The Cost of Amnesty to the American Taxpayer: $6.3 Trillion

The Cost of Amnesty to the American Taxpayer: $6.3 Trillion

May 6, 2013

Some highlights from the report:

  • If amnesty is enacted, the average adult unlawful immigrant would receive $592,000 more in government benefits over his lifetime than he would pay in taxes.
  • The lifetime fiscal deficit of amnesty — benefits minus taxes — would be $6.3 trillion, and that’s a conservative estimate.
  • When those granted amnesty retire and collect Social Security, they would draw $3.00 out of the pot for every $1.00 they paid in.
  • In 2010, the average unlawful immigrant household received around $24,721 in government benefits and services while paying some $10,334 in taxes. That means that each illegal immigrant household today costs taxpayers $14,387 per year. 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.

In their 93-page report, Heritage welfare expert Robert Rector and domestic policy scholar Jason Richwine break down the cost of amnesty to the U.S. taxpayer. Even accounting for the phased approach to implementing government benefits that some amnesty advocates favor, the long-term cost is astronomical. Unlawful immigration and amnesty for current unlawful immigrants can pose large fiscal costs for U.S. taxpayers. Government provides four types of benefits and services that are relevant to this issue:

·         Direct benefits. These include Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation.

·         Means-tested welfare benefits. There are over 80 of these programs which, at a cost of nearly $900 billion per year, provide cash, food, housing, medical, and other services to roughly 100 million low-income Americans. Major programs include Medicaid, food stamps, the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit, public housing, Supplemental Security Income, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

·         Public education. At a cost of $12,300 per pupil per year, these services are largely free or heavily subsidized for low-income parents.

·         Population-based services. Police, fire, highways, parks, and similar services, as the National Academy of Sciences determined in its study of the fiscal costs of immigration, generally have to expand as new immigrants enter a community; someone has to bear the cost of that expansion.

The report covers four types of benefits:

Unlawful immigration and amnesty for current unlawful immigrants can pose large fiscal costs for U.S. taxpayers. Government provides four types of benefits and services that are relevant to this issue:

·         Direct benefits. These include Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation.

·         Means-tested welfare benefits. There are over 80 of these programs which, at a cost of nearly $900 billion per year, provide cash, food, housing, medical, and other services to roughly 100 million low-income Americans. Major programs include Medicaid, food stamps, the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit, public housing, Supplemental Security Income, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

·         Public education. At a cost of $12,300 per pupil per year, these services are largely free or heavily subsidized for low-income parents.

·         Population-based services. Police, fire, highways, parks, and similar services, as the National Academy of Sciences determined in its study of the fiscal costs of immigration, generally have to expand as new immigrants enter a community; someone has to bear the cost of that expansion.

·         What do you think about the economic cost of amnesty? Do you think this report will change the national debate? 

6 responses to “The Cost of Amnesty to the American Taxpayer: $6.3 Trillion

  1. Money, in my opinion, is worthless. It is paper, or nowadays, it is invisible numbers. Nonetheless it is what runs the world; and unfortunately, no amount of money will ever be enough to stabilize the economy if the government keeps spending this way.

  2. I swear our country spends just way too much money. They need to stick to a budget which seems almost impossible with our outrageous spending habits.

  3. scare tactics! every time some sort of immigration reform is being talked about, a story like this pops up. I don’t know if your aware of another article that came out talking about Mexican immigrants not being able assimilate because they are mentally incapable…. character assassination and slandering have become way to common in our political field, and its because individuals who cannot think for themselves believe everything their television tells them to believe. I would like to see how they got these numbers, its highly impossible to go through a regular day and not pay taxes, you wake up in your house: you pay taxes, you go to the grocery store: you pay taxes, you drink a bottle of water: you pay taxes, you buy gas: you pay taxes… and as far as not paying taxes on the income, how many can say they have claimed all gambling winnings, every last penny you earned at a yard sale, not many if any at all. there is almost nothing you don’t pay some sort of taxes on, and this whole welfare business, its not like those programs are just being used by immigrants. Lets be fair here, how do you expect to exploit immigrants then kick them out, don’t forget this nation was founded on immigrants, look in your own blood line. The Chinese were abused for the rail roads, African Americans for the production of cotton, and the Irish in our steel mills, this is just a form of big business loosing a grip on its highest commodity that is offered by the world, the exploitation of cheap labor… democracy or capitalistic order?!

  4. I think that these cost are completley out of what our nation should be spending. It would be so much better if our nation had a certain budget to spend but yet thats never going to be possible.

  5. Budget is the answer. No more bailout. I want a lot of things but I don’t buy them because my budget would not allow it. This is not rocket science the out of control spending just amazes me more and more each day. I think another bailout would increase inflation. We will all pay for this in the end one way or the other. Cut spending now and stick to a budget.

  6. These numbers are drastically insane, I don’t even have an idea of what to do when it comes to our debt. Do we kick people out? Do we say oh well if you or your family is sick? I understand liberals don’t believe anyone should be treated like this, and republicans recognize a situation might be horrible but the situation is constantly repeating, it’s not once in awhile it’s everyday, and that debt stacks up quickly. The cost of health care is too high, how do we reduce that yet, have enough to pay for the doctors and tools they need? I want answers and I don’t like wasting tax payer money, and some people might suffer, but the amount of people who will be left out on their own is not a number I’m very comfortable with, but being in debt and having a country on the verge of collapse is just as horrible.

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