Dan Popp
Tax illegal aliens
By Dan Popp
January 24, 2012

The good news is, we have so many problems that they're starting to cancel each other out. Take, for example, the issues of illegal immigration and insufficient revenues to the federal government. No one could deny that the government needs more money. Our honorable representatives are definitely not buying votes with unconstitutional and unsustainable giveaway programs. Their minor cash-flow situation certainly isn't another failure of socialism. Washington could not do with one penny less. All historians agree that, prior to the Great Society programs of 1964, all poor people in America "died in the streets." And we can't have that again; it would really stink up all of our shiny, newly-stimulated infrastructure.

Where can an honest, hard-working, down-on-its-luck government go to get some ready cash in this...um...economic recovery? Well, if we had no grounding in the concepts of private property or justice, we might look around and see that some people have more money than others. Obviously we've got to seize that. That's what Willie Sutton did. He was the guy who robbed banks because, as he put it, "That's where the money is." He would be proud to know that his philosophy is now a political platform. WWWD?

But those who do understand justice will say, "Wait a minute. On what basis does a rich man owe more money to the government than a poor man? Have all rich people committed crimes?" No, absent any legal convictions, we must assume that they came by their property honestly. "Well, then, perhaps they owe more because the government has to devote disproportionate resources to protecting them?" Again, no. "Oh, I know. They have 'benefited most from our system!'" Probably just the opposite. That big pile of money you're coveting didn't appear by magic. That's cash that customers exchanged for products or services in order to improve their own lives. In America, wealth usually accrues to those that provide the most benefit to others. (That's an empirical statement; you can look it up.)

I think that a thorough investigation of the possibilities will reveal that there is no moral justification for robbing someone just because he has more than someone else. And therein lies the problem. The government must have more money now, or we'll need to modify our public transit systems to roll over all the corpses (requiring further investment); yet some radical religious righters still believe in that antiquated THOU SHALT NOT STEAL thing.

Meanwhile, back at el rancho, there's the problem of all those millions of illegal aliens.

It's true that the left doesn't view illegal immigration as a problem — except perhaps a minor PR problem. You don't create "sanctuary cities" for criminals. And you don't fight voting requirements for a photo ID unless you want those criminals to vote illegally. But for people in border states, people who cherish the dying embers of justice, and people who may stumble across a real news report once in awhile, illegal immigration is a problem.

Folks often object, "Well, you can't round them all up and deport them," as if the fact that no law can be enforced perfectly is an argument for no law enforcement. We can't bring all rapists to justice, either; does that mean that we should give all of them a pass? The "You can't round them all up" canard leads to pre-failed solutions that run the gamut from amnesty, to definitely-not-amnesty-but-turns-out-to-be-amnesty, all the way to okay-it's-amnesty-but-there-will-really-be-consequences-next-time-señor. All of these are unjust because they reward, rather than punish, lawbreakers. All are unfair to legal immigrants, and all create an incentive for more lawbreaking.

So robbery is a morally wrong solution for the budget shortfall, and amnesty for border-crashers is equally evil. The real answer to both has been staring us in the face: Tax the living snot out of them.

Bring illegal aliens into court and put a 50% surcharge on them for the remainder of their stay in this country. If the highest marginal tax rate is 38%, theirs will be 88%. If that's a fair rate for law-abiding Americans, it shoud be fine for lawbreaking non-citizens. Better yet, make it a flat 25% more for illegal entry, and increase it 5% per year for every year the crime has continued. They'll never be able to vote or become citizens, and they'll never get a dime of that sweet government love; but they'll experience a kind of satisfaction that, up until now, only the rich could experience: The knowledge that their sacrifice has saved Americans from expiring in the expressways.

This is all on the up-and-up. The 13th Amendment to the Constitution states that "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States...." Confiscating the fruits of a person's labor as punishment for crime is not only permissible, it would eliminate the need to "round up" tens of millions of lawbreakers. It would ease prison overcrowding. Best of all, it would allow everyone in this great country to die with dignity in a free public Compassionate End of Life Clinic, rather than the nearest off-ramp.

The government must have more money. We can't deport illegal aliens. If both statements are true, the second problem solves the first.

© Dan Popp


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)


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