We need immigrants to help pay the deficit

WASHINGTON — If you’ve spent any time pondering those dense reports on cutting the deficit, you know that there aren’t any pain-free answers around. Any remedy will hurt since it will have to include raising taxes and reducing benefits.

Recommendations for taming the deficit include raising the retirement age, raising the federal gas tax and ending the mortgage interest deduction for homeowners. Ouch!

But there is a palliative that would ease the pain: Put 11 million illegal immigrants on a path to legalization. And don’t touch birthright citizenship!

Yes, you heard that right: Granting legal residency to illegal immigrants will eventually help sop up some of the federal budget’s red ink. I know that’s counterintuitive since so many citizens have come to believe that Mexican landscapers and Guatemalan maids are a drain on the treasury. But the fact is that their relative youth is just what the U.S. economy needs.

The explosion of the long-term deficit is largely the consequence of an aging population, with more retirees depending on taxes from fewer workers. While the recession, two unfunded wars and Bush-era tax cuts fueled the  immediate deficit, a tsunami of long-term red ink will swamp the budget in about ten years, as a massive wave of baby boomers leaves the workplace.

So we need as many younger workers as we can find to help support the coming crush of senior citizens. The U.S. is lucky enough to have a higher birthrate than many other Westernized democracies, even among native-born women. Immigrants are an added demographic bonus.
“When some people think of immigrants, they think of people coming in and immediately absorbing our resources,” said Emory economist Jeffrey Rosensweig. “Most immigrants come here to work. They’re young workers, and they’re paying taxes.” Why not add all of them to the federal tax rolls?

No economist claims that immigrants alone can solve the problem of paying for entitlements. But former President Bill Clinton, who left office with a balanced budget, has also noted the value of a growing pool of younger workers.

“I don’t think there’s any alternative but for us to increase immigration. .  . .Taxes will be lower if we’ve got more taxpayers. The pressures on Social Security and the changes we’ll have to make will be slightly less draconian if you have more people contributing into the system,” Clinton said in April, speaking at a fiscal policy summit.

That will be a hard sell for the average American who has become convinced that illegal border-crossers are stealing jobs, burdening schools and running up the costs of health care. Until the economy improves, it will be difficult to persuade voters that providing those workers with a path to legal status is in everyone’s best interest.

Meanwhile, is it asking too much to expect political leaders to stop their harsh demagoguery? Might they refrain from making matters worse?

U.S. Rep. Steven King (R-Iowa), upcoming chair of a House subcommittee on immigration, has already announced that he will make a priority of pushing for a vote to rescind birthright citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants.

“Many of these illegal aliens are giving birth to children in the United States so that they can have uninhibited access to taxpayer-funded benefits and to citizenship for as many family members as possible,” he insisted.

Well, that’s just nonsense. A child born in the U.S. has to be 21 years old before he can petition for citizenship for his parents. Even then, many hurdles remain.

King’s proposal — in the unlikely event it passed — would probably be ruled unconstitutional; it violates the 14th Amendment. But King and his allies are fueling the narrowmindedness and nativism that have frustrated comprehensive immigration reform since the Bush administration.

Climbing out of the deficit hole is going to be hard, no matter what. We need some new taxpayers who can help.

121 comments Add your comment

Kamchak

November 19th, 2010
4:00 pm

WHAT PART OF “ILLEGAL” DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND?

and it’s corollary:

WHAT PART OF HIRING IAs IS ILLEGAL DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND?

Gotta get those out of the way early.

Liberal Chicks are UGLY

November 19th, 2010
4:09 pm

Ug, the stupdity never ends. Illegals ship billions of dollars out of the country every year.
Rewarding them for breaking the law won’t do a damn thing for any budget anywhere.

They need to go the hell home period. Traffic will be better, crime will drop, and I can cut my own grass just fine.

Are we rewarding law breakers now? What we’re going to give rapist free ky jelly?

ctucker

November 19th, 2010
4:09 pm

Thanks, Kamchak@4 p.m. Of course, there will be repetition

granny godzilla

November 19th, 2010
4:12 pm

This is not news to me. There is a financial benefit to the USA in
a path to citizenship for the illegals and I have posted it many many times. Even George Bush understood that.

Of course, brains will explode all weekend here on the blog….because
the deficit apparently really isn’t important as running the scarey brown people out of the country on a rail.

carlosgvv

November 19th, 2010
4:16 pm

Our Country has over 300 million people. We are dangerously overcrowded. The last thing we need is 11 million more legal citizens consuming goods and services. What we need is to deport as many of them as possible and then get our house in good order. Of course, that is terribly politically incorrect and do doubt will never happen.

