What do illegal immigrants and criminals have in common? When it comes to the IRS, both have something to hide.
Illegals pay taxes, but do they pay for their benefits?
We can’t stop Washington from sticking us with the tab for illegal immigrants. Politicians like to talk about how illegals pay taxes, but the Congressional Budget Office casts doubt on whether they cover the cost of the services and benefits taxpayers provide:
The tax revenues that unauthorized immigrants generate for state and local governments do not offset the total cost of services provided to those immigrants.¹
The Federal Government allocated $250 million per year, $1 billion from 2005-2008 to compensate states for illegal immigrant emergency room visits.² During the 2008 fiscal year we spent over $72.2 million in federal tax dollars to reimburse emergency rooms in broke California. Over $10.3 million went to ERs in broke Illinois.³ Add on public education through high school, resident tuition breaks, benefits issued to citizen children of illegals, and gaffes like doling out the Additional Child Tax Credit, and the cost becomes unsustainable.
Seeking accountability for taxes is a waste of time and money.
Forget ITIN numbers. Forget trying to unravel a history of stolen Social Security numbers. Forget immigration reform bills that require illegals to pay back taxes no one can calculate. Government agencies are not up to the task of keeping track, much less sorting through the multiple identities owned by non-citizens. Even Citizenship and Immigration Services seems to acknowledge that we have a problem. The USCIS I-765 work permit application requires applicants to list all the Social Security numbers they have ever used.4
Sounds amusing, but the truth is we don’t have a clue how many Social Security numbers have been stolen or how many illegals are working under false identities. The IRS reported that the number of identity theft incidents that came under the agency’s radar has skyrocketed over the past year, from 242,142 in 2011 to 641,690 through September 2012.5
Democrats misrepresent the tax provisions of their amnesty bills.
Does anyone see a contradiction between pro-amnesty arguments that illegals already pay taxes and the language in immigration overhaul proposals requiring back taxes to be paid? Immigration reform bills include absurdist, unenforceable language that underscores how little will be done to correct tax fraud. Will illegals step up to the plate and offer to pay their taxes, or will the government end up forgiving tax fraud and replacing it with a nominal fine?
What’s the solution? Why wait for Democrats to retake the House so they can pass an immigration bill that costs taxpayers a bundle by letting illegals off the hook? Let’s cut to the chase and levy those back taxes our president talks about right now. To make sure illegals pay taxes sufficient to compensate taxpayers for our outlays, we can issue illegal immigration tax stamps.
Tax stamps would help illegal immigrants pay their fair share.
State revenue departments hungry for tax dollars should look to the llicit drug trade for a solution.
Drug dealers in some states are required to purchase tax stamps so states aren’t cheated out of their take on illegal drug sales. Instead of the administrative nightmare of assessing back taxes, USCIS and the IRS should team up to sell illegal immigration tax stamps so non-citizens can collect taxes on themselves. Illegals could pay taxes based on their state of residence, the estimated value of services that state provides to its illegal population, and the amount of federal aid received as compensation for services. Illegals who are working can also be required to buy stamps from the IRS to pay taxes on their income. No Social Security number would be necessary.
The beauty of this idea will show itself when it comes time for illegals to apply for citizenship, deferred action, or that mass grant of amnesty Democrats are itching to shove down our throats. Those without a history of tax stamps to prove that they have paid their fair share will be deemed to have just arrived in the U.S. They can leave. No tax stamp, no amnesty, and no wasting valuable IRS time trying to calculate back taxes. Going forward, those taxes will already have been paid. Going back? Washington and state and local governments know what they spent. Immigration proposals require illegals to document their period of time in the U.S. They can pay for those years, too.
Living in America is a privilege, not a right. Taxpayers pay for services and benefits that have value. A simple concept, but one our government and amnesty supporters tend to forget. Illegals, at least, understand. If they didn’t, they would not be here.
Updated March 29, 2016 to change link text.