CNBC Promotes Mass Immigration to Fill U.S. Tax Coffers
FAIR Take | October 2023
This week, an article published by CNBC touted immigration as the solution to a projected drop in overall tax revenue that will accompany lower birth rates in the U.S. According to the article, economists now believe mass immigration is needed to expand the workforce and tax base as Americans have fewer children. The CNBC report even quotes open-borders advocates, including the National Immigration Law Center, as saying that when it came to open borders to offset lower birthrates, “It’s the answer hiding in plain sight.”
The decline in the U.S. birth rate is actually nothing new. Overall, the birthrate in the U.S. has been declining since the 1960s. In fact, the U.S. has had a birth rate below replacement level since the 1970s. It is also nothing new for open borders advocates to say that a lower birth rate means higher levels of immigration are needed. This argument is often couched in terms of the way it can “save” social programs.
Mass immigration cannot, and will not, be a way to save social welfare programs like Social Security. Illegal immigrants typically work low-income jobs that generate comparatively little tax revenue. For example, a FAIR study found that tax payments by illegal aliens cover only around a sixth of the costs they create. Far from expanding the working-age population and “saving” social programs, it only adds to the problem by flooding the workforce with workers who are net negatives in the context of tax revenues.
Even if these workers did contribute a net positive to our overall tax revenue, the family members they sponsor typically do not, only deepening the burden on American taxpayers. In addition, foreign-born workers themselves eventually get old and need access to social programs. Far from “saving” these programs, it actually increases the number of people who want them.
Instead, without mass immigration, America’s population would stabilize with a small, natural population increase rate. This rate would reduce the strain on our environment, affordable housing, congestion and urban sprawl, and slow Americans to “race to the bottom” for low wages generated by mass immigration.