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Former Sen. Bob Bennett on Lost Respect for Heritage Foundation

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We’ve written a few pieces about the Heritage Foundation’s complete implosion last week following the release of their panned economics of immigration study and the revelation that one of its co-authors believes that “Hispanic immigrants will have low-IQ children and grandchildren.”  At the Deseret News today is a great piece on the topic from former Senator Bob Bennett (R-UT)–one of the few Republican votes for the DREAM Act in 2010.  Here’s his take on Heritage, its downfall, and the “logic” of its study:

Last week [Heritage’s] reputation was severely damaged by the release of a very lengthy study on the issue of immigration. Its conclusion? “Amnesty” — Heritage’s definition of the immigration deal being worked out in the Senate in a bipartisan way — will cost the American Taxpayer $6.3 trillion dollars. Wow.

The real “wow” is the shoddy, perhaps even dishonest, way by which the report arrives at that figure.

Heritage concedes what every other study has shown, which is that our current population of illegal immigrants pays more in taxes than they consume in taxpayer funded services and that will likely be true for at least 10 years. The report says that net plus will turn into a $6.3 trillion net minus if you look at the next 50 years instead.

Here’s its logic: 1) The majority of current illegal immigrants are low skilled, poorly educated people who add little or nothing to the economy. 2) All of their children and grandchildren — again, we are talking 50 years – will be the same. 3) If we refuse to pass a bill that gives them and their children a pathway to citizenship, they will have no reason to stay in America. Most will start to leave around the time they turn 55. 4) According to our calulations, the few that stay will cost the taxpayer $1 trillion over 50 years, but if all of them stay, the price tag will jump to $6.3 trillion.

Bennett tells us a little bit of his own story to refute Heritage’s conclusion:

Who can predict with any certainty what will happen during the next 50 years? My grandfather was born into a lower-class family in England and came to America without a visa. He had only a fourth-grade education; Heritage’s stereotypical unskilled immigrant. Fifty years later, he was one of Utah’s most prominent businessmen and had given all five of his children a college education, even the girls, at a time when that was rare.

And Bennett’s conclusion:

Once a strong and respected force in the conservative movement, the Heritage Foundation is now being dismissed as nothing more than a political front for the tea party movement.

It’s sad to see an old friend go astray.

Read the full article here.