Coulter Column: Sorry, Sen. Rubio, But Your Immigration Plan Is Still Problematic
The Heritage Foundation recently issued a comprehensive report showing that Sen. Marco Rubio's plan to instantly legalize 11.5 million illegal immigrants would add $6.3 trillion to the nation's budget deficits over the next 50 years. Heritage assumed there are 11.5 million illegals, but other estimates put the number at 33 million, which would mean adding another $18 trillion to the deficit. To put that in perspective, the largest U.S. budget deficit in history was $1.4 trillion in 2009.
Currently, the average illegal alien gets about $24,721 in taxpayer-funded benefits and pays about $10,334 in taxes. After full legalization, they will be eligible for a whole new panoply of government benefits such as direct welfare payments, Obamacare, Social Security and Medicare. Heritage concludes that the total government benefits to these former illegal aliens will then rise to about $43,900 per household, while the taxes paid by them will increase only modestly to around $16,000.
Rubio says Heritage's report is all wrong because it fails to use "dynamic scoring."
The sentence ends there. It's like when Obama responds to questions about Benghazi by saying it's a "political circus," or liberals say their position on abortion is that "it's a complex issue." What isn't political? What isn't complex? Those aren't answers; they're deflections.
How about Rubio explain the hidden rays of sunshine that will appear by applying "dynamic scoring" to his amnesty bill?
Dynamic scoring simply requires that changes in behavior brought on by new rules be considered in evaluating the impact of those rules. I can tell you, for example, how dynamic scoring works with tax cuts.
Liberals say if we double tax rates, we'll double the amount of tax revenue the government takes in.
But conservatives point out that when tax rates are low, people have an incentive to work harder and longer, to take extra jobs, and to move their money out of tax shelters, such as municipal bonds, and into stocks and business expansion. The economy explodes, jobs are plentiful, everyone makes a lot of money -- and the government ends up with a bigger haul on a lower tax rate.
We know those incentives are there because we've seen them work. As detailed repeatedly by economist Thomas Sowell, the Treasury took in vastly more money after taxes were cut under Calvin Coolidge, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan.
That's dynamic scoring. Now, how does "dynamic scoring" change Heritage's study showing that millions of new welfare recipients will cost America trillions of dollars?
It's at least a counterintuitive position. If lots of uneducated, low-skilled workers boost a nation's gross domestic product, then Haiti should be an economic powerhouse. For that matter, so should Mexico.
Rubio won't say -- or can't say -- what veiled incentives are lurking in his amnesty bill that will set the economy on fire.
I can think of plenty of incentives in his bill that will harm America. For example, how do you imagine legalizing at least 11.5 million illegal immigrants will change the incentives of Mexicans thinking about coming to the U.S. illegally? Won't a mass amnesty create an enormous incentive for them to run across the border themselves, hoping to get in on this amnesty -- or the next?
What incentives does "dynamic scoring" hold for employers of the poorest, least-skilled Americans? An oversupply of low-skilled workers means employers can pay even lower wages than they currently do, while counting on the American taxpayer to take up the slack with government handouts.
How about the low-skilled Americans? Will they have an incentive to try even harder to find one of the few remaining low-wage jobs in America? Or will they throw in the towel and go on welfare when forced to compete with millions more newly legalized low-skilled immigrants?
Wall Street Journal Republicans love to sneer that immigrants are doing the jobs "Americans just won't do," but I notice they're not lobbying to bring in a lot of immigrants to compete for jobs as editorial writers at The Wall Street Journal.
Dynamic scoring better include the ruinous incentives that will be foist on African-Americans by Rubio's amnesty. They're already our fellow citizens deserving of our concern.
Black people are about to realize that they are the hardworking wife who put her husband through medical school, and Hispanics are liberals' flashy new trophy wife. After all we've been through together, you're running off with this ranchero slut? Where was she when I was working nights to put you through medical school?
Will government bureaucrats, whose jobs proliferate as more people go on welfare, have an incentive to tell us how much immigrants are costing us?
Massachusetts won't even cough up details on the Boston Marathon bombers' use of welfare. State taxpayers reasonably say, I'm just curious since it IS my money. But state officials indignantly announce that welfare recipients have a "right to privacy," and how dare you even ask! How about a defense contractor telling the public: "You're actually suggesting we submit our records? Our engineers will be humiliated!"
Will taxpayers have an incentive to keep punctiliously paying their taxes after the government decides to bring in 20 million poor people from countries where tax evasion is a way of life? A smaller and smaller slice of taxpayers will be on the hook to pay for an exploding welfare state. Will they cheerfully agree to pay higher taxes for schools and hospitals that go bankrupt because politicians voted for amnesty in a foolish political gambit?
Amnesty supporters just keep asserting that bringing in a multitude of people with no skills and in need of government assistance will magically boost the economy. But when immigrants collect more government benefits than they're paying in taxes, they're clearly not making a net contribution.
So what secret delights are on the other side of the ledger?
Endlessly repeating "dynamic scoring!" without understanding what you're saying does not answer that question.