Giving Welfare to Illegals

Giving Welfare to Illegals
By Robert Rector
Heritage Foundation | June 20, 2007

In criticizing recent Heritage Foundation research on the cost of low-skill immigration and amnesty, proponents of the Senate immigration legislation (S. 1348), including Administration spokesmen, have falsely claimed that the proposal would not give illegal immigrants access to the U.S. welfare system.[1]

While provisions of the Senate bill would delay illegal immigrants’ access to welfare for several years, over time nearly all amnesty recipients would be offered legal permanent residence and access to more than 60 federal means-tested welfare programs.

Specifically, Z visa holders would immediately be given Social Security numbers and would begin earning entitlement to Social Security and Medicare (which are not means-tested welfare programs). Some ten to thirteen years after enactment, amnesty recipients would begin to gain access to a wide variety of means-tested welfare programs, such as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, public housing, and Food Stamps. The amnesty process under S.1348, and the different stages of the process at which amnesty recipients become eligible for different government benefits, are precisely described in “Amnesty Will Cost U.S. Taxpayers at Least $2.6 Trillion.”[2]

The fact that amnesty recipients will have limited access to means-tested welfare in the first ten years or so after enactment will have only a marginal impact on overall costs. As the Heritage study states:  

The initial limitation on receipt of means-tested welfare will have only a small effect on governmental costs. Welfare is only part of the benefits received by immigrant families. Moreover, the average adult amnesty recipient can be expected to live more than 50 years after receiving his Z visa. While his eligibility for means-tested welfare will be constrained for the first 10 to 15 years, each amnesty recipient will be fully eligible for welfare during the last 30 to 40 years of his life. Use of welfare during these years is likely to be heavy.[3]

The Heritage analysis of the costs of amnesty was a study of the fiscal costs (benefits received minus taxes paid) of amnesty recipients during their retirement years. It concluded that amnesty recipients would impose a likely net cost of $2.6 trillion dollars on the taxpayers during that period and that these costs would mainly occur in two non-welfare programs (Social Security and Medicare) and in one means-tested program (Medicaid). The study explicitly states that these costs will not commence until 25 to 30 years after the bill is enacted.[4] To claim that amnesty recipients will not have access to the welfare system evidences an unfamiliarity with the provisions of S. 1348 as well as the Heritage analysis.

Defending S.1348 on the grounds that amnesty recipients would not be eligible for welfare also is hypocritical, because the position of the Administration has been to reduce the restrictions in current law on immigrants’ use of welfare. For example, the 1996 welfare reform law prohibited legal permanent residents (green card holders) from receiving welfare for their first ten years in the country. In 2002, the Bush administration successfully promoted a change in the law to allow non-citizen green card holders to receive Food Stamps after five years in the country.[5]

It is also claimed that a second study by The Heritage Foundation, “The Fiscal Cost of Low Skill Immigrants to the U.S. Taxpayer,”is an outlier in the field of research.[6]This study examined the net fiscal cost (total government benefits received minus total taxes paid) of households headed by immigrants without a high school degree. It found that these low-skill immigrant households, on average, receive three dollars in benefits for every one dollar in taxes paid. Low-skill immigrant households (both legal and illegal) now comprise five percent of the U.S. population and impose a net cost of $89 billion per year on the U.S. taxpayer.

There is one previous study of the fiscal impact of low-skill immigrants: the National Academy of Sciences’ 1997 New Americans study.[7] The findings in that study match those of Heritage research: immigrants without a high school degree imposed a substantial net cost on the taxpayer, and the initial fiscal burden was so severe that it was not erased by the earnings and taxes of subsequent generations. Even when the net taxes paid by the immigrants’ descendents over the next 300 years (roughly 10 generations) were estimated, the net present value to the taxpayer of low-skill immigrants remained slightly negative.[8]

The same National Academy of Sciences study also argued that low-skill immigration produced an economic gain, mainly by reducing prices. Most Americans, however, would find the reason for this gain unsettling: “There is a direct correspondence between the fact that some domestic workers suffer wage reductions and the fact that we gain as a nation” from immigration.[9]

Low-skill immigration reduces prices of some consumer goods because it reduces the relative wages of the workers producing those goods, including the wages of millions of low-skill non-immigrants who compete with the low-skill immigrants. As the National Academy of Sciences put it, “Although wage declines are real losses to the affected [non-immigrant] workers, they are also the source of a national ‘gain’ from immigration.”[10] A national policy that reduces consumer prices by reducing the wages of the least skilled American workers is hardly a recipe for long-term social and political stability.