BlahBlahBlah

November 19th, 2010
4:24 pm

Every good Ponzi scheme needs new “investors”. But that just delays the inevitable.

Joe The Plumber Too!

November 19th, 2010
4:27 pm

Why not, the Criminals helped run it up they may as well help pay it down.

ctucker

November 19th, 2010
4:37 pm

Joe@4:27, Illegal immigrants have very little to do with the federal deficit. Blame the Bush administration — two wars, huge tax cuts, Medicare prescription drug plan — for that

ctucker

November 19th, 2010
4:37 pm

Carlosgvv@4:16, There are entire sections of the west that are reverting to prairie because they have so few people

George P. Burdell

November 19th, 2010
4:38 pm

If every single illegal was made legal, they all found a job ( that doesn’t take away an existing, legal job), and you add the benefit of income taxes and payroll taxes ( both employee and employer), I think best case scenario you are adding $50 billion a year in taxes. Most of that would be Social Security, but that also means future outlays in a broken system. And that is assuming the best case scenario. There are at least some negatives in that an employer currently hiring illegals would be able to now expense the cost and reduce taxes. When most illegals are probably going to be in the 10-15% income bracket, taking that income off of a taxpayer in the 35% bracket is going to be a loss. Even at $50 billion, that is getting in the neighborhood of rounding error for our federal government, and that is excluding all of the unintended consequences. That would take 15-20 years to eliminate one annual deficit currently. I’m not even opposed to trying to work out some kind of immigration reform but using an economic argument is pretty suspect.

Kamchak

November 19th, 2010
4:41 pm

What we need is to deport as many of them as possible…

Ah yes, the ol’ round ‘em up and send ‘em back card.

How much are you willing to spend, on a per head basis, to accomplish this task?

Peadawg

November 19th, 2010
4:43 pm

“Put 11 million illegal immigrants on a path to legalization…..” – In other words, amnesty for those undocumented Democrats. Two words…F OFF. There already is a path…a path that millions have taken before. How do you think THEY’D feel about amnesty/short cut/whatever you want to call it???

“And don’t touch birthright citizenship!” – you do know this was meant for freed slaves, right Cynthia?

Peadawg

November 19th, 2010
4:44 pm

“King’s proposal — in the unlikely event it passed — would probably be ruled unconstitutional;”

Not to change the subject, but Obamacare passed and the part that forces everyone to buy health insurance or pay a fine is unconstitutional but that hasn’t stopped it yet. Just sayin…..

Tommy Maddox

November 19th, 2010
4:48 pm

How ’bout we put 11 million illegal immigrants on the path South to the border?

granny godzilla

November 19th, 2010
4:49 pm

Peadawg

I imagine the millions who really got real amnesty from President Reagan
will be thinking, too bad all you newbies only got a fine and a waiting period.

Peadawg

November 19th, 2010
4:50 pm

“Taxes will be lower if we’ve got more taxpayers.”

Um…it hasn’t been a problem before the past 8 years or so when spending increased so much. Why’s it a problem now? Oh right, revenue isn’t the problem. Spending’s the problem. Why is it so hard for some people to understand that?

A Lumpkin Resident

November 19th, 2010
4:51 pm

We need LEGAL immigrants. We need people who were vetted and applied to come here LEGALLY. We do NOT need border jumpers.

Tommy Maddox

November 19th, 2010
4:51 pm

“How much are you willing to spend, on a per head basis, to accomplish this task?”

I don’t know what that would cost – no idea. BUT, if we’d drop some of the stupid spending that’s been done over the past couple of years, we might have some spare change to start.

Joe The Plumber Too!

November 19th, 2010
4:52 pm

CT, saying the ciminal immigrants have very little to do with the federal deficit is like saying obambam or piglosi had very little to do with the dumpocraps getting reamed in the election just a few weeks ago. You are much smarter than your last few blogs would lead some to believe.

Liberal Chicks are UGLY

November 19th, 2010
4:55 pm

How about putting illegal immigrants on a path right back to mexico?

Liberal Chicks are UGLY

November 19th, 2010
4:57 pm

Or blame obama for adding 1.2 trillion dollars to the deficit in less than a year. That’s more than Bush added in 8. Do let facts get in the way of your drivel.

retired early

November 19th, 2010
5:01 pm

Burtell

If you think these small bs employers are going to absorb the loss of the deduction for “labor” and pay the tax themselves, I see a problem. They usually 1099 them as cost for “labor” even though they should have them listed as employees and withhold taxes on them. This is nearly impossible to police. Self employed/small bs owners, call them what you want, get away from paying a lot of taxes because they are nearly impossible to audit accurately. When I read these GOP bloggers defend the tax cuts for small businesses I have to laugh. Unlike wage earners like myself who can’t hide a dime, these self employed get away with murder.

