Final Word from Monday, May 12, 2003

The U.S. has only one official ambassador to the CR, but it has several thousand unofficial ones. U.S. citizens abroad have been among the best emissaries of the "American way." Their distance from domestic influences has given them a sober view of their homeland, helping them to communicate well with foreigners. However, recent events could cause more Americans abroad to become disillusioned with their government. The handling of Iraq is only one point of dispute. Closer to home are the tighter visa requirements for Czechs, which affect friends, co-workers and mixed families. The last straw for many is a proposal to eliminate the foreign earned-income tax exclusion, which helps reduce double taxation. Although it probably won't pass this time, it's a signal to Americans abroad that their efforts as unofficial emissaries aren't fully appreciated in Washington.


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FS Final Word