June 5, 2007

'We're Not Being Well-Served'

Bruce Kesler does yeoman work today at the Democracy Project, looking through the CBO report on the immigration compromise legislation to understand its conclusions. He concludes that the CBO, which actually seems rather sanguine on the cost-benefit ratio of the bill, does not project costs far enough to cover the entitlement burden properly:

1) There’s some disconnect between the CBO estimates and others: The Center for Immigration Studies, in testimony before Congress, estimated that for 2002 that “if illegal aliens were legalized and began to pay taxes and use services like households headed by illegal immigrants with the same education levels, CIS estimates the annual net fiscal deficit would increase [from $10.4 billion at the federal level] to $29 billion.” Part of that is due to differing data, methods of analysis and laws considered. The rest needs further analysis. Nonetheless, although the amounts are not intolerable, of themselves, in an economy our size, they do weigh upon future service levels and taxation of already pressed citizens.

2) The CBO estimates only go out 20-years:
A Heritage Foundation analyst did a back-of-envelope estimate of the present value of future Social Security costs for legalizing current illegal immigrants, whose average age would bring them to retirement in about 30-years, of $2.5 trillion over 18-years of retirement, or about $139-billion per year. If even half that, due to greater than expected return of illegals to their home country and inability to qualify for legal status, it’s a substantially larger fiscal impact – on an already insolvency headed program – than any of the others. Other entitlement and social service programs for the elderly or ill would also be impacted in the future, as the normalized immigrants age.

Bruce also questions whether members of Congress have bothered to read this and other analyses of immigration by the CBO. He guesses few, and notes that the media hasn't covered the independent analyses at all -- and concludes that "We're not being well-served" by either the political or media establishment.

Be sure to read the entire post.


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Comments (11)

Posted by North Shore | June 5, 2007 8:41 AM

Where is the AARP when you need them?

Posted by Ken | June 5, 2007 8:56 AM

CBO report? CBO report?

We don't need no stinkin' CBO report.

Posted by MikeD | June 5, 2007 9:20 AM

'....concludes that "We're not being well-served" by either the political or media establishment.'

Been going on for years.

Posted by John | June 5, 2007 10:02 AM

What the heritage study does not tell you that the figure cited is very very small when you look at the total spending that would incur in thirty years. The total cumulative US budget over thirty years would be over $120 trillion. which means the cost of immigration would come to around 2 percent of the total budget spent during those thirty years. The $120 trillion number is very conservative. The heritage study also did not show how much increase our economy be over those thirty years with the immigrants. Without knowing how much our economy will grow with and without the immigrants it is a flaw study. Conservative must also be aware of the growth in this country and how removing the immigrant would effect our growth.

Posted by Paul A'Barge | June 5, 2007 10:45 AM

...questions whether members of Congress have bothered to read this...

bothered to read?

Bwah hah hah!

Posted by Carol Herman | June 5, 2007 1:59 PM

DC is a closed town.

Me? I'm just grateful for the Internet! And, Drudge.

On Sunday Drudge said that the DC crowds are "advertising" that this issue is one where the American people just went to sleep.

The initial wave of outrage is over. And, the senate plans to pass this dog.

Sans teeth. But a very quick influx of at least 12-million, if not up to 40-million new pieces of trash. Or whatever else you want to call this boondoggle.

DC is NOT a town of ideas!

I think, too, the donks feel they'll own Congress; even if some lame duck republican "wins" in 2008. Life can be made miserable for any White House occupant IF the donks decide to send the lawyers after every single new idea.

On the other hand?

That's the unknown.

When Reagan won, one of the surprising outcomes was that men like Tip O'Niell saw "the handwriting on the wall." They saw that if Reagan felt like it, he could crush any member in Congress. Hint. Hint.

That's what happens when a good man says you're unworthy to hold office.

Of course, we've got years of messes now to clean up.

But congress? They're in the dumps, again, too.

Will they lie themselves out of it in 2008? How many Blue Dogs will sway voters?

Because 2006 did something similar to what happened when Schwartzenegger knocked Grey Davis out of da' box.

