Yesterday, Steve Moore, chief economist for the Heritage Foundation wildly inflated the cost of educating 50,000 undocumented children this upcoming school year. Even though Moore's own employer found otherwise, host Neil Cavuto did not set the record straight.
As Media Matters noted:
According to research from the Heritage Foundation, Moore’s current employer, the cost of educating a single undocumented immigrant child is roughly $12,300 per year. Therefore, the cost of educating the roughly 50,000 recent undocumented minors in the U.S. would actually be roughly $615 million per year, according to Heritage’s estimates.
But on Your World, Moore said, “I did some of the math here. Assuming that the number is right, about 50,000 kids who would be coming in illegally. If these local communities have to educate them, we’re talking about by my calculations about a billion dollars a year.”
Cavuto said, “You’re talking about all 50,000 spread out across the country. That’s what it would be.”
Yes, and Moore thought the federal government should pay, not the local communities because, in Moore’s words, “It’s a failure of the federal government in enforcing the borders.”
Instead of checking Moore’s figures, Cavuto gave Moore an opening to emphasize that the $50 billion would be spent every year: “The billion dollar figure that you came up with …That’s one year," Cavuto said. "The argument you hear against worrying too much of it that is that in a year, they’ll be gone. You say?”
“If they stay here and they’re here for 10 years and then they become Americans, we’ll get some of that money back, obviously, as they become workers and taxpayers,” Moore said. “But this just isn’t the right way to do it. I mean, It’s that simple. …It is unfair to put these costs on the backs of local residents.”
As Media Matters also noted, the $1 billion represents a minuscule part of the overall American economy, .006 percent, i.e. not the huge burden Moore was suggesting.
Yet even though Moore has previously made miscalculations, Cavuto gave him a stamp of approval by calling him an “uber economist, uber best-selling author, uber lots of stuff.”
Watch the misinformation below.