The Heritage studies in question show that while college-educated immigrants pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits, low-skill immigrants do not. The best public policy would encourage the more high-skill and less low-skill immigration. Unfortunately, S. 1348 moves in the opposite direction.

Robert Rector is Senior Research Fellow in Domestic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

ENDNOTES:
[1] Interview with Tony Snow, CNN, American Morning, 7:51 AM, June 12, 2007.  “I understand that it’s important to try to total costs and benefits, but you have to take a look at the actual bill…. this bill does not guarantee; it says the people do not have access to the welfare system.”

[2] Robert Rector, “Amnesty will Cost the U.S. Taxpayers at least $2.6 Trillion,” Heritage Foundation WebMemo No. 1490, June 6, 2007, at www.heritage.org/Research/Immigration/wm1490.cfm. Since the publication of this paper, an amendment introduced by Senator Jeff Sessions and passed by the Senate has modified the bill to delay a Z visa holder’s access to the Earned Income Tax Credit. 

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid., p.6.

[5] The White House, Working Toward Independence: The President’s Plan To Strengthen Welfare Reform, February 2002, p.33, at www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/02/
welfare-reform-announcement-book.html
.

[6] Robert Rector and Christine Kim, “The Fiscal Cost of Low-Skill Immigrants to the U.S. Taxpayer,” Heritage Foundation Special Report No.SR-14, May 21, 2007, at www.heritage.org/Research/Immigration/sr14.cfm.

[7] National Research Council, The New Americans: Economic, Demographic and Fiscal Effects of Immigration (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1997).

[8] Ibid., pp., 334, 342.

[9] Ibid., p. 140.

[10] Ibid., p.141.

13 Reasons to Vote Republican on Nov. 7 — Copy the text and email it to your friends

by Mona Charen 13 Reasons to Vote Republican on Nov. 7October 27, 2006 08:54 PM EST
I can understand why Democrats are jazzed about November’s election. The polls combined with the fawning media (“Oh, please, Sen. Obama, let us kiss the hem of your garment!”) are giving them goose bumps such as they have not experienced since “An Inconvenient Truth” debuted in theaters.What I don’t understand is the seeming tepidness of so many Republicans. Yes, the war in Iraq is a long, hard slog. The world is not Topeka, Kansas (would that it were). A journalist pointed out to President Bush at his most recent press conference that the Iraq war has now been going on as long as World War II did for the United States. Well, yes, but we lost 407,316 men in World War II. On Iwo Jima alone, we lost 6,800. This is not to say that the deaths of our people in Iraq should be trivialized. But comparisons with World War II — in terms of sacrifice and terrible price paid — are ridiculous.Republicans have abundant reasons to reserve a spot at their polling places on Election Day:

1) The economy. More than 6.6 million new jobs have been created since August 2003. Our 4.1 annual growth rate is superior to all other major industrialized nations. The Dow has set record highs multiple times in the past several weeks. Productivity is up, and the deficit is down. Real, after-tax income has grown by 15 percent since 2001. Inflation has remained low. As Vice President Cheney summed it up at a recent meeting with journalists, “What more do you want?” The tax cuts proposed by President Bush and passed by a Republican Congress can take a bow.

2) The Patriot Act. Democrats and liberals mourn this law as a gross infringement upon civil liberties. Yet the much-discussed abuses simply haven’t materialized. The law has, on the other hand, permitted the CIA and FBI to cooperate and share information about terrorist threats — at least so long as The New York Times isn’t publishing the details of our counterterrorism efforts on the front page.

3) The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, to which liberals clung with passionate intensity, has been cancelled, permitting us to work on missile defense. In the age of Kim Jong Il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is anyone (except Nancy Pelosi) sorry?

4) Immigration. Republicans in Congress insisted upon and got the first serious immigration restriction in decades. On Oct. 26, the president signed a law that will build a 700-mile fence along our southern border and, what is more important, does not offer amnesty.

5) There has not been another terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11. Who would have predicted that on 9/12?

6) Libya has surrendered its nuclear program.

7) A.Q. Khan’s nuclear smuggling network has been rolled up.

8) John Roberts and Samuel Alito sit on the U.S. Supreme Court.

