Sep 29 2009

Undocumented Workers Make Him Mad

Kal @ 20:42

Today’s wingnut email actually arrived on Monday courtesy of Greg with a conclusion as follows:

You should be!!!
Pass this along to all the Blue and White collar Americans that are struggling from paycheck to paycheck to provide for their families.
This is an outrage that HAS to be addressed.
THIS is the time to get things started.
We are poised on the brink of oblivion and it will take nothing short of an avalanche to get the bureaucrats to take action.

The body of the  e-mail is comprised of a supposed comparison of two workers, one documented and the other not. Both of these homeboys work at a job and are paid at a rate that their net pay is $31,231.00 per year, the difference being that the undocumented one is purported to get paid in cash “under the table”.

The first lie is attributing 30% of the documented person’s $52,000 gross pay to taxes. Payroll tax is around 7%, so that amounts to about $3,650, Federal withholding is about $4,500, and California withholding is about $700, for total taxes of $8,850. The email figure is $20,800 deducted for taxes. Not even close.

Then there is a comparison of medical costs. The documented person buys coverage for $12,000 per year, which may even be reasonable, but it then contrasts this with the “full Medical and Dental coverage through the state and local clinics” that the undocumented gets. I have had both, and they really are not comparable. Most of the undocumented will probably get none of those supposed benefits.

Then there are a series of highly questionable assumptions about how much benefits the undocumented will get for welfare. Most typically these will actually be zero.

The final e-mail insult is to have the documented worker with a second job and the undocumented at home watching TV. Neither of these workers earns enough to make it on one paycheck, although as laid out in this propaganda piece the undocumented is doing very well indeed and the documented one is not even getting by. The lie is that the undocumented is doing well. Both of these wives will probably be working. Most likely the documented wife will be earning about the same as her husband, so combined they will be quite comfortable if they are frugal. The undocumented wife will likely be working for minimum wage at two jobs just to get by.


I fired off an e-mail in return:

You could get all upset about it and blame the worker who was forced to work for cash under the table, or you could level the playing field and make it possible for both to have a legal job.

You cannot have a prosperous middle class with earnings like this, regardless of legal status. Graph is from The One Percent Economy—Part Two: The Why

clip_image001 The bottom 99% have had almost no income growth since 1973, although the bottom 90% have done way worse than the next 9%.

Or in other words, do not sweat the petty shit. Your hard times are coming from an entirely different source.

Greg replied with an indignant: “And how pray tell do you level the playing field?  Are we talking Amnesty here? … Yeah, I will agree more hard times are coming, from the Obamunists, and their Marxist tax policies.“  He totally ignored the point, that hard times are already here, and they did not come from the Obama administration, timid and compromising as it is.

Dmitry pointed out via a link to  The NY Times article that estimates that 75% of the undocumented are paying their taxes and never being able to collect at all on the amounts paid in, unlike those of us who qualify for Social Security and Medicare.

Alan chimed in with (among other things):

The article likes to quote all the money the illegal immigrants are paying into SSN but it does nothing to quote the costs to the system as a whole that aren't being paid by them and are being used by them. Granted they are different branches of the Government but if I look at my situation I pay FAR FAR more money in other ways (taxes - property, income, state income, insurance, etc.) than I do in Social Security and Medicare. The net result is that no matter how much you want to whine about their loss of their SSN income you can bet they are far far better off.

Personally I'd much rather pay that money and never see it again than pay all the other things I have to pay, and perhaps have a chance at getting something (not really) of the SSN money back someday in retirement. It will never happen at that point.

He seems to think that only SSI and Medicare will be withheld from these workers. but that is not credible; employers withhold for all applicable taxes, or not at all. So what Alan is really upset about is that he makes far more money than the average undocumented, and that he is being asked to pay his fair share. Personally, I think his fair share would be quite a lot higher than what he is now paying, but he is upset even with the low taxes that have nearly bankrupted California.


There is more, these email chains never end. But that is all I have time for.


Category: wingnuttery | Immigration
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