Saturday, April 07, 2007

Good News/Bad News

The good news is more illegal aliens are filing income tax returns. Proposed legislation which would require illegals to have filed tax returns before being eligible to apply for work permits is spurring illegals to file returns.

IRS reports it has issued 10.8 million ITINs (Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers) since the program began a decade ago. Some (less than 10%) have gone to non-resident non-citizens who have financial interests here which require them to pay US income taxes. Think JK Rowling, who has to pay US income tax on royalties earned from US book sales, or Elton John, or others who likewise have US income though they never reside here.

So that leaves roughly 10 million illegal alien heads of household, here in violation of the law, working in violation of the law, and using ITINs to get around the law.

Bad News: conservative estimates of the number of illegal aliens here are way off the mark. Since less than half of the illegal aliens here actually work (the Rutgers Study showed only 49% have any sort of paid work, and only half of those working are in "regular" employment are using ITINs or stolen/fraudulent Social Security Numbers), there is more likely somewhere between 20-40 million illegal aliens in the US.

Bad News: Less than a third of ITIN holders actually file income tax returns. The latest year for which I've been able to obtain detailed data on the total amount of income taxes paid by ITIN holders, divided by the number of ITIN holders filing, resulted in an average income paid per household came to $5.18. Now you know the "big guys" - the Rowlings, Johns, etc. - are paying big-time tax on readily traceable income reported by major publishers, record companies and the like. If we could separate that out, it would be bound to show those illegal aliens are a net loss, taxwise.

If you need further data, consider this. That same year when ITIN holders paid five bucks a household in taxes is the same year the IRS "mistakenly" issued over $2 billion in Child Care Tax Credits. Once that is spread over the 2 million ITIN-holder taxpayers, we lost over $2 billion from other taxpayers' wallets to shell out over $1000 per ITIN-using household!

In other words, it is highly likely that illegal alien households only file if they can get a refund and/or tax credits (Earned Income/Child Care, etc.) to which they are not legally entitled to make money off the citizen-taxpayers. They are a drain on our Treasury, not a source of revenue!

So add tax fraud to list of crimes committed by illegal aliens, on top of the crimes of illegal entry or visa fraud, working without authorization, identity theft/fraud, etc.

Zero tolerance for immigration-law violators! No amnesty, no "stealth-amnesty." No "change of status," marriage fraud, "exceptional leave to remain," no "Temporary Protected Status." If you break the law, depart or be deported.

When we show we are stictly enforcing our immigration laws, they will stop coming, and those already here will go home.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Where Do All the New Jobs Go?

Just to keep pace with US-born labor force entrants, we need to create a minimum of 2 million (net!) new jobs a year. Remember -- since the early 1980's, we've been creating in excess of 4 million babies per year. They're entering colleges, grad schools, and the job market en masse this decade, but their parents, the Boomers, are nowhere near ready to retire!

In March, we created 180,000 new jobs -- just about enough to hire those Boomlets entering the job market, if we could keep up that pace all year round, and keep roughly 60% of our working-age adult population employed.

BUT! New legal immigrants: 2 million a year. Since this only counts heads of households, not spouses (who also need jobs to support a family in the high-cost, high-tax US) or other dependents, double our minimum requirement for new-job creation to 4 million.

Add those coming in on various legal work visas, such as H1-B, L-1, H2-B, and an alphabet soup of visa categories which allow the holder to work here. Last year we added 400,000 H1-B's; 900,000 other work visa holders; and 455,000 temporary workers. Boost the new-job creation demands by 1,755,000 more imported workers.

So now we need to create a minimum of 5.755 million new jobs annually. That's triple the highest number of new jobs we ever created in a year.

Now add a very conservative estimate of 4 million illegal aliens entering annually.

Basically, we need to create about 10 million new jobs annually. We don't.

In fact, we bring in more legal temporary workers on various work visas than the number of jobs we create per year. Those workers have to be taking jobs from US-citizen job holders because there aren't that many new jobs for them to fill.

So how come our "unemployment rate" is now down to 4.4%? By not counting most of the unemployed job-seekers! New entrants to the workforce are not counted in the workforce until after they have held a job. Those who take time off for other pursuits (raise a new baby, care for aging parents, return to school to qualify for a better job) are not counted in the workforce upon their return -- until after they have held a new job! Those who call themselves "consultants" or "self-employed" to disguise a long period of job-hunting, or cobble together enough temp or freelance work to keep a roof overhead, are not counted as unemployed active job-seekers, but in fact, that's what the majority of these 10 million people really are. New immigrants are not counted in the workforce until after they have held a job! Those who lose a job and don't find another soon enough are eliminated from the statistics. All those new H1-B visa imports, often imported by "body shops" then "benched" until the placement agency finds someone to hire them, are not counted as unemployed, although they are. Basically, we could have 10 - 20 million job-seekers who are not counted as "unemployed." (Since no one counts them, we can only guess.)

People with part-time or temporary or seasonal jobs, who usually are looking for full-time permanent employment, are counted as "employed" - not as the job-seekers they typically are. But this boosts the "employed" figure in the equation. Pure window dressing.

Illegal aliens, over half of whom work "under the table" with neither job nor income reported (nor taxed), are not counted as employed or unemployed. But some of those day-labor and off-the-books "job-lets" would be "real" jobs - available to American citizen job-seekers - if employment regulations were enforced. Illegal aliens can get away with tax evasion, et al., which citizens cannot.

In short, we have too many workforce entrants and too few jobs created. The ratio works out to roughly 7-10 workforce entrants per job created. If all illegal aliens depart or are deported, all legal immigration halted, and all temporary employment visas abolished, we still have a problem with more US-born workforce entrants than new jobs created.

Zero tolerance for immigration-law violators. We do not have jobs for them, and we cannot afford to support them, educate them, house them, provide medical care for them, or anything else. They broke the law, and we do not want lawbreakers.

But we also need a moritorium on legal immigration, a moritorium on work visas, and termination of most existing work permits. Anything short of this leaves too many Americans without any sort of employment future.