Gray Davis actually thought of himself as presidential timber. Schwartzenegger, though, knocked him out of da' box.

The other thing? Angry people stay up, tossing and turning. And, there are lots of Americans, now, who are very, very angry at being "had."

Means that there could be a shift, ahead, in the political world?

And, some things from history actually amaze.

This idea of going all over the country? Started with Douglas, who lost in 1860. Lincoln STAYED HOME! Do you know why? Lincoln though the press would twist anything he said on the campaign stump; using it for guel in their pages.

That's why I think Fred's onto something BIG. Can he pull it off?

You're asking me to tell you what happens in the future? Nah. I can't do that. I can only watch. And, at least see that Fred's riding tall. Hasn't been tossed.

While it took about ten days for Wesley Clark to get tossed. By the pro's. Who then went and backed John Kerry. It's not as if the donks have a talent rich environment, folks.

Well, the Internet seems to work 24/7. I have no idea if a million people hear Drudge on any given Sunday night. He's heard in 50 states. And, he did run the headline that the senators were saying Americans weren't "hot under the collar" anymore.

Maybe, so? But I wouldn't bank on their not being enough backlash, should the congress critters "forgetting" they need to check with voters. (Whom most of them hate, anyway.)

Posted by Ken | June 5, 2007 2:01 PM


"What the heritage study does not tell you"

You missed the point. The entitlement programs are already headed for insolvency. That's a fact. If you add $2 trillion to the liability side, it hastens the collapse.

How do you explain that to your children and grand children?

Posted by The Man | June 5, 2007 10:21 PM

While it is obvious that we need to tighten our borders, the theory that somehow illegal immigrants do not pay taxes is simply wrong.

Jobs are offered by employers (farmers etc.) who are responsible for withholding money from each pay check to pay for social security medicare, federal and state taxes. If the employer is honest then he is taking this money and sending it to the government plus his share of social security etc. If he is dishonest, then he reaps the profit which he may or may not pay taxes on...but thats not the illegals problem.

Just like the rest of us, if we do not file a tax return we do not get any tax refund...period. If when we retire we do not possess a legitimate SS number we also dont get benefits.

Illegal aliens also pay sales tax in those states that have such taxes

If you want to get rid of illegal immigration then simply enforce the employment laws in this country..no jobs...no problem. But of course politically this is impossible, the same way it is for drug usage so we therefore concentrate on supply. Look how successful that aproach has been.

The heritage study simply makes the case that illegals get more benefits than what they pay in taxes. But note, that the vast majority of the states receive more federal aid then what they pay in taxes on a per capita basis (only 13 states pay more). This is largely due to the income level of each states citizens. In short, even legal residents receive more benefits than what they pay in.

Posted by Ron Hellesvig | June 6, 2007 6:51 AM

If our elected representatives won't even read an Intelligence Estimate before voting on a war proposal why should we expect them to read a CBO report before voting on an immigration bill?

Posted by Keemo | June 6, 2007 7:12 AM

I have officially made my move to Montana. Both Senators from Montana have just come out on the shamnesty bill; both are going to vote against this bill, stating that this bill doesn't offer true solutions to the border security issue, and both call the bill "amnesty" for millions of illegal immigrants who broke our laws. Tester is a true Liberal folks, but he knows how the people of Montana see this bill.

Don't let up folks; keep those letters moving.

Posted by Keemo | June 6, 2007 7:27 AM

Read this link folks....


A few tidbits:

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) released a list of 20 loopholes in the comprehensive immigration bill today which reveals that the bill is fatally flawed and will not establish a functioning immigration system in the future.

The list of loopholes includes flaws effecting border security, chain-migration and assimilation policies. The list exposes the lack of serious attention given to ensuring that the legislation fixes America’s failed immigration system.

“I am deeply concerned about the numerous loopholes we have found in this legislation. They are more than technical errors, but rather symptoms of a fundamentally flawed piece of legislation that stands no chance of actually fixing our broken immigration system,” Sessions said. “Many of the loopholes are indicative of a desire not to have the system work.”