Grind for June 3rd
“Just remember, you can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets.”
– Arnold Schwarzenegger
Millions of illegals are receiving federal tax refunds
Thanks to an Obama-era executive order on illegal immigration, up to five million illegal immigrants who received Social Security Numbers can apply for federal tax refunds even if they never paid taxes.
These refunds are possible by way of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC). Both credits are “refundable,” meaning they are available even in cases where the individual still owes or does not pay federal income taxes.
When the CTC went into effect in 1998, parents were not required to have a valid SSN or even submit proof that their kids actually lived in the United States. In 2001, President GW Bush further expanded eligibility requirements for the CTC and increased the per-child credit amount to $1,000.
In 2006, nearly 800,000 people without SSNs received child tax credits totaling more than $920 million. By 2008, that total had increased to $2.1 billion.
In 2009, President Obama signed a stimulus package that further expanded eligibility requirements.
In 2010, the Treasury Department handed out $4.2 billion in tax refunds to more than 2.3 million illegals. Parents received an average of $1,800 in CTC refunds.
In November 2014, President Obama announced a series of executive orders that among other things allowed certain illegal immigrants to obtain SSNs.
With SSNs, illegals had the ability to claim EITC refunds. And because the IRS can audit for three years, the smartest illegals retroactively claimed the credit for three years.
It didn’t matter if they never paid taxes or never filed a return. They received the money anyway.
From the perspective of a legally employed US citizen who is required to send additional money to the government at the end of each tax year, this tax credit loophole is deeply frustrating.
Handing free money to illegal immigrants just because they have children or just because they fall into a certain income bracket is more than unconstitutional, it’s unfair.
The issue is particularly ironic for legal immigrants, whose taxpayer dollars are being used to issue refunds to illegal immigrants who aren’t paying taxes.
FCC seeks to decrease robocalls
On June 6th, the FCC will vote on a regulatory proposal to allow phone companies to automatically block robocalls.
A “robocall” is an automated phone call that delivers a pre-recorded message. Technological advancements have allowed companies to target thousands of phones every hour with minimal effort.
In 2018, Americans received an estimated 26 billion robocalls (up from 18 billion in 2017). Last year, the FCC and FTC received more than 4 million complaints about unwanted calls.
“The American people are sick and tired of receiving a flood of unwanted robocalls, and allowing carriers to use call-blocking services by default will help provide consumers with much-needed relief,” said the FCC.
Verizon and AT&T immediately expressed support for the proposal.
Robocalls are often associated with political campaigns and scams, but they are also used for legitimate purposes such as appointment reminders and public safety notifications.
Critics insist automated calls are crucial to business even though some people find them annoying. Last week, representatives from banks, schools, collections agencies, and healthcare providers met with the FCC to persuade the agency to delay the vote and accept public comment on the proposal.
“It’s important that the commission take a hard look at some of the proposals to make sure that they are appropriately targeted to address the problem: illegal automated calls,” says Mark Brennen, a healthcare industry consultant who attended the meeting.
In a separate effort to reduce unwanted calls, the Senate voted 97-1 in support of a bill that requires phone companies to implement more stringent call verification standards and increases penalties for scammers.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is considering new restrictions on calls from collections agencies and House lawmakers are reviewing plans to cut down on “spoofing” (when scam callers use your area code).
GOOD TO THE LAST DROP:
Did you know… Originally, Du Pont, Inc. was a tiny gun powder mill in New Jersey.