Eduardo Saverin to another country, just as they are chasing companies away in increasing numbers," he writes. "It is even more foolish to punish those people for leaving."
Passing this law is beneath the U.S. This was the position of The Wall Street Journal's editorial board this morning. "That is what oppressive and demagogic regimes do, and it's humiliating to see U.S. Senators posture in such fashion."
Saverin has every right to move. The New York Post editorial board flew to Saverin's aid, saying Saverin's decision is "rational" and "is his absolute right." Calling the Schumer bill a "shakedown," the Post writes: "Innovators don’t have to stick around just to be shaken down."
Schumer Hates Job Creators. Throwing a not-so-subtle barb in its story on the bill, The Daily Caller writes that "Schumer’s office did not respond to The Daily Caller’s request for comment about why the senator is attacking job creators like Saverin instead of working to pass a federal budget, and whether his bill is a 'scheme' to distract Americans from the Senate’s budget failures."
It shows how far many on the hard right will go to defend keeping taxes low on the very wealthy that they are turning someone like Mr. Saverin into a mythic hero despite his fundamentally unpatriotic act.
Update 2: Senator Bob Casey responds to The Journal editorial as well:
While I have respect for differing opinions, the facts here are clear: Eduardo Saverin renounced his U.S. citizenship in order to evade taxes. That action is a slap in the face to hard working American taxpayers and a slight to the country who gave him so much. This legislation will hold people like Mr. Saverin accountable and ensure that middle class Americans aren’t left to foot the bill.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.