Your tax dollars:
This week as I, and you too I presume, became increasingly shocked at the precipitous fall of our economy, I wondered how on earth we could continue to import low-skilled immigrants to America. Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) must have had this on his mind too when he blasted the US Chamber of Commerce on the bailout. The Chamber said they supported the bailout and said it put Americans first. In an opinion piece published this week, Smith contends that the Chamber’s position on amnesty put a lie to that statement.
When the U.S. Chamber of Commerce called on Congress to pass the financial rescue bill, they asked us to “put the American people first.” I agree with that sentiment. However, I can’t help but point out the irony of the Chamber’s statement given its own refusal to put the needs of the American people over those of illegal immigrants.
Smith then goes on to discuss other Chamber of Commerce positions regarding immigration and how those positions hurt Americans.
He reminds us of a study by the Heritage Foundation in the spring of 2007, “The fiscal costs of low-skilled households to the US taxpayer” by Robert Rector.
According to a study by the Heritage Foundation, each low-skilled immigrant [legal and illegal] household received $30,160 in government benefits – including education, medical care, transportation and sanitation services – but paid only $10,573 in taxes. That means the average low-skilled immigrant household costs American taxpayers almost $20,000 per year. Also, the Center for Immigration Studies estimates that low-skilled American workers lose an average of $1,800 a year because of competition from low-skilled immigrants for their jobs. Driving down the wages of American workers is not a route to “economic opportunity” the chamber claims is its goal.
Like it or not I believe we have all had a lesson in economics over the last two weeks and it’s a pretty clear lesson. As jobs are lost, people can’t pay taxes, or as people lose money in the stock market, money is not there to collect in taxes. If people lose houses, then local governments can’t collect property taxes. If people aren’t buying stuff, then sales taxes are not paid. If taxes don’t flow to various levels of government there will be diminishing services by the government to those newly created poor people who will be demanding more services in the form of welfare from already bankrupt governments. (To my tax expert friends, don’t laugh at my simplification!)
So, how on earth can any rational person continue to promote the importation of more low-skilled labor?
Whoever becomes President of the US in next month’s election will have to face this ‘nut-cracking’ issue, and they aren’t even talking about it!