9) Those Democrats who do not want to close Guantanamo Bay altogether want to give all of its inmates the full panoply of rights Americans enjoy in criminal procedures.

10) Democrats believe in immediate withdrawal from Iraq. If they succeed in forcing us to leave under these circumstances, the United States will suffer a stinging defeat in the war on terror. The terrorists already believe that they drove the Russians from Afghanistan and Israel from Lebanon and Gaza. They are convinced they chased us out of Lebanon in 1983 and from Somalia in 1993. According to Osama bin Laden and those who share his views, we are militarily strong but psychologically and spiritually weak. Like it or not — and no one likes it — we cannot leave Iraq now without utterly and decisively validating this analysis. We might as well run a white flag up the flagpole at the Capitol.

11) Democrats would like to eliminate the terrorist surveillance program.

12) If Democrats achieve a majority in the House, Barney Frank will chair the Financial Services Committee, Henry Waxman will head the Government Reform Committee, and Alcee Hastings will chair the Intelligence Committee.

13) Democrats believe that the proper response to Kim Jong Il’s nuclear test is “face to face talks.” That’s what the Clinton administration did for years. It worked out well, didn’t it? 

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Liberal media allergic to American values

Liberal media allergic to American values http://www.JewishWorldReview.com |By Michelle Malkin CNN founder Ted Turner opened his mouth this week at the National Press Club, and promptly demonstrated why America needs Fox News Channel now more than ever.
Three years after the invasion of Iraq, Turner is still pouting about public displays of patriotism on American airwaves: “I mean, I just really wonder during the, during the last war, you know, what business did it have in the news sets to have the American flag flying in the background. Uh, I mean, it was like the news media covered the Iraq war, at least at the beginning of it, almost as like it was a football game with us versus them.”

Funny, I can’t recall Turner getting his undergarments in a bunch when CNN chose Saddam Hussein’s side and former CNN executive Eason Jordan admitted the global news network had withheld reporting on Baathist atrocities in exchange for inside access and protection of its Baghdad staff. Recall Jordan’s confession published in the New York Times after America toppled Saddam’s regime in April 2003:

“I came to know several Iraqi officials well enough that they confided in me that Saddam Hussein was a maniac who had to be removed. One Foreign Ministry officer told me of a colleague who, finding out his brother had been executed by the regime, was forced, as a test of loyalty, to write a letter of congratulations on the act to Saddam Hussein. An aide to Uday once told me why he had no front teeth: henchmen had ripped them out with pliers and told him never to wear dentures, so he would always remember the price to be paid for upsetting his boss. Again, we could not broadcast anything these men said to us.”

It’s fine and dandy for CNN to wave Saddam’s flag and carry his blood-stained water. But when Fox News sticks a two-postage-stamp-sized American flag on its screen? Only then will Ted Turner declare that journalism and reportorial objectivity have gone to hell.
But Turner’s disdain for putting American citizenship above “citizen-of-the-world” preening isn’t peculiar. It’s the prevailing attitude in our newsrooms. Remember after the September 11 attacks when Stacey Woelfel, news director at KOMU-TV in Columbia, Mo., directed his staff to “leave the ribbons at home” in order to show viewers “that in no way are we influenced by the government in informing the public?” Or how about when ABC News spokesman Jeffrey Schneider told the Washington Post: “Especially in a time of national crisis, the most patriotic thing journalists can do is to remain as objective as possible.(W)e cannot signal how we feel about a cause, even a justified and just cause, through some sort of outward symbol.”
Elite news editors shrug at their reporters’ highly politicized activities — from AIDS fund-raisers to pro-abortion rallies, environmental propaganda, and unhinged Bush-bashing (new case in point: New York Times reporter Linda Greenhouse’s recent moonbatty screed at Harvard University assailing everything from Gitmo to the Mexican-U.S. border fence). But wear a flag pin? Heresy!

When the New York Times blabs classified information about terrorism investigations and is reported to have tipped off FBI investigations of terror charity front groups, ethics mavens yawn. But when Fox News anchor Chris Wallace dares to broach President Clinton’s war on terror failures, the mainstream media caterwauling crescendoes. When Wallace is derided as a “monkey” for doing his job and Fox News head Roger Ailes’ weight is mocked, the civility police in our journalism schools shut their eyes and ears.

