It was gut-wrenching (which in my case is a substantial event) to watch the senators prattle on in their idle ignorance concerning the manifold economic benefits that will accrue to the body politic if we can just cram a few million more uneducated illegals into the country. (I guess ignorance loves company.)
Beyond the Senate last week, in a remarkable example of intellectual integrity (in the face of the editorial positions of their newspapers) the chief economic columnists for the New York Times and the Washington Post -- Paul Krugman and Robert Samuelson, respectively -- laid out the sad facts regarding the economics of the matter. Senators, congressmen and Mr. President, please take note.
Regarding the Senate's and the president's guest worker proposals, The Post's Robert Samuelson writes:
"Gosh, they're all bad ideas. ... We'd be importing poverty. This isn't because these immigrants aren't hardworking; many are. Nor is it because they don't assimilate; many do. But they generally don't go home, assimilation is slow and the ranks of the poor are constantly replenished. ... [it] is a conscious policy of creating poverty in the United States while relieving it in Mexico ... "
"The most lunatic notion is that admitting more poor Latino workers would ease the labor market strains of retiring baby boomers ... Far from softening the social problems of an aging society, more poor immigrants might aggravate them by pitting older retirees against younger Hispanics for limited government benefits.
"[Moreover] It's a myth that the U.S. economy 'needs' more poor immigrants. The illegal immigrants already here represent only about 4.9 percent of the labor force." (For all of Mr. Samuelson's supporting statistics, see his Washington Post column of March 22, 2006, from which this is taken.)
Likewise, a few days later, the very liberal and often partisan Paul Krugman of the New York Times courageously wrote:
"Unfortunately, low-skill immigrants don't pay enough taxes to cover the cost of the [government] benefits they receive ... As the Swiss writer Max Frisch wrote about his own country's experience with immigration, 'We wanted a labor force, but human beings came."
Krugman also observed -- citing a leading Harvard study -- "that U.S. high school dropouts would earn as much as 8 percent more if it weren't for Mexican immigration. That's why it's intellectually dishonest to say, as President Bush does, that immigrants 'do jobs that Americans will not do.' The willingness of Americans to do a job depends on how much that job pays -- and the reason some jobs pay too little to attract native-born Americans is competition from poorly paid immigrants."
Thusly do the two leading economic writers for the nation's two leading liberal newspapers summarily debunk the economic underpinning of the president's and the Senate's immigration proposals.
Under such circumstances, advocates of guest worker/amnesty bills will find it frustratingly hard to defend their arrogant plans by their preferred tactic of slandering those who disagree with them as racist, nativist and xenophobic. When the slandered ones include not only the Washington Post and the New York Times, but about 70 percent of the public, it is not only bad manners, but bad politics.
The public demand to protect our borders will triumph sooner or later. And, the more brazen the opposing politicians, the sooner will come the triumph. So legislate on, you proud and foolish senators, and hasten your political demise.
Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.
In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.