Mike Huckabee: Fair Tax Changes ‘Whole Idea of Illegal Immigration’

Mike Huckabee toured the Clow Valve plant in Oskaloosa, Iowa, on Wednesday.
Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

AUDUBON, Iowa — GOP presidential candidate and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is supporting the Fair Tax – taxing consumption rather than income — because he says it would “change the whole idea of illegal immigration.”

“One thing that does, it changes the whole idea of illegal immigration because it’s economically advantageous to pay the illegal because they can pay them less,” Huckabee said of employers who hire and pay illegal immigrants instead of American citizens.

It’s advantageous to the employer because he’s not taking out the payroll tax. If you wonder why we haven’t solved this problem, it’s because Washington doesn’t want to. The reason Washington doesn’t want to is because big business doesn’t want Washington to fix it because if they did, then a lot of people would lose a bunch of money.

Huckabee said big business would rather pay a foreign worker who isn’t paying the payroll tax that average American workers are paying “and the employer isn’t paying the payroll tax that would have been coming out of his company’s profits, so both parties of the illegal job benefit from having illegal immigration. Take that away, and you start solving illegal immigration.”

Huckabee explained why he supports the Fair Tax to factory employees during his visit to Quality Machine of Iowa, Inc. – a manufacturing plant for military parts and heavy equipment in Audubon, Iowa. He said the Fair Tax would eliminate taxes on a paycheck, so workers can keep everything they earn.

We’d eliminate taxes on what you earn, so if you work 16 hours, the government wouldn’t take half of the second shift of [what] you earn in a new tax bracket. It’s not fair if you work eight hours, you get a certain amount of money [but] if you work 16, shouldn’t your paycheck be double? It won’t be because you’ll be put in a new tax bracket and the way we see our tax system, you get punished for working twice as hard. That’s stupid. You should be rewarded, not punished about that.

Huckabee argued the Fair Tax works at the point of consumption – when an individual goes to purchase something.

Everybody pays tax at the point of consumption. So, when the illegal goes to buy a candy bar, he pays exactly the same tax you do. If he goes to buy a truck or a tire, he pays exactly the tax you do. You don’t have to pay anymore because right now all of us in America, we’re not just paying our taxes, we’re paying the taxes for everyone who is illegal. We’re paying the taxes for every criminal, drug dealer, prostitute, pimp and gambler who are not reporting their money to the IRS like you have to.


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