The Fiscal Cost of Low-Skill Immigrants to State and Local Taxpayers

Source: Robert E. Rector, The Heritage Foundation, Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Immigration of the Committee on the Judiciary of the United States House of Representatives, Delivered May 17, 2007

In FY 2004 there were around 4.5 million low-skill immigrant households in the U.S. containing 15.9 million persons. About 60 percent of these low-skill immigrant households were headed by legal immigrants and 40 percent by illegal immigrants. The analysis presented here measures the total benefits and services received by these “low- skill immigrant households” compared to the total taxes paid.

In FY 2004, the average low skill immigrant household received $30,160 in direct benefits, means-tested benefits, education, and population-based services from all levels of government. By contrast, low-skill immigrant households paid only $10,573 in taxes in FY 2004. A household’s net fiscal deficit equals the cost of benefits and services received minus taxes paid. The average low-skill household had a fiscal deficit of $19,588 (expenditures of $30,160 minus $10,573 in taxes).

At the state and local level, the average low skill immigrant household received $14,145 in benefits and services and paid only $5,309 in taxes. The average low skill immigrant households imposed a net fiscal burden on state and local government of $8,836 per year.

The fiscal burden imposed by low skill immigrant households is slightly greater at the state and local level than at the federal level. The annual fiscal deficit for all 4.54 million low skill immigrant households at the state and local level in 2004 was $49.1 billion. Over the next ten years the state and local fiscal deficit caused by low skill immigrants on state and local governments will approach a half trillion dollars.

Low Salaries for Low Skills: Wages and Skill Levels for H-1B Computer Workers, 2005

Source: John Miano, Center for Immigration Studies, Backgrounder, April 2007

Technology sector employers, who represent the largest share of H-1B visa users, tell the public that the H-1B program is vital to their ability to find the highly skilled workers they need. Yet Department of Labor data tell a different story. Previous studies have found that the H-1B program is primarily used to import low-wage workers. This report examines the most recently available wage data on the H-1B program and finds that the trend of low prevailing wage claims and low wages continues. In addition, while industry spokesmen say these workers bring needed skills to our economy, on the H-1B Labor Condition Applications (LCAs) filed with the Department of Labor, employers classify most of their H-1B workers as being relatively low-skilled for the jobs they are filling.

This report compares prevailing wage claims and wages employers reported for H-1B workers in computer programming occupations in FY 2005 to wages for U.S. workers in the same occupation. Although the H-1B program stipulates that employers must pay H-1B workers at least the prevailing wage for their occupation and location, the results of this report clearly demonstrate that the regulation does not produce that result.

The findings in this report clearly demonstrate that the legal definition of the prevailing wage requirement does not ensure H-1B workers are paid the actual market prevailing wage. Employer prevailing wage claims and reported wages for H-1B workers are significantly less than those for U.S. workers in the same occupation and location. This suggests that, regardless of the program’s original intent, the H-1B program now operates mainly to supply U.S. employers with cheap workers, rather than with essential skilled workers.

Restoring Prosperity: The State Role in Revitalizing America’s Older Industrial Cities

Source: Jennifer S. Vey, The Brookings Institution, Metropolitan Policy Project, 2007

With over 16 million people and nearly 8.6 million jobs, America’s older industrial cities remain a vital-if undervalued-part of the economy, particularly in states where they are heavily concentrated, such as Ohio and Pennsylvania. They also have a range of other physical, economic, and cultural assets that, if fully leveraged, can serve as a platform for their renewal.

Across the country, cities today are becoming more attractive to certain segments of society. Meanwhile, economic trends-globalization, the demand for educated workers, the increasing role of universities-are providing cities with an unprecedented chance to capitalize upon their economic advantages and regain their competitive edge.

Many cities have exploited these assets to their advantage; the moment is ripe for older industrial cities to follow suit. But to do so, these cities need thoughtful and broad-based approaches to foster prosperity.

“Restoring Prosperity” aims to mobilize governors and legislative leaders, as well as local constituencies, behind an asset-oriented agenda for reinvigorating the market in the nation’s older industrial cities. The report begins with identifications and descriptions of these cities-and the economic, demographic, and policy “drivers” behind their current condition-then makes a case for why the moment is ripe for advancing urban reform, and offers a five-part agenda and organizing plan to achieve it.