When insipid New York Times columnists recycle mediocre columns into their umpteenth books, they score multiple book reviews and fawning magazine covers. When the number one cable talk host tops the best-seller list (again), crickets chirp. Bill O’Reilly’s latest book, “Culture Warrior,” is as much O’Reilly’s story of success as it is Fox News Channel’s. O’Reilly’s fight against America-snubbing “secular progressives” is also Roger Ailes’. When the New York Times disparaged O’Reilly’s war on the war on Christmas as a manufactured hoax, it was disparaging Fox News Channel’s decision to listen to its audience — and respond.

The liberal media’s 10-year allergic reaction to Fox News is triggered by any remotely positive exposure to American values on American airwaves. Well, here’s to the next ten years of giving establishment journalism the hives. Keep Old Glory flying high . It’s driving Ted Turner mad.
 

We are biased, admit the stars of BBC News OK NBC CBS ABC your turn now

We are biased, admit the stars of BBC News

By SIMON WALTERS, Mail on Sunday Last updated at 21:11pm on 21st October 2006

It was the day that a host of BBC executives and star presenters admitted what critics have been telling them for years: the BBC is dominated by trendy, Left-leaning liberals who are biased against Christianity and in favour of multiculturalism.

 A leaked account of an ‘impartiality summit’ called by BBC chairman Michael Grade, is certain to lead to a new row about the BBC and its reporting on key issues, especially concerning Muslims and the war on terror. It reveals that executives would let the Bible be thrown into a dustbin on a TV comedy show, but not the Koran, and that they would broadcast an interview with Osama Bin Laden if given the opportunity. Further, it discloses that the BBC’s ‘diversity tsar’, wants Muslim women newsreaders to be allowed to wear veils when on air. At the secret meeting in London last month, which was hosted by veteran broadcaster Sue Lawley, BBC executives admitted the corporation is dominated by homosexuals and people from ethnic minorities, deliberately promotes multiculturalism, is anti-American, anti-countryside and more sensitive to the feelings of Muslims than Christians. One veteran BBC executive said: ‘There was widespread acknowledgement that we may have gone too far in the direction of political correctness. ‘Unfortunately, much of it is so deeply embedded in the BBC’s culture, that it is very hard to change it.’ In one of a series of discussions, executives were asked to rule on how they would react if the controversial comedian Sacha Baron Cohen ) known for his offensive characters Ali G and Borat – was a guest on the programme Room 101. On the show, celebrities are invited to throw their pet hates into a dustbin and it was imagined that Baron Cohen chose some kosher food, the Archbishop of Canterbury, a Bible and the Koran. Nearly everyone at the summit, including the show’s actual producer and the BBC’s head of drama, Alan Yentob, agreed they could all be thrown into the bin, except the Koran for fear of offending Muslims. In a debate on whether the BBC should interview Osama Bin Laden if he approached them, it was decided the Al Qaeda leader would be given a platform to explain his views. And the BBC’s ‘diversity tsar’, Mary Fitzpatrick, said women newsreaders should be able to wear whatever they wanted while on TV, including veils. Ms Fitzpatrick spoke out after criticism was raised at the summit of TV newsreader Fiona Bruce, who recently wore on air a necklace with a cross. The full account of the meeting shows how senior BBC figures queued up to lambast their employer. Political pundit Andrew Marr said: ‘The BBC is not impartial or neutral. It’s a publicly funded, urban organisation with an abnormally large number of young people, ethnic minorities and gay people. It has a liberal bias not so much a party-political bias. It is better expressed as a cultural liberal bias.’ Washington correspondent Justin Webb said that the BBC is so biased against America that deputy director general Mark Byford had secretly agreed to help him to ‘correct’, it in his reports. Webb added that the BBC treated America with scorn and derision and gave it ‘no moral weight’. Former BBC business editor Jeff Randall said he complained to a ‘very senior news executive’, about the BBC’s pro-multicultural stance but was given the reply: ‘The BBC is not neutral in multiculturalism: it believes in it and it promotes it.’ Randall also told how he once wore Union Jack cufflinks to work but was rebuked with: ‘You can’t do that, that’s like the National Front!’ Quoting a George Orwell observation, Randall said that the BBC was full of intellectuals who ‘would rather steal from a poor box than stand to attention during God Save The King’. There was another heated debate when the summit discussed whether the BBC was too sensitive about criticising black families for failing to take responsibility for their children. Head of news Helen Boaden disclosed that a Radio 4 programme which blamed black youths at a young offenders’, institution for bullying white inmates faced the axe until she stepped in. But Ms Fitzpatrick, who has said that the BBC should not use white reporters in non-white countries, argued it had a duty to ‘contextualise’ why black youngsters behaved in such a way. Andrew Marr told The Mail on Sunday last night: ‘The BBC must always try to reflect Britain, which is mostly a provincial, middle-of-the-road country. Britain is not a mirror image of the BBC or the people who work for it.’  

