Monday, June 3, 2013

Whom the Gods Would Destroy

Mike Scruggs

The Greeks had a saying, often attributed to the playwright Euripides (480-406 BC), that seems appropriate to the Schumer-Rubio amnesty and immigration surge bill, S.477, to be debated next week on the floor of the U.S. Senate:  

“Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.”

Actually, this is a paraphrase by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. A closer approximation to Euripides would be:

“Those whom God wishes to destroy, he first deprives of their senses.”

I am writing this article because I believe the Schumer-Rubio bill is extraordinarily foolish, and if passed will condemn the country to rapid economic, cultural, and political destruction.

Schumer-Rubio or the Gang-of-Eight bill will give amnesty to 11.5 million illegal immigrants and result in another 22 million other legal immigrants and guest-workers coming to the U.S. in the next ten years. Having looked at the bill and studied the 1986 Amnesty, I believe these numbers are very conservative. Senator Sessions (R, AL), the senior Republican on the Senate Finance Committee believes the bill will result in at least 50 million new immigrants within ten years. Based on my own analysis, I believe a figure of 60 million is more likely. Amnesties beget more amnesties and accelerate both legal and illegal immigration. Based on the 1986 amnesty, we could have two more illegal immigrants for every amnesty given over the first decade.

Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation has estimated the cost of amnesty for the 11.5 unlawful immigrants would add $6.3 Trillion to our national debt of $16.5 Trillion over the next 50 years. But once amnesty is done, the political and liberal media pressure to accelerate the timetable of benefits and citizenship to newly amnestied illegals will be immense. It would have a high probability of being accelerated by court order rather than additional legislation. Both acceleration plans may be a part of the Democratic strategy even now.  So Rector’s $6.3 Trillion cost, terrible as it is, may far underestimate the extent of a national economic and fiscal train-wreck. Not just 11.5 million, but 34 to 50 or 60 million new immigrants would push the U.S. toward unthinkable inflation rates and social chaos.  Any U.S. Senator or House Member who could vote for this would certainly have been deprived of their intellectual and moral senses.

Only 4.0 million immigrants went through Ellis Island from 1890 to 1950, yet the Schumer-Rubio immigration folly bill would bring in 34 to 50 million immigrants in a single decade from 2013 to 2023. Whom the gods would destroy, they first deprive of common and moral sense!

Here are some statistics from the Heritage Foundation Report, based on 2010 BLS numbers that make our national immigration folly and fiscal irresponsibility easier to understand. The figures given are for benefits received per household versus taxes paid.  Benefits include government entitlements plus a share of services for education, law enforcement, public utilities, etc. according to National Academy of Sciences analysis standards. The Net Household Deficit for unlawful immigrants is staggering.

Unlawful Immigrants

Annual Household Benefits:   $24,721

Less Taxes Paid                                                10,344

Net Household Deficit                                   $14,387   


Annual Household Benefits:  $31,226
Less Taxes Paid                                                30,916

Net Household Deficit                                   $     310

Additional benefits for amnestied immigrants that come with legal status would amount to an irreversible and ticking fiscal time-bomb. Two-thirds of their income would have to be paid in taxes to reach the fiscal breakeven point.

The main reason for the large Net Household Deficit for unlawful immigrants seems to be education and skill level. Here is a comparison of educational levels for household heads of unlawful immigrant and non-immigrant households:

Illegals     Non-immigrants
High School not completed    51 %         10 %
High School completion         27 %         30 %
Some College                         13 %         30 %
College degree or more          10 %         31 %

In both cases, only those households headed by a person with a college degree or more paid more taxes than benefits received. Hence we cannot really afford our current level of government spending even for natives, much less for low-skilled immigrants. Yet even with 21 million Americans unable to find a full-time job, the U.S. Chamber and their allied business associations keep calling for more cheap labor. This has been going on for at least 40 years, and Congress has not had the guts to tighten the pipeline that keeps driving budget deficits higher and the wages and living standards of native-born and  naturalized American workers down.

Many politicians believe that anyone who is gainfully employed and pays taxes is a positive to the economy. Heritage Foundation’s Rector points out that these statistics prove this is far from the truth. As economist Milton Friedman warned, high immigration and high public benefits are in dramatic opposition. Amnesty would result in Social Security and Medicare going broke earlier.

Higher legal immigration and more and bigger guest-worker programs will not solve our immigration problems. Bringing in millions of immigrants with little education and low skills hurts our native-born and legal immigrant poor by driving down wages and reducing their job opportunities.

The demand for cheaper labor is not confined to lower skills. Business lobbying for and hiring of foreign job applicants is spreading like wildfire. Yet a Mckinsey Consulting survey indicates that less than half of college graduates can find a job in their major field. Even in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math fields, McKinsey found that 25 percent of graduates were in jobs that did not require a college degree.

Congress needs to help American workers and graduates and stop catering to cheap labor lobbyists.

No Republican that votes for Schumer-Rubio or its equivalent in the House should survive their next primary. 


  1. It just has to collapse sooner or later. Maybe enough will be left to start over and do it right.......