Mark – I agree with most everything you write here. But a few points:
1) I’d like to read a better account of her decision. Is she really lowering her tax burden by moving to Austria and/or London?
2) If that’s really the case, that’s crazy. We should not have a tax code that makes such moves economically rational.
3) One place where I might disagree with you a little is over the issue of renouncing your citizenship over the issue of taxation. After all, didn’t the Founding Fathers do exactly that?
Yes, I know it’s a little more complicated than that. The issue at the time was unjust taxation in concert with unjust non-representation. But even today, I can see a principled argument — as opposed to greed gussied-up to look like an argument – for exercising your right to exit over the issue of taxes. I would prefer to see rich people do the patriotic thing and pay their taxes while supporting causes that fight for their principles and, yes, lower their tax burdens. But if you’re super-rich and favor higher taxes for everyone but yourself, well, then by all means get the Hell out of here.
4) And this leads me to the biggest problem with Rich. As far as I understand it, Denise Rich raised millions for Democrats who supported policies to raise taxes on wealthy people (and many others). Now, she’s packing up and leaving after supporting politicians who created the very conditions that prompts her to leave. That’s not merely pathetic, it’s disgusting. Admittedly she raised at least some of that money to buy a pardon for her ex-husband, but that’s hardly a great excuse.