President Obama Dissembles and Defames

PinocchioNormally the U.S. President should be a reliable source of information. A free press can usually be counted on to call the president to account for any lies or half-truths. In fact news fact checkers have pointed out in recent months untruths or distortions uttered by him and have awarded him “Pinocchios.” But apparently that has not had much deterrent value.

In an interview aired on NPR on December 29, he said, “If you’re concerned that somehow illegal immigrants are a drain on resources and forcing, you know, Americans to pay for services for these folks, well, every study shows that’s just not the case.” [N.B. at least he recognizes the correct term “illegal” even though he disrespects legal newcomers when he calls the illegal ones “immigrants.”]

First, while some studies purport to show that illegal immigrants benefit the economy and generate taxes, it is outright false to say that “every study” comes to such a rosy conclusion. In addition to FAIR’s studies that document the heavy net fiscal burden of illegal aliens, there are many others that document the negative impact on American workers in employment opportunity and depressed wages and burden on social services.

Second, it is clear that the action of the president in providing work permits to the illegal aliens will aggravate that impact. Complaints by agricultural producers are already surfacing expressing their concern that their exploited labor force [made possible because they are hired against the law]may move on to other jobs where they are less exploited once they receive a work permit. That means they may leave the agricultural sector to compete for construction and service jobs. It is unimaginable that the president does not understand that greater competition for jobs is likely to depress wages and reduce opportunities for seekers of those jobs.

Obama also asserted, “Generally, these folks don’t use a lot of services, and my executive action specifically is crafted so that they’re not a drain on taxpayers; instead, they’re going to be paying taxes, and we can make sure that they are.” Who pays for the medical care received by indigent illegal aliens if not the taxpayer? And, who pays for the education of the illegal alien youth if not the taxpayer?

The president said that the amnestied illegal aliens are going to be paying taxes. That is at least a tacit acknowledgement that they are not doing so now – belying the claim by defenders of illegal aliens that they are already paying taxes. And, he did not once again dissimulate by claiming that the beneficiaries of his executive amnesty would have to pay back taxes. But, he surely cannot be so clueless that he does not understand that the income earned by most illegal alien workers will be so low that they will owe no income taxes and instead likely be in a tax bracket that receives the Earned Income Tax Credit – a payout from the U.S. Treasury paid for by those taxpayers who have higher earnings.

Saddest of all in the NPR interview was President Obama’s descent into the mud-slinging used by advocates for the illegal aliens. His use of the pejorative term “nativist” against his critics is nothing more than an effort to intimidate those who to disagree with the emperor when he chooses to parade around without being properly clothed in fact and logic.

About Author


Jack, who joined FAIR’s National Board of Advisors in 2017, is a retired U.S. diplomat with consular experience. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and has authored studies of immigration issues. His national and international print, TV, and talk radio experience is extensive (including in Spanish).


  1. avatar

    Jack…if you believe our press is free, and true to The must be a good naive citizen!

  2. avatar

    He couldn’t tell the truth if he tried. Last year Los Angeles County gave 640 million dollars in welfare and food stamps, more than 20% of their total welfare budget, to families headed by an illegal with US born children. We pay for their breaking the law. And the checks go directly to the parents.

    This is the same guy who says race relations have not gotten worse. Hard to believe that when Al Sharpton, one of the biggest lying demagogues in this country, is an “advisor”. Or the first lady who told her tale of woe a couple weeks ago in People when she claimed a white woman thought nothing of asking her to get something off a shelf.

    But the fact is that she told a different story on Letterman two years ago, including the fact that she went to Target incognito and the woman didn’t recognize her but couldn’t reach something on a high shelf. And of course, her charge of racism got the media coverage, but the real story behind it got almost none as a followup.

  3. avatar

    The Congressional Budget Office analysis of Senate Bill S.744 projected lower wages for the next 18 years if S.744 became law. The CBO is hardly a nativist organization.