Refugees do NOT bring in more tax dollars than they consume in social services, by Ann Corcoran, 6/15/17
This news was all over my alerts yesterday morning (one version of the story at Business Insider): Study finds refugees actually pay the US government thousands more than they get from it
The glowing (and deceptive) report was clearly released now as a run-up to World Refugee Day next Tuesday and has probably been widely distributed on Capital Hill by the legion of lobbyists for the refugee industry.
My reaction was that the conclusions fly in the face of all common sense. And, LOL!, I wondered right away whether they included the costs to the criminal justice system. Imagine how much those life prison terms of some refugee murderers and terrorists cost the American taxpayer!
Esar Met, a Burmese refugee raped and murdered a little girl in his apartment complex shortly after arriving in the US (he had surely not paid in any taxes yet!) and is doing life in prison. Someone with some economic training and the interest should figure out what it costs taxpayers for these expensive trials and life sentences. One of my many posts on Met is
So, I wondered if there was a rebuttal and sure enough there is! If you see the deceptive news published in your newspaper, you must respond with a ‘letter to the editor’ using key points of Jason Richwine’s rebuttal. You can’t let their propaganda go unanswered. The Center for Immigration Studies responded here this morning (emphasis is mine):
Refugees do not pay their own way A working paper released this week by Notre Dame economists William Evans and Daniel Fitzgerald makes the head-scratching claim that refugees, despite below-average incomes and high rates of welfare use, pay $21,000 more in taxes than they receive in benefits during their first 20 years in the United States. Immigration-boosting wonks such as Matt Yglesias and Dylan Matthews immediately trumpeted the findings, and the Washington Post and FiveThirtyEight added favorable write-ups.
They should have been more skeptical. The claim that refugees contribute more in taxes than they receive in benefits is simply implausible.
So how does the Evans-Fitzgerald paper come to such an implausible result? First, the authors count all (or nearly all) taxes paid by refugees but reduce the services they receive to six social programs cash welfare, SSI, Social Security, food stamps, Medicare, and Medicaid. All other costs that governments might incur from immigration, housing, infrastructure, education, law enforcement, and so on, do not count.
Second, they fail to adjust for the underreporting of those social programs…
Third, the paper excludes refugees’ minor children. When refugees cannot afford to provide food, housing, or medical care to their children, taxpayers foot the bill. Most of those costs are omitted.
Fourth, the authors restrict the refugee age range to 18-65, cutting off the analysis just before the age where most people stop working and begin participating in the nation’s costly retirement programs.
By the way, we bring in a significant number of refugees to the US over the age of 65 who immediately draw on SSI.
Don’t miss CIS’s previous detailed study of the cost of refugees to taxpayers, here. Middle Easterners are especially expensive!
This is posted in my ‘What you can do’ category (created because new readers are asking). If you see the deceptive report mentioned in your local newspaper do not let it go unanswered! Send a letter to your member of Congress too and tell him or her (in advance) to watch for the propaganda (Big Lie!) campaign about refugees supposedly adding to the US economy. (The cheap labor supply might add to the bottom line at Tyson Foods, but not to the overall economy!).