Kamchak

November 19th, 2010
5:04 pm

I don’t know what that would cost – no idea.

Didn’t say anything about cost.

I asked how much are you willing to spend.

retired early

November 19th, 2010
5:12 pm

Joe the plummer

Do you have any idea how silly you come off calling Pelosi and Obama made up names. Trust me…that image of you is not flattering.

carlosgvv

November 19th, 2010
5:23 pm

ctucker

Those entire sections of the west have few people because water is getting harder and harder to find every year. As a matter of fact the entrie west is facing water shortages and this problem is so acute conservation will not solve it. Fewer people is the only solution.

Libby

November 19th, 2010
5:31 pm

No we don’t!!! You people just want cheap pliable labor and slavery has been outlawed. There should be a moratorium on all immigration since no one is happy about our current laws that are NOT enforced.

Great idea – increase immigration so unemployment goes to 20%!

Keep Up the Good Fight!

November 19th, 2010
5:37 pm

Pea….I did not know that the Supremes had ruled on insurance reform already or that any court actually had, other than the Michigan court which through out the claim. So let’s be clear. Any claims of “unconstitutionality” are mere assertions at this point and do not constitute fact no matter how emphatic you may state it.

retired early

November 19th, 2010
5:37 pm

In a previous life, I ran into migrant labor contractors who, because they spoke Spanish were the go between for the farmers and the labors. He received lump some payments from the farmers in exchange for providing the workers. Well, the farmer 1099′d the contractor but the contractor did not 1099 his workers. The result, here comes the IRS; they tax him on ALL the $$ paid by the farmer. Now he owes hundreds of thousands of $$ with no SS numbers to provide an audit trail.
My point here is small bs do write off this labor expense. To do otherwise is financial suicide.

George P. Burdell

November 19th, 2010
5:50 pm

Retired early:

You make a good point and I was just throwing that out as a possible negative on taxes. My overall point still stands that legalizing the workforce would still have a pretty small impact on overall tax collections in the big picture unless you add in SS and medicare. But SS and medicare come with future liabilities so its not like its a net gain overall. Only government accounting can take positive cash flow against a future liability and call it a profit.

And please don’t call me a GOP blogger. I’m a fiscal conservative who has had just about enough with all the back and forth nonsense from both parties. If I tend to worry about the Dems poor financial side more than the GOP social controls, its only because neither party seems to be paying much attention to financial matters when its all said and done.

Della

November 19th, 2010
5:51 pm

There’s the right way and the left way of doing things. The left’s way is always wrong.

The feds have failed to enforce immigration laws for decades. I don’t want to reward the feds for their failure. I don’t want to reward border jumpers for breaking the law.

The feds need to figure out a way to correct their own mistake. CT wants to make their job easier.

Bubba Bob

November 19th, 2010
5:53 pm

Entire areas of the west converting because of no jobs and lack of water.

Dems should just admit they want illegals made legal so they will vote Democrat.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

November 19th, 2010
5:59 pm

Now why is it that so many “Republicans” acknowledge that their principles have so little value that they cannot attract their share of voters. Time and time again, Republicans want to win elections by voter surpression rather than winning the actual vote. When did it become such a “constitutional prinicipal” that freedom meant that only a few would elect those in control. Funny that sounds rather anti-American…in fact it sounds, dare I say….no we cant use that word for Republicans can we?

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

November 19th, 2010
6:00 pm

If we booted all of the illegals, where would the liberals get their little yard slaves from?

Keep Up the Good Fight!

November 19th, 2010
6:02 pm

Whiner back with more lies and inane commentary! Meg Whitman was a liberal?

barking frog

November 19th, 2010
6:10 pm

Unfortunately, Mexicans, and there are no other large groups of
undocumented aliens, are more profitable left illegal.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

November 19th, 2010
6:24 pm

(Reuters) – General Motors Co may have the world’s biggest initial public offering, but U.S. taxpayers were more than $9 billion underwater on the government-funded restructuring at its current share price on Thursday.

And just think, obozo is not done spending our money on them yet.

Orange10

November 19th, 2010
6:35 pm

What? Illegal aliens are helping to sustain the deficit. You know – education, medical, illegal drugs and other sundry criminal activities. Legalize them and watch the welfare numbers swell especially in the current economy. When that happens, how will we pay for that. Immigration should be run the way the laws are written now. Check the unemployment figures, I don’t think they have gotten any better. Deport now!

