Who "Pulls Their Own Weight"?

The top 1% of income earners pay over half of the income tax in this country. The top 50% of income earners pay over 90% of the income taxes and a large degree of all other taxes (property, sales, etc.)

Conservatives often argue that immigrants don't "pull their weight" in regards to taxes. That is, they take out more benefits than they pay into the system. The truth is, more American-born people do that than immigrants by far. This is not because Americans are fat or lazy (although many of them are), but rather it is designed into the system of taxation and spending that Conservatives, for all their grumbling, have so far done nothing to curtail.

What constitutes "pulling your own weight"? Well, it certainly constitutes paying for what you get. Given that half of America effectively doesn't pay income tax (over 150 million Americans) yet make use of things paid for by federal dollars at least in part, such as roads, schools (both primary and secondary) and other services. If you live in a house or apartment that isn't higher-end, you also aren't "pulling your weight" in regards to things your property taxes pay for - again, schools. If you don't spend more than average, you also don't pay into any sales taxes that the state takes in - again, not pulling your weight.

Not paying for what you get is bad, of course, but the point of this article is to point out that the problem is inherent in the government and policies that the American people have chosen, not with immigrants. So long as you have progressive tax codes, the welfare state and the government involved in every aspect of day-to-day life from the cradle to the grave, you will have a large segment of the population that doesn't pay for what it gets. This is the entire point of the welfare state and of government subsidized anything, otherwise the free market and charities would be doing it, not the government.

This is a problem that is in dire need of fixing. A free ride isn't something I believe in for anyone - foreign or native. Until Conservatives stop using immigrants as a scapegoat for the entire point of having a welfare state in the first place and start questioning why we have one at all, there will be problems much larger than any immigrant population we could take on.

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