The United States and Global Trade: A State Legislator’s Guide to Maximizing Economic Opportunity Through Trade

Source: National Foreign Trade Council, May 2007

In a special report issued today, the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) provided a detailed guide to state legislators on how international trade benefits every state economy. “The United States and Global Trade: A State Legislator’s Guide to Maximizing Economic Opportunity through Trade,” also provides an outline for legislators on the role states can play in developing U.S. trade policy and how state governments can maximize the benefits of trade for individual state economies.

Searchable E-book: U.S. National Parks List

Source: askSam

Search a database of over 400 National Parks from the National Parks Service. The U.S. National Park Service cares for and protects national parks. People from all around the world visit national parks. There are nearly 400 natural, cultural and recreational sites across the nation. This eBook provides name, location, contact information and a short description for over 400 National Parks, monuments, historical sites, and more. The text is extremely useful in a searchable eBook.

Workplace Organization and Innovation

Source: Cindy Zoghi, Robert D. Mohr, and Peter B. Meyer, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Working Paper 405, May 2007

This study uses data on Canadian establishments to test whether particular organizational structures are correlated with the likelihood of adopting process and product innovations, controlling for the endogeneity of the predictors. We find that establishments with decentralized decision-making, information-sharing programs, or incentive pay plans are significantly more likely to innovate than other establishments. Larger establishments and those with a high vacancy rate are also more likely to innovate. These findings are consistent with a model in which workers hold information about production inefficiencies or consumer demands that can lead to productive innovations and that workplace organization attributes facilitate the communication and implementation of those ideas.

In Brief: Assisted Living In Unlicensed Housing: The Regulatory Experience Of Four States

Source: Bernadette Wright, AARP Public Policy Institute, Research Report, April 2007

Assisted living is regulated differently in each state. In most states, assisted living is licensed as a single entity that provides housing and services to residents. However, in a growing number of states a new model of assisted living has emerged, in which the housing and services are separate. In this model, the building is not licensed, but instead makes arrangements with licensed service agencies to provide services to residents. Findings are based on a review of the laws and regulations and interviews with key informants in four states.

Preliminary Statistics for Law Enforcement Officers Killed in 2006

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Press release, May 14, 2007

Preliminary statistics released today by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) indicate that 48 law enforcement officers died in 2006 as a result of felonious line-of-duty attacks. Nearly half of the officers (22) were killed in the South; 11 officers were murdered in the West; 7 officers were slain in the Northeast; 6 were killed in the Midwest; and 2 officers were slain in the territory of Puerto Rico. The number of officers feloniously killed in the Nation was 7 fewer than those slain in the line of duty in 2005.

The 48 officer deaths occurred in 47 separate incidents. Forty-one of the 47 incidents were cleared by arrest or exceptional means. Of the officers killed, 12 were slain in arrest situations; 9 were ambushed; 9 were killed in traffic pursuits/stops; 8 were slain while answering disturbance calls; 6 were murdered while investigating suspicious persons or circumstances; 2 were killed in tactical situations (e.g., barricaded offender, hostage taking, etc.); 1 officer was slain while handling, transporting, or having custody of a prisoner(s); and 1 officer was slain while handling a mentally deranged person(s).

The FBI will release final statistics in the Uniform Crime Reporting Program’s annual publication Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, which will be published on the Internet in the fall of this year.

The Corporate Welfare State: How the Federal Government Subsidizes U.S. Businesses

Source: Stephen Slivinski, Cato Institute, Policy Analysis no. 592, May 14, 2007

During fiscal year 2006, the federal government spent $92 billion on corporate welfare. In the policy analysis “The Corporate Welfare State: How the Federal Government Subsidizes U.S. Businesses,” the Cato Institute’s director of budget studies, Stephen Slivinski, finds that billions of dollars are annually spent to cushion America’s largest companies at the taxpayers’ expense.

Slivinski defines corporate welfare as “any federal spending program that provides payments or unique benefits and advantages to specific companies or industries,” justified as remedies to market failure. Special interests argue that without subsidies, competition or an industry’s viability would be jeopardized. However, Slivinski demonstrates that the “market failures on which the programs are predicated are either overblown or don’t exist.” Large corporations including Boeing, Xerox, Motorola, Dow Chemical and General Electric have received millions in taxpayer dollars while playing paupers to the federal government.