The US Passport Act of 1926 is an obscure piece of legislation that was enacted decades ago when the idea of passports starting catching fire around the world.
Subsequently absorbed into US Code Title 22, the law was originally intended to authorize and issue passports for US citizens to travel abroad.
Several years ago, the law was modified to provide the Secretary of State with the authority to revoke or deny a passport to any US citizen convicted of engaging in immoral acts with minors overseas.
Until now, this has been the only instance of excluding a US citizen from travel abroad. But if Senator Barbara Boxer gets her way, there’s going to be one more.
As part of Senate Bill 1813 (known as MAP-21), Congress has inserted language that would oblige the Secretary of State to revoke or deny a passport to any US citizen that the IRS Commissioner deems as having ‘seriously delinquent tax debt.’
For the purposes of MAP-21, ‘seriously delinquent tax debt’ is defined as an amount in excess of $50,000 in which a notice of lien or levy has been filed in public records.
Bear in mind, this is strictly an administrative procedure; there is no due process. By comparison, even pedophiles go in front of a judge before losing their passports.
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News of the 1676-page bill has broken across mainstream media outlets. Forbes, Fox Business, the Atlantic, Businessweek… everyone is reporting on this now.
So far, though, no one in Washington has shown any attention of backing down.
I’ve taken the time to actually read the entire bill myself… I wanted to ensure that I understood it fully before telling you about it. And believe it or not, there are even dumber provisions within.
For starters, in what may be one of the most depraved Big Brother moves on record, section 31406 of the bill makes it mandatory for ‘black box’ event recorders to be installed in every new passenger vehicle starting with model year 2015.
Section 31504 requires the development of special alarm systems designed to remind drivers that there are other passengers in the vehicle. Duh.
Then there are provisions for more taxpayer funding to subsidize the massively loss-making Amtrak… plus calls to develop more national, regional, and state-owned railways across the country.
Perhaps most important, though, is Title II of the bill– ‘Stop Taxhaven Abuse.’
Long story short, if the US government decides in its sole discretion that a foreign jurisdiction is impeding tax enforcement, Uncle Sam can shut them out of the US financial system, no questions asked.
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