Make tax cuts, NOT amnesty, permanent

· January 26, 2018  
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Trump at Davos 2018
FABRICE COFFRINI | Getty Images

Here are two questions every Trump voter should be asking:

  • With the success of the tax cuts spawning more economic growth than anyone imagined, why not back Democrats into a corner and make the tax rates permanent? Instead, Trump is stepping on the good news and giving Democrats a permanent majority through immediate and permanent amnesty which will burden these same taxpayers – in return for a weak request of tenuous reforms down the road.
  • If Democrats want to implement yet another failed amnesty in order to buy off more votes, why not do it on their own dime?

The central argument of Democrats in promoting amnesty for those brought here as children is that they were brought here by “no fault of their own.” But whose fault was it? It was the fault of their parents, some of the governments of their countries of origin, and people like Chuck Schumer, who passed the 1986 amnesty and pursued other policies that encouraged an entirely new generation of illegal immigration, while admitting it was a risky gamble. It is certainly no fault of the American people, who must bear the cost in the form of welfare programs, bilingual education, cultural challenges, and gang violence.

We’ve written a lot about the safety problems flowing from the DACA amnesty in 2014, but there is also a tremendous fiscal problem as well. This is where American taxpayers get cut out of the equation as the discussion focuses solely on a zero-sum sympathy game for illegals. President Trump trenchantly observed this point after discussing the problem of criminal aliens in his Phoenix speech:

While there are many illegal immigrants in our country who are good people, many, many, this doesn’t change the fact that most illegal immigrants are lower-skilled workers with less education, who compete directly against vulnerable American workers, and that these illegal workers draw much more out from the system than they can ever possibly pay back.

Liberals in both parties, and even (on and off) President Trump, contend that these are bright, productive people who are as American as apple pie and will pay taxes and speak English. OK, why not put their money where their mouths are and verify this assertion in any amnesty legislation? Let’s shake hands on the following provisions:

  • Any applicant must sign an affidavit that they will not request any welfare program and will forfeit refundable tax credits.
  • Any applicant will submit himself to an English exam. On USCIS’s website, there is an entire section reserved for interpreters on DACA applications.
  • If they balk at the no welfare provision, Democrats should be willing to pay for their new voters out of the DNC bank account, not out of the pockets of taxpayers, who are already bearing the burden of a redistributive system among the American citizenry.

The reality is that any amnesty would serve as a major burden for Americans. A whopping 87 percent of illegal immigrant households benefit from at least one federal welfare program (not including refundable tax credits), primarily because of anchor-baby children. The cost will climb after amnesty, because more of them will be eligible for the full panoply of programs, even without American-born children.

The CBO, which was accorded god-like status during the health care debate, has projected that a bill similar to Trump’s amnesty proposal would cost taxpayers $26.8 billion in Obamacare subsidies and other means-tested programs. And in a clear indication that these are largely impoverished individuals, CBO notes that within five years of legalization, Obamacare subsidies would actually go down. Why? Because Medicaid consumption would go up! That is because Obamacare subsidies are available to most green-card holders immediately, while Medicaid kicks in only after five years of legal status. But if these are the best and brightest, why should they be on Medicaid in the first place?

It’s very likely that the cost is much more severe than the CBO is admitting. The CBO only estimates costs to the federal budget, but it is already obvious that the lion’s share of the burden is borne by state and local governments, especially in public education. The Federation for Immigration Reform found that in places like Arlington, VA, unaccompanied minors (who came as a result of DACA) cost the locality $33,000 per enrollee. The organization found that state and local governments incur a $44.4 billion annual unfunded liability from young illegal aliens every year, dwarfing the 10-year federal cost. This doesn’t include the $12 billion annual burden on state health care programs and $11 billion annual cost on the criminal justice system.

In the matter of English proficiency, there is a reason why 24.5 percent of the entire public school population in California is registered in Emerging Language Lerner (ELL) programs, and it’s not because they “know no other country and language” but America and English. These are today’s “dreamers” and also the next wave of younger illegals not currently eligible for DACA but for whom the “no fault of their own” amendment to the Constitution Trump is now advocating will undoubtedly apply.

This is what the president is forgetting when he asserts that “these are good people.”

Even if we agree to that premise and ignore the MS-13 growth as a result of DACA, it doesn’t negate the fiscal burden.

The president was back on message today at Davos when he unapologetically touted free market policies and declared “The best anti-poverty program is a very simple and very beautiful paycheck.” Now he has mountains of evidence to show how companies are raising wages higher than minimum wage mandates as a result of the corporate tax cut and individual paychecks are increasing as a result of the individual tax cut.

Shouldn’t this be his entire message? Shouldn’t he focus the entire week on making the tax cuts permanent? Shouldn’t he focus on Americans?

The Senate should spend the entire week of the State of the Union embarrassing Democrats for their statements about the tax cuts and stand for American workers.

Yet Trump and Senate Republicans are stepping on all this good news by obsessing about “dream” amnesty, which ironically, will voluntarily invite in a largely impoverished population to participate in the welfare state and further strain those who are paying taxes.


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Author: Daniel Horowitz

Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.