Common Sense isn't very Common

November 19th, 2010
6:45 pm

That is an asinine suggestion.

The jobs that the illegal immigrants are holding were once held by (for the most part) younger people(entry level). They were service jobs and construction. BUT because the illegals will work for minimum wage or BELOW they have been given the jobs.

Most of these jobs either pay cash or using a 1099 NO TAXES WERE PAID. AND when filing time came the worker DID NOT FILE.

There needs to be enforcement of the immigration laws on the books. If they are using fake SS cards that is a FELONY.

We need stiff fines for the employers. If they employ illegals that fine needs to include the cost of holding and deporting the illegals.

The children that were born here can go home with their parents and decide when they are of legal age if they wish to return. If they are 21 they can then sponsor their parents and siblings ONLY. This might require a change to sponsorship rules.
To keep the birthright aboveboard we need DNA from every child born in the USA. (It doesn’t need to be matched unless that child returns).

If the immigrant is in possession of a fake SS card and is convicted of that felony incarcerate them before deportation.

WE ARE OVERRUN with illegals who send billions to Mexico yearly(2nd biggest income producer for Mexico behind oil).

Entire apartment complexes and duplex complexes have become a haven for the problems for the entire community. Too many young single men with too much time on their hands (sound familiar).

SEAL THE BORDERS AND SEND THEM HOME

Tired of stupid people

November 19th, 2010
6:50 pm

To solve the future problems of the illegles is to inforce the imagration laws equal to the laws of the country they come from. The ones here now, send them back to the end of the line to come back. It want cost much to send them back if you stop letting them suport themselves here. Any money they try to send out of the country should be taxed at 50%. make it where it cost them more to live here than they can make. I bet their country will not take them back broke. Why do you think Mexico want so many of their people here, because of the millions of dollars sent each week into their ecomemy. Stop feeding the other countries with tax free money and stop giving them any rights to anything in this country.

Orange10

November 19th, 2010
6:52 pm

CSIVC

Bravo Zulu!

scrappy

November 19th, 2010
7:01 pm

“And don’t touch birthright citizenship!” – you do know this was meant for freed slaves, right Cynthia?

I don’t the amendment states – BTW this only applies to Freed Slaves.

Kamchak

November 19th, 2010
7:16 pm

We need stiff fines zero tolerance, mandatory minimums in federal penitentiaries for the employers.

fixed your typos.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

November 19th, 2010
7:25 pm

We would be better off if we take the 65 most senior members of the senate and replace them with 25 year old illegal immigrants. Not only will they not be able to write any English language laws, they would almost certainly spend less than the current occupants, and probably steal less too. Win-win-win.

Gordon

November 19th, 2010
8:08 pm

Cynthia,

Please clear something up for me. Are you suggesting we change the immigration laws, or are you suggesting we ignore them? If it is the former, what specifically would you propose? If it is the latter, what other laws should we ignore and who gets to decide?

killerj

November 19th, 2010
8:08 pm

“WOW” LOSER,AMAZING YOUR NOT AN IMPERIAL JAHID?Death to all americans? Go….. Tea…… Party.XXXXXXXXXX>

SmittyATL

November 19th, 2010
8:09 pm

Cynthia, this is one of the most brilliant ideas you’ve ever had. Do you propose that we change our immigration laws so that we allow even more economy-boosting unskilled non-English speaking low-wage non-entitlement immigrants into the country legally? Or should the federal government just continue its policy of looking the other way as they pour across the border? Either way, they are sure to help us climb out of this fiscal morass. I can’t believe the Republicans haven’t figured this out yet. What could possibly go wrong???

Tom

November 19th, 2010
8:10 pm

We wouldn’t need new taxpayers if all of us paid taxes. I think the survey that showed that 47% of the American public thinks they pay the right amount of tax, was contrasted with a survey that showed 47% of the US doesn’t pay taxes. I wonder which 47% said they paid the right amount of tax! The problem you have when such an imbalance occurs, is that the 47% who don’t pay taxes will always want tax increases since they don’t have a dog in the fight. Right Cynthia:-))))?

ctucker

November 19th, 2010
8:14 pm

I am so stupid!!

midtownguy

November 19th, 2010
8:21 pm

You know, its funny. I hear all this outcry about the illegals sneaking over the southern border, but practically nothing about those illegal Canadians who sneak over the northern because our wages and jobs are better. Could it be because they are white and speak English?

Rafe Hollister

November 19th, 2010
8:25 pm

Sin-thee, your suggestion makes about as much sense as Obama’s effort to spend our way out of debt.