July 10, 2008
Immigration a Non-Issue in Campaign 2008?
A Gallup survey suggests that immigration will not be as hot-button an issue as it was in some primary states. Gallup says 39 percent of Americans favor a reduction in immigration compared to 45 percent a year ago. Gallup says that during much of the post-9/11 period at least a plurality of Americans had previously favored cutbacks, with the high point being 58 percent after the terrorist attacks. Americans think immigration is a good thing for the country by a 64 percent to 30 percent margin, a slight increase from a year ago. Gallup noted that its polling in June found only 27 percent of Americans said immigration would be an "extremely important" factor in how they voted, which ranked it last among eight issues tested. Forty-one percent of whites said immigration should be kept at its present level, 15 percent said it should be increased and 42 percent said it should be decreased. Thirty-five percent of blacks said it should stay at current levels, 21 percent said it should be increased and 39 percent said it should be decreased. As for Hispanics, 40 percent favored keeping it at current levels while those who favored increases or decreases tied at 28 percent. Large majorities of whites and blacks said immigrants costs taxpayers too much while not paying their fair share of taxes. Hispanics believed the opposite, also by large margins.
July 10, 2008 | Permalink
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"Large majorities of whites and blacks said immigrants costs taxpayers too much while not paying their fair share of taxes. Hispanics believed the opposite, also by large margins."
This is the most mis-understood "myth" propagated by the Restrictionists. While most academic studies by universities and the U.S. Government have shown that immigrants, (and I think that we are talking here about illegal immigrants), contribute more in direct payroll, property, and sales taxes then they cost in social services, some studies,(primiarily those commissioned by restrictionist organizations like the Center for Immigration Studies and the Heritage Foundation), have, not surprisingly, found the opposite to be the case.
I say that the entire argument is, well, academic. In point of fact, it doesn't really matter, (although I believe that they pay more then they receive in direct taxes), because the real and much larger numbers must more accurately reflect both the direct taxes and the indirect taxes.
Indirect taxes, (a much larger number), are the taxes that are paid by the following:
1) The other employees of companies that employ illegal immigrants that owe all or part of their salaries, (much larger salaries in most cases), to the presence of the illegal workers and their inherant productivity in the companies workforce).
2) The owners or shareholders of the companies that employ the illegal immigrants, (who pay the most taxes of all, and who owe all or part of their earnings to the presence of the illegal workers).
3) The property taxes paid by the companies that employ the illegal workers.
4) The taxes paid on the profits generated for other businesses that do business with companies that employ illegal workers, (think supermarket or restaurant chains that sell fruit and vegetables picked by illegal workers).
5) The additional GDP of the U.S. attributable to the illegal workers, (remember the multiplicative effect of money spent by these workers gets recycled 3-5 times throughout the economy, and gets taxed at every stop along the way).
In point of fact, the amount of money paid directly and indirectly amounts to several times the amount that the illegal immigrants get back in social services. This is a specious and misleading myth that they "cost us money".
They cost us money like it costs a company like Toyota to build a car. It might cost them $15,000 to build a car, but if you only talk about the cost, and stop the argument there, then you are only telling half the story. If Toyota sells the car for $25,000, then it doesn't really cost them $15,000 to build a car. It generates for their company $10,000 when they build a car. The same theory holds up for immigrants. Sure, they cost us billions in social services, but that's only half the story. In point of fact, they generate several times the amount that they cost.
When properly explained, most people see the logic of this argument. The problem is that I have yet to hear this properly explained to the public at large. It is a problem that must be addressed by serious people.
Posted by: Robert Gittelson | Jul 10, 2008 5:38:04 PM
So over a 2/3 majority of Hispanics are against increasing immigration.
Posted by: Jack | Jul 14, 2008 3:36:16 AM
"Sure, they cost us billions in social services, but that's only half the story. In point of fact, they generate several times the amount that they cost."
So, Git, its ok that corporations make billions while saddling the public with the associated social and economic costs of illegal aliens. This is typical unethical warped thinking of companies like yours which are used to exploiting illegal immigrants. Like the economists, you only care that a profit is made, while ignoring the transfer of the co-lateral costs to the public. As a citizen I will continue to object. I'll bet you celebrate that concept while taking your profits to the bank every week.
Posted by: Horace | Jul 17, 2008 8:50:08 PM