The Nonsense Of Wealth Tests

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A welfare state is frightened of every poor person who tries to get in and every rich person who tries to get out.

-Harry Browne

On a five-four vote, the Supreme Court has officially allowed President Trump to impose a “wealth test” on immigrants. Basically , this means it would be much harder for immigrants to get green cards if they would be considered “public charges” — or they’d be taking out more money than they’d be putting in.

First off, it’s already illegal for immigrants to get public benefits. It’s even illegal for legal immigrants to get welfare unless they have been living in this country for five years.

As such, the failure to keep illegal immigrants off of welfare — something that we’ll say is happening even if the evidence is kind of sketchy — is not one that requires more laws, but more enforcement. So where is the Supreme Court or this administration on that topic?

Second off, can we talk about the absurdity of blaming welfare for immigrants for our fiscal woes? The government in 2018 spend $876,000 to study the sexual habits of quails on cocaine, $50,000 to teach women in India how to use YouTube, $1.7 Million to create holograms of dead comedians, and $15,000 on an opera about Prince Harry.

Remember back in 2012 when Obama kept mocking Romney’s claim that defunding PBS would help balance the federal budget? The idea that welfare for illegal immigrants is the main cause of bad spending is just as silly, yet taken more seriously.

In truth, war on poverty programs — at least in the form of general welfare, not counting Medicare and Medicaid — make up less than 20% of the federal budget. In order for this to cut our deficit, welfare for immigrants — not just welfare in general — would have to make up at least 23% of the federal budget.

Oh, and that’s ignoring the fact that that’s not how federal money works. Typically, money is spent at a pre-determined time and is simply handed to a welfare office for distribution. Basically, it would still take years before doing this would have any noticeable impact on our current fiscal policy.

I should note I would love to respond to just how small exact numbers are, but they’re near impossible to fine. I just spend a good two hours looking through Ann Coulter columns on immigration — about 120 times the amount of time one should spend reading Ann Coulter ever — and couldn’t find a consistent number. Actually, I had trouble finding any number at all.

Here’s a Tweet Coulter sent out to Andrew Yang in response to his claim immigrates paid $328 Billion in taxes in 2014, see if you notice the lack of something:

How much immigrants “paid” is irrelevant without subtracting how much they TAKE. Immigrants — legal and illegal — are net TAKERS. If you ran your business by counting only revenue, not costs, you’d be the one on welfare now.

How much do they take? Give me a number, even Andrew Yang could figure out how to do that.

Even then, the idea of some monetary requirement to immigrate is nonsense. May I ask, why should we not just deport everyone in poverty and ship them off to Africa? After all, they committed the same crime of daring to be poor in the United States.

There’s this iconic American story of people coming to the US without a penny and making themselves big — one that was popular during the industrial revolution. Of course, it is no coincidence that this was the time period of the largest amount of economic growth in human history. The Henry David Thoreau want to be’s are wrong when they pretend this was some kind of evil time that ruined our country.

This is not me saying we should have no rules, illegal immigrants should not be allowed to use welfare nor they should be allowed to vote. Aside from that, it doesn’t much matter if they come and go.

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