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  • Are Visas for India’s High Tech Companies Congress' New Cash Cow?

    Republicans and Democrats can always agree on spending more money. Their default position is usually not to cover costs.  But if they must, there’s one sure-fire political no-brainer: make foreigners pay.  After all, they can’t vote.  Next year, as Congress begins to take a closer – perhaps serious – look at the budget deficit, foreigners are going to be very tempting targets.

    Increased visa fees for high-skilled Indian workers were the way to pay for border security this year.  And yesterday, admittedly after threatening far more damage, Congress extended the increase by a year to help cover the health care costs of our 9/11 heroes.   Most of the cost for the $4.3 billion bill will be covered in theory by a 2% excise tax on foreign providers of goods and services to the U.S. government.   This creates problems of its own, not least of which, as incoming Chairman of the House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Kevin Brady (R-TX), and others, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, pointed out, is that it may be subject to challenge at the WTO:

    What makes the visa provision so egregious is that it penalizes just the sort of high end investment we should want coming into this country.

    Senator Gillibrand points out on her website that the 9/11 first responders health care bill “contains no new taxes on the American taxpayers or American businesses.”  And lest one believe that Indian companies are caught up in this effort accidentally, she makes perfectly clear that it is the “outsourcing companies such as: Wipro, Tata, Infosys, Satyam,” all Indian, that are the bill’s intended target.  Their crime, apparently, is that they are too competitive and too interested in the American market.

    Thus, we have a convenient, one could say genius blend of fiscal cowardice and fear of international competition.  Just the sort of thinking that is taking America from economically free to economically “mostly free.”

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Are Visas for India’s High Tech Companies Congress' New Cash Cow?

    1. Dolores says:

      The H-1B fees are nowhere near high enough to make up for the damage these superfluous workers have inflicted upon American breadwinners and the American economy. Want to understand our intractable unemployment figures, the fall in STEM enrollments by native students, and a thousand other struggles we never used to have? Look no further than this corrupt program. Most H-1Bs are not Einsteins, but merely ordinary white collar workers with common skill sets. Many are frauds, with fictitious resumes. The beneficiaries of these visas don't care about America, they just look at America as one gigantic pot of gold. Those of us who can remember what business was like before they flooded our labor market are lobbying for them to be gone altogether. Until then, if they don't like the fees, let them stay home and find a job in their own darn country! Then maybe we can find a job in ours.

    2. debug says:

      America needs to innovate from within..with heavy unemployment the government should cancel the following visas: H1-b, L1, OPT, EB1, EB2 and EB3 which allow foreigners to take American jobs. That's one way we can promote economic growth.

      All I have to say is: the politicians that dreamed up NAFTA, CAFTA, and the like including outsourcing must have had rocks for brains to have ever thought those things would be good for our country. How in the world (no pun intended) could fair trade (what a joke) with all those other countries be good for us!!! It was the beginning of unemployment when those things were voted in. Our companies took off for the cheap labor, and our people lost their jobs. Personally, I would rather pay more for things and have Americans employed than to have cheap products from China that don't hold up for long anyway!!!!

      Why is our government STILL bringing in 1.5 MILLION foreign workers a year ?http://www.americanworker.org/ The vast majority of foreigners here on guestworker visas are ordinary white collar workers with common skill sets. Why, why, why????


    3. Wakjob, San Jose, CA says:

      So when India wants to milk the U.S., it's "Helping America's economy", but when we try to prevent them from robbing us, it's "milking the cash cows". What a bunch oh hypocrites.

      The ffees should be $50K a head, not $5000.

    4. bilythompson says:

      The first new rule says you HAVE to have insurance. Both my husband and I have pre-existing conditions, and although the new bill says we can't be denied coverage because of it. So far, the cheapest health insurance we've been able to find is called "Wise Health Insurance" search for it online if you are pre-existing conditions.

    5. Walter Lohman Walter Lohman says:

      You don't get ahead in this country by holding the other guy back. You do it by getting training, selling yourself and working hard.

      As for paying more for products and services just in order to employ Americans, whatever their qualifications or quality of work, speak for yourself and leave others the option of spending their money more wisely. I'd rather have everyday low prices and use what's left over for other things.

      The truth is the freer an economy, the more prosperous it is.

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