05/16/2018

Trump's Restrictionist Policies Hurt U.S. Businesses Along With Immigrants

Nick Gillespie, Reason

Since he first announced that he was running for president, Donald Trump has argued that immigration is bad for American workers and businesses. Yet some of his toughest critics are small businessmen who voted for him but rely on guest workers.

Consider Eddie Devine, a Trump voter who runs a landscaping business in central Kentucky. In a recent story for the Lexington Herald-Leader, he says that it's been years since he could find American workers willing to cut grass for $12 an hour and that he relies on low-skilled seasonal employees who enter the country legally under H2-B visas. That costs him an extra $18,000 a year, but that's the cost of doing business. Now, though, his business is now on the chopping block:

Restrictions on guest-worker visas, which began during President Barack Obama's second term as immigration became a hot issue for conservatives, have gotten worse under Trump. And it's even more of a problem now that the unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in years.

Devine says he lost a $100,000 account because he didn't have enough men to do the job. He's worried he may be out of business next year if things don't improve.

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Thanks to "bracket creep," the inflation of the 1970s pushed millions of taxpayers into higher tax brackets even though their inflation-adjusted incomes were not rising. To help offset this tax increase and also to improve incentives to work, save, and invest, President Reagan proposed sweeping tax rate reductions during the 1980s. What happened? Total tax revenues climbed by 99.4 percent during the 1980s, and the results are even more impressive when looking at what happened to personal income tax revenues. Once the economy received an unambiguous tax cut in January 1983, income tax revenues climbed dramatically, increasing by more than 54 percent by 1989 (28 percent after adjusting for inflation).

 

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