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Three times Barack Obama said his executive order would require illegal aliens to pay their back taxes before becoming eligible for amnesty. Guess what? He lied.
President Obama misspoke when he said that immigrants living illegally in the U.S. would have to "pay any back taxes" in order to qualify for work papers under the plan he initiated via executive action. They would not.
The immigration plan announced by Obama on Nov. 20 provides a temporary relief of three years from the threat of deportation to parents who are in the country illegally but who have children who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. The parents must have lived in the United States for at least five years, and they must register, and pass background checks in order to obtain the reprieve. The White House estimates that 5 million people are eligible for "provisional unlawful presence waivers." If they meet certain requirements, those immigrants also would be given work authorization for three years.
For immigrants who step forward, the procedure is to make sure that they "start paying their fair share of taxes" so they can "temporarily stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation for three years at a time," says a White House fact sheet. The key word in there is "start." There is no mechanism to require immigrants in the country illegally to pay any back taxes in order to obtain a three-year work authorization.
An Obama administration official told us the president misspoke when he said that immigrants would have to "pay any back taxes."
"Misspoke." Uh, huh. Sure. Absolutely. Simple misunderstanding. Coulda happened to anybody. No foul, right?
Except, and this is where your blood will really start to boil, the reality is they won't pay any taxes at all. They'll most likely receive payments from Uncle Sam in the form of refundable tax credits instead.
President Obama's unilateral executive action on immigration will make hundreds of thousands, perhaps more than a million, illegal immigrants eligible for federal transfer payments. That will be done primarily through two widely used programs — the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, and the Additional Child Tax Credit, or ACTC.
The two programs, intended for low-income workers, are what is known as refundable tax credits. That means they give workers a tax refund that is larger than their tax liability. So a family with a tax bill of $1,000 might receive an EITC "refund" of $5,000, meaning the family doesn't write a check to the government but rather receives a check from the government. The ACTC works similarly for low-income workers with children.
Wealth transfer. From the hardworking U.S. taxpayer, to a bunch of third-world grifters. With massive amounts of fraud thrown in for good measure. What's not to like?
As it turns out, those two programs are already among the most corrupt and fraud-ridden in the entire federal government. A newly-released report from the inspector general of the Internal Revenue Service confirms that the EITC is plagued by fraud (which was already well known) and also reveals for the first time that the ACTC is even worse.
According to the inspector general, the IRS paid out $63 billion in EITC benefits in 2013. Of that, 24 percent, or about $15 billion, was given improperly to people not qualified to receive it. That improper payment rate has been enough to qualify the EITC as a "high risk" program for years.
The IRS paid out $26.6 billion in ACTC credits in 2013. The inspector general reports the child credit improper payment rate for that year was somewhere between 25.2 percent and 30.5 percent — worse than the EITC.
Considering that federal law defines a program as having "significant improper payments" when such payments exceed 2.5 percent of all the money the program sends out, those are pretty terrible numbers.
So far the IRS hasn't done anything to combat fraud in either the EITC or ACTC program. The IG report notes that as much as $148 billion dollars in improper payments have been made in the last decade at a rate that has remained relatively unchanged during that whole time. For comparison purposes, $148 billion is more than the feds spent on veterans benefits last year.
But instead of combating such massive fraud, the IRS spent its time investigating Tea Party groups. Priorities dontcha know.
Clearly, when Obama told illegal aliens they could stay if they "paid their fair share" what he really meant was "here, have some free money." And, come to think of it, probably an Obamaphone too.
Thanks John Boehner.
You enabled this by ramming CRomnibus down our throats. You betrayed the
people who gave you an overwhelming majority, and you stuck us with the bill.
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