next january will be three years since i got my green card, time flies when you’re having fun. although i have my green card, i can’t vote.

after many years of writing in none of the above on various ballots in elections in trinidad, i find myself in a position that is truly frightening. i don’t even have the option to voice my dissent in a public forum. isn’t this how the boston tea party happened? the people were tired of paying unreasonable taxes without having a voice. some friends of mine just moved from DC back to Trinidad and i was meaning to ask them for their tags so i could put one on the front of my car. i think the thing that burns me is my inability to make a contribution to in any form about where my taxes dollars are spent.

i’m not about the handout. not to anyone, the bear sterns bailout pisses me off just as much as the people on welfare for years. i firmly believe there should be a cutoff point for welfare, what do you mean you can’t find a job. in the last three years there have never been less than four W-2s delivered at the end of january, in 05, i think we had an all-time high of seven and two 1099s and these were concurrent jobs. maybe that’s why there’s a problem in the labour market, we’ve got all the jobs. and the concept i’m paying  to bailout a privately held billion dollar company makes my blood boil.

and i wonder how many people are in the same boat i’m in, i’d be curious to see actual numbers. what percentage of taxpayers are non-citizens? what percent of the tax burden is carried by these people, especially considering all the people in specialty industries on H1B visas?

in january, i’ll have had my permanent card for three years which makes me eligible to apply for citizenship. on the face of it, it’s another $600+ to the USCIS, plus whatever documentation they require and the indeterminate wait, a trip to Memphis for an interview and the quiz. it will give me the right to participate in government – local, state and federal and as i understand it i wouldn’t have to give up my Trinidadian citizenship however the downside of this is an issue with the tax system that that forces citizens to pay taxes when they live abroad.  how is that fair or right to pay tax on income in the country of residence and the country of citizenship? basically you’re paying a premium to be a US citizen.

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