Matt Welch on the Dark Side of Anti-"Swiss Bank Account" Politics"

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Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) may be too busy to pass a budget more than every 1,168 days or so, but he can always spare time for passing judgments about U.S. citizens who have the gall to open bank accounts in stable countries with sound currencies and a tradition (if eroding) of banking privacy. "You either get a Swiss bank account to conceal what you're doing, or you believe the Swiss franc is stronger than the American dollar," Durbin put forth on Face the Nation this weekend, in part of a coordinated Democratic attack on Mitt Romney's overseas finances.

Whether tautological or conspiratorial, Democratic Swissophobia precludes the idea that Americans could possibly have a legitimate reason to park money in one of the world's leading financial centers. But do you know who else once had a Swiss bank account? Various U.S. military veterans, dual-national citizens who haven't lived or worked in America for decades, and panicked retirees who are trying to cope with new tax rules imposed capriciously by a revenue-hungry Congress and president in 2010. As Editor in Chief Matt Welch explains, thousands of such Americans are getting bounced out of their existing Swiss accounts and denied new ones, even if they live and work in Geneva for one of the city's many international non-governmental organizations.

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