Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint was on Your World yesterday to dispute a CBO study saying the immigration bill will reduce the deficit by $197 billion over the next decade, and $700 billion in the second decade of the law. Host Neil Cavuto made no effort to investigate the claim (and possibly antagonize Fox pal DeMint). Instead, Cavuto treated the issue like a he said/she said.
Demint began by calling the CBO analysis "a trick:"
This is a trick they use. They used it for ObamaCare. CBO said Obamacare would save our country money and we know it’s going to cost us trillions of dollars. The people who write the bill put the revenue in the first 10 years and all the expenses outside the window. This bill is going to cost Americans trillions of dollars, and it’s hard to believe anyone would trust this administration with another massive bill like Obamacare.
According to USA Today, there are plenty of expenses in the first 10 years included in the analysis - so much so that the CBO concludes that the real benefit to the deficit happens in the second ten years:
The CBO report said that over the first decade under the bill, the government would pay out an estimated $262 billion, mostly in tax credits and health care payments through Medicaid and the new health care act. But those costs would be more than offset by $459 billion in income and payroll taxes paid by legalized immigrants. That surplus would only increase with time, leading to the $700 billion reduction in the federal deficit in the second decade under the law.
Furthermore, there are big spending items around increased border security - which the CBS did not conclude would be particularly effective. Also from USA Today:
Yet the report's finding that illegal immigration will be reduced only 25% over estimates despite the bill's measures to secure the border could prove contentious.
The bill adds $6.5 billion to securing the southwest border, 3,500 new Customs and Border Protection officers and requires the Department of Homeland Security to build more fencing along the border.
Isn't it funny how nobody mentioned that cost?
Cavuto made a point of making sure viewers saw this as a friendly disagreement among well-meaning Republicans: “They say, that is Marco Rubio and others, who I assume personally like you, Senator, that when you talk about trillions in costs, you’re just scaring people away. You’re not factoring in how people who are off the books get on the books, start paying taxes, and all the good that comes to that. You say you are, and that they’re the ones who have it wrong.”
DeMint answered, “Heritage has done the analysis on this. In fact, we updated a study that we did in 2007 (when DeMint was in the US Senate). It costs a lot more now than it did before. Some folks are just projecting without any data and I have not seen any analysis that shows that over a 30-50 year period that this does not cost Americans trillions of dollars.”
Cavuto replied, “You’re talking about getting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, over the course of a lifetime. They say you’re not factoring in the fact that they’re going to be working and paying into that system over a lifetime. What is it?”
DeMint then made his disdain for undocumented immigrants perfectly clear. He described them as having “less than a high school education." He added, "The idea that they’re going to improve our economy and create jobs for Americans, it just doesn’t work.”
Who do you trust, the non-partisan CBO, or the right-wing, biased Heritage Foundation?