The Media vs. The War on Terror How ABC, CBS, and NBC Attack America’s Terror-Fighting

How ABC, CBS, and NBC Attack America’s Terror-Fighting
Tactics as Dangerous, Abusive and Illegal

By Rich Noyes, MRC Research Director
September 11, 2006


Executive Summary

In the five years since al-Qaeda terrorists killed nearly 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001, both international critics and domestic groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union have suggested that the American government’s tactics in the War on Terror are as frightening as terrorism itself. These mostly liberal critics portray the Bush administration as trampling on the civil rights of ordinary Americans, abusing the human rights of captured terrorists and acting without regard to the rule of law.Unfortunately, the broadcast networks are using this Bush-bashing spin as the starting point for much of their coverage of the War on Terror. An analysis by the Media Research Center finds network reporters are presuming the worst about the government’s anti-terror efforts, and permitting their coverage to be driven by the agenda of leftist groups such as the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights. While some on the Left have claimed the media were enthusiastic boosters of the Bush administration in the days after 9/11, the MRC found that network reporters began to question the idea of a vigorous War on Terror within days of the attacks.MRC analysts analyzed 496 stories that aired on ABC’s World News Tonight, the CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News between September 11, 2001 and August 31, 2006. They examined all evening news stories about three major elements of the post-9/11 war on terrorism: the treatment of captured terrorists at Guantanamo Bay (277 stories); the National Security Agency’s program to eavesdrop on suspected terrorists calling to or from the U.S. (128 stories); and the USA Patriot Act (91 stories). Major findings:■ Most TV news stories about the Patriot Act (62%) highlighted complaints or fears that the law infringed on the civil liberties of innocent Americans. This theme emerged immediately after the law was first proposed in September 2001, less than a week after the 9/11 attacks. Only one report (on NBC) suggested the Patriot Act and other anti-terrorism measures “may not be enough.”■ ABC, CBS and NBC heavily favored critics of the Patriot Act. Of 23 soundbites from “experts” (such as law professors or ex-FBI agents), 61 percent faulted the law as a threat to privacy rights. Of 19 soundbites from ordinary citizens, every one condemned the Patriot Act, despite polls showing most Americans support the Patriot Act and believe it has prevented new acts of terrorism.

■ Most of the network coverage of Guantanamo Bay focused on charges that the captured al-Qaeda terrorists were due additional rights or privileges (100 stories) or allegations that detainees were being mistreated or abused (105 stories). Only 39 stories described the inmates as dangerous, and just six stories revealed that ex-detainees had committed new acts of terror after being released.

■ Network reporters largely portrayed the Guantanamo inmates as victims, with about one in seven stories including the word “torture.” The networks aired a total of 46 soundbites from Guantanamo prisoners, their families or lawyers, most professing innocence or complaining about mistreatment. Not one report about the Guantanamo prisoners included a comment from 9/11 victims, their families or lawyers speaking on their behalf.

■ Most network stories (59%) cast the NSA’s post 9/11 terrorist surveillance program as either legally dubious or outright illegal. Exactly half of the news stories (64) framed it as a civil liberties problem, while 38 stories saw the President provoking a constitutional crisis with Congress and the courts. Only 21 stories (16%) focused on the program’s value as a weapon in the War on Terror.

■ ABC, CBS, and NBC were five times more likely to showcase experts who criticized the NSA’s surveillance program. Of 75 total soundbites, 41 of them (55%) condemned the program, compared to just eight (11%) from experts who found it worth praising. The CBS Evening News has so far refused to show any pro-NSA experts.

The debate is not about whether reporters can challenge a president and his policies during a time of war. Of course they can. But the networks have chosen to highlight the complaints of those who paint the Bush administration as a danger equal to or greater than the terrorists themselves. Reporters could have spent the past five years challenging the administration with an agenda most Americans share, demanding that the government do everything within its lawful powers to protect the public and prevent another attack. Instead, liberal reporters have opted to join the ACLU in fretting that the War on Terror has already gone too far.