I finally got a chance yesterday to watch Sunday’s “Meet The Press”…the one political show I try to watch each week. Obviously, there were bigger news stories, but in the interview with Harry Reid, he mentioned several times that the Senate Immigration Bill would reduce the deficit by $1T dollars….”go read the CBO report” he said. So I did.
Conclusion….it’s all complete BS. For starters…the “savings” predicted over 2014-2023 is $197B…$1.6B per month. Basically, a rounding error. So…where is the rest of the savings…you ask? Well, they predict an additional savings of $700B over the 2024-2033 time period. I thought it was ridiculous when our politicians started trotting out 10 year savings instead of annual numbers…now they are trotting out 20 year predicted savings? Why not 50 year…or 100 year estimates just to make the numbers look bigger in print?
Look…the truth is, nobody, not the CBO, not myself…not anybody can make an accurate prediction for 10+ years. Not for something as cut and dry as social security outlays, and certainly not for the amount of deficit savings for a proposed immigration bill. What they did here…almost certainly at Reid’s request…was to assume that the immigration bill increases the population over the base case, thus increasing GDP, and I suppose tax revenues. They go on to change their estimates about future wages, productivity, capital investment ect….I could go on, but the bottom line is, it’s all bogus. Harry Reid walked over to the CBO….handed them a list of ridiculous assumptions to process, and they popped out exactly what he wanted…a ~$1T deficit reduction over the next 20 years. Of course we know it will be completely wrong, and Harry will be long retired before he has to deal with the consequences.
I honestly could care less what happens with immigration reform, but I do think that this provides a very good illustration of why we are completely and utterly screwed in the long run. There is no honesty left in our government. Whether it is proposed legislation or policies, each side shows up with their own “experts”….each of whom are free to lie their asses off. The public then is left to decide not what is the correct or optimum path….but which side was the best liar. So…here we are…20 years later. At 18…we graduated valedictorian of our class…ready to head out to change the world and make our fortune. This morning, after years countless bad decisions….we woke up in a ditch…sick, penniless, homeless…looking for our next fix….lamenting about what could have been. Until we get a shred of honesty from our “leaders” from both major parties….there is no hope….we will continue down our dark path…making bad decision after bad decision. Such a waste…we are so much better than this….yet here we are. It’s just sad really. I grew up in the greatest nation the world had ever seen. My kids won’t.