Dec 4, 2015, Forbes - The passport provision is now official, as President Obama signed the 5-year
It was controversial then, but this time sailed through, slipped into the massive highway funding bill, passed here. The section on passports begins on page 1,113. The joint explanatory statement is here, beginning on page 38. The law says the State Department can revoke, deny or limit passports for anyone the IRS certifies as having a seriously delinquent tax debt in an amount in excess of $50,000. Administrative details are scant. It could mean no new passport and no renewal. It could even mean the State Department will rescind existing passports. (link)
This is really frighting.When the government prohibits citizens from leaving the country, we are a big step closer to no longer being free. People arrested on suspicion of a crime have to post a bond to avoid being locked up in order to insure their appearance in court and they often have to surrender their passport. For everyone else, they are free to leave the country whenever they want. This is a major change in our status as free people. Under this law, there is no hearing to revoke a passport; there is no due process. Under this law, if you owe the government $50,000 or more, the IRS can simply have your passport revoked. The next logical step is that you can not leave the country without paying debt you owe the government, such as student loans, the value of your free education, the subsidy on your FHA guaranteed mortgage, or your share of the national debt.
Prior to the fall of the Soviet Union, Jews were only allowed to migrate if they paid for the benefits they had received from the state. We are headed in that same direction. I fear we are on our way to becoming a police state. I try to resist conspiracy theories and being paranoid. I try to not be swayed by slippery slope arguments. I tend to see less black and white and more shades of gray in political matters and see changes in public polices as the ebb and flow of politics, but it is harder and harder not to conclude the trends point in one direction.