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Each Amnestied Illegal Alien Household to Cost Taxpayers $592,000

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On May 6, 2013 @ 6:31 pm In The Point | 15 Comments

The Amnesty gang has been dreading the Heritage report. The last Heritage report helped put the ax to Bush’s amnesty. This one may finish off Rubio’s amnesty.

The Heritage report is in and the news is really bad for Americans and Amnesty advocates. The Heritage findings are less about amnesty, than they are about the overall cost of importing large numbers of unskilled or low-skilled immigrants into a welfare state that gives everything to those who either don’t work or don’t move up the ladder. It applies not just to the amnesty, but since the amnesty is one huge whopping form of legalization, the results are explosive.

In 2010, the average unlawful immigrant household received around $24,721 in government benefits and services while paying some $10,334 in taxes. This generated an average annual fiscal deficit (benefits received minus taxes paid) of around $14,387 per household. This cost had to be borne by U.S. taxpayers. Amnesty would provide unlawful households with access to over 80 means-tested welfare programs, Obamacare, Social Security, and Medicare. The fiscal deficit for each household would soar.

During the interim phase immediately after amnesty, tax payments would increase more than government benefits, and the average fiscal deficit for former unlawful immigrant households would fall to $11,455.

At the end of the interim period, unlawful immigrants would become eligible for means-tested welfare and medical subsidies under Obamacare. Average benefits would rise to $43,900 per household; tax payments would remain around $16,000; the average fiscal deficit (benefits minus taxes) would be about $28,000 per household.

Amnesty would also raise retirement costs by making unlawful immigrants eligible for Social Security and Medicare, resulting in a net fiscal deficit of around $22,700 per retired amnesty recipient per year.

If you don’t want to read through all those numbers, imagine a car going off a cliff. Now imagine it going over a cliff twice as fast. That’s amnesty. And it’s only a part of amnesty.

The Democrats aren’t importing 11 million voters just because they look good in their ads. They’re doing it to deepen their control and take over entire states… and spend and spend.

All this is being calculated under the current system. Imagine what kind of benefits will be doled out after 20 years of Democratic rule. If you’re having trouble with that, go look at Europe.

Under current law, all unlawful immigrant households together have an aggregate annual deficit of around $54.5 billion.

In the interim phase (roughly the first 13 years after amnesty), the aggregate annual deficit would fall to $43.4 billion.

At the end of the interim phase, former unlawful immigrant households would become fully eligible for means-tested welfare and health care benefits under the Affordable Care Act. The aggregate annual deficit would soar to around $106 billion.

In the retirement phase, the annual aggregate deficit would be around $160 billion. It would slowly decline as former unlawful immigrants gradually expire.

What does that add up to collectively?

The typical unlawful immigrant is 34 years old. After amnesty, this individual will receive government benefits, on average, for 50 years. Restricting access to benefits for the first 13 years after amnesty therefore has only a marginal impact on long-term costs. If amnesty is enacted, the average adult unlawful immigrant would receive $592,000 more in government benefits over the course of his remaining lifetime than he would pay in taxes.

Over a lifetime, the former unlawful immigrants together would receive $9.4 trillion in government benefits and services and pay $3.1 trillion in taxes. They would generate a lifetime fiscal deficit (total benefits minus total taxes) of $6.3 trillion. (All figures are in constant 2010 dollars.)

This should be considered a minimum estimate. It probably understates real future costs because it undercounts the number of unlawful immigrants and dependents who will actually receive amnesty and underestimates significantly the future growth in welfare and medical benefits.

Many policymakers believe that after amnesty, unlawful immigrants will help make Social Security solvent. It is true that unlawful immigrants currently pay FICA taxes and would pay more after amnesty, but with average earnings of $24,800 per year, the typical unlawful immigrant will pay only about $3,700 per year in FICA taxes. After retirement, that individual is likely to draw more than $3.00 in Social Security and Medicare (adjusted for inflation) for every dollar in FICA taxes he has paid.

Moreover, taxes and benefits must be viewed holistically. It is a mistake to look at the Social Security trust fund in isolation. If an individual pays $3,700 per year into the Social Security trust fund but simultaneously draws a net $25,000 per year (benefits minus taxes) out of general government revenue, the solvency of government has not improved.

And that’s the bottom line. If you support amnesty, you cannot call yourself a fiscal conservative. There is nothing fiscally conservative about drowning a floundering system deeper in debt.


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