We always hear from our fellow patriots and friends in general that we should all contact our Congressman and be heard i.e. send a letter, e-mail, or burn up the phone lines etc. Having decided to finally take a stand while still living in the greater DC area for the rest of the summer we actually did contact our representatives in the House and Senate with a personal visit to their offices. This is what happened to us and what we thought of the undertaking.
We met with Alaska Congressman Don Young on June 19th in his DC office. When I arrived with my family, we admired the office and my Husband commented that it was like his dream den. The Alaskan Brown Bear on the wall was huge; though the secretary felt
the need to correct us and called it a Kodiak (it’s the same species for any non-Alaskans reading this). I had a meeting with someone on his staff, a Mr. Milott, and discussed the pending immigration legislation that was before the House. Mr. Milott said that the Senate bill wasn’t their concern, the House bill could change several times a day and they would not commit to anything until they knew what was in the bill. We accepted this as their answer and as our meeting was breaking up, we were told that the Congressman himself was able to give us five minutes and take a photograph or two. It was kind of him since that wasn’t on the schedule and we hadn’t expected to see him in person.
Congressman Young warmly asked where we were from in Alaska and how long we would be in town. When he found that we were there to discuss immigration not just sightsee and shake hands the tone of the meeting changed. We remained cordial but, the tone was now more to school the common man rather than exchange ideas with fellow Alaskans. He said he didn’t like our use of the term “illegal immigrants”; there are undocumented immigrants in Alaska, mostly Russians, that he considered nearly constituents. He told us a story about a rancher friend in the southern border state who found 100 dead immigrants on his property near the Mexican border. It was an obvious argument from emotion and should have been beneath him. He concluded with an opinion that the House and Senate don’t have the votes to move the whole bill through so, no cause for alarm.
Later in the week I met with a Mr. Burgerbest, from Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski’s office. He agreed in principle that retroactively declaring something legal was a horrible idea but, he had choked down other things that he had argued against in the past. They say 11 million immigrants are too many to deport; we don’t have the resources or the will to do it. They feel that they are being practical. Apparent consensus among congressional representatives has inertia that is hard to shift, even when public opinion is opposed. He argued that our harsh winters would keep most of them from moving in here, even with the Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) and subsistence hunting/fishing to attract them. The idea seems to be that it won’t affect Alaska; they are resigned to the inevitable and see no reason to be on the losing side of the issue. Perhaps it takes an Alaskan to recognize this attitude as an often misunderstood page torn from the late Senator Ted Steven’s playbook and others may not so easily catch it. We mean to say that when Alaskans hear about people in the lower 48 states doing something crazy, we sometimes say to each other: “Let them tear each other apart… it doesn’t affect us.” That’s wrong so, terribly wrong. This would affect Alaska profoundly, even if not another immigrant sets foot on Alaskan soil. Now that I have your attention, I’ll tell you why it’s wrong.
Alaska has the highest amount of Federal monies per capita coming into the state. That river is about to run dry if amnesty for illegal immigrants becomes law. Even our much beloved earmarks will likely disappear. People in DC who are used to running huge deficits forget that money is not infinite. Even the outgoing chairman of the Federal Reserve says we can’t continue quantitative easing indefinitely and announced a proposed timetable for backing away from it. If you want more data than that I have it, read on: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/21/bernanke-bond-buying-announcement_n_3479040.html
Decades ago the Austrian Economist Von Mises wrote about the political argument in favor of inflation. The leaders of a country perceive what they consider to be an emergency which will require large resources to address, thus significant sacrifices on behalf of the public. The public does not consider it as urgent or important as their leaders. They are unwilling to make the sacrifices that would be required, if they knew the true cost. Therefore the leaders use inflation to deceive the public about the real costs of the measures they want to take in order to gain public support. The cost is not less, simply hidden for a time. A section in” The Theory of Money and Credit” which explains how inflation works its way through an economy will provide you with evidence for the assertion that inflation is a hidden tax that falls most heavily on the poor. To understand “marginal utility” and the subjective theory of value, you also suffer through pages about how having more of something makes you value it less, and thus influences how you barter with it for what you want. If you expect a quick light read, we’re sorry it’s not, it will make you cross-eyed but, it is definitely worth the trouble.
For fiscal year 2012 the government took in revenues of $2.450 trillion and had expenditures of $3.537 trillion. For every $2.45 the government took in it spent $3.53(+). $225 billion was spent to pay the interest on the national debt. You are held liable for the debts run up on your behalf; the people in DC are running up your national credit card and the interest is eating you alive. If they were openly taxing you to pay for everything they want to do, you would be furious. Here is the credit card bill: 225 billion/350 million=$642.85 per person in your household, in interest alone. Follow the link you want the details: http://useconomy.about.com/od/usfederalbudget/p/US-Government-Federal-Budget-FY2012-Summary.htm
Look for a few minute at some numbers. The percentage of people of working age who are working, the ratio of people working to people on Social Security now, and the ratio of people working to people on social security projected ahead based on the baby boomer bubble, and the percentage of the population on food stamps.
Labor force participation rate was at 63.4 percent and has shown little movement on net over the past year: See table A-1 at (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf). This is down from a high of 67% between the years of 1996 through 2000. The participation rate is fairly stable and varies by less than a percentage point over several years. Looking at the December figures, the overall trend has been a decrease in labor force participation since 1998, with a brief rise in years ‘05,’06, and ’07 which has since trickled away. More data if you want it: http://data.bls.gov/pdq/SurveyOutputServlet
Now let’s look at population.
The number of people between the ages of 20-64 for every person aged 65 or over in the United States was 5.3 in 1970, 4.5 in 2010, and is predicted to reach 2.6 in 2050. These numbers actually reflect the number of people of working age who are alive, rather than the number of workers. It is obvious that if they were not born they are not working, but a look at the historical labor force participation rate should give you an appreciation for the difference.
If there are 2.6 people of working age (in2050) for every person over 65, and the participation rate has been between 58.1 and 67.2 over 58 years (1954-2012) then those not employed have been between 32.8% and 41.9% in each of those 58 years. (Note: the LFPA includes ages 16+, while the above ratios were calculated using ages 20-64) If you adjust the estimated LFPA up to compensate for removing the 16-19 year olds, a rough estimate of 1.82 people aged 20-64 (70% of 2.6) to 1 aged 65+ seems not unrealistic.
As things stand now, these people will bear the brunt of actually funding Social Security as the monies paid into the system by retirees while they were working have long since been spent. However noble or base the various politicians aims, the fund is stuffed with Treasury Bonds. The money has been converted into low interest loans to the government, backed by the full faith and credit of the US Government- promises to tax the public. The only place the government can get money to do anything is from your pocket, anything else is a shell game to disguise that fact.
Do you have 2.6 children to provide for you when you leave the workforce? You may be leaning on them directly, or asking the government to take their money for you (after deducting their bureaucracy fees). Obviously, Social Security will change or it will crash. The sooner we address the issue, the less drastic the changes that will need to be made. Adding more young workers by legalizing their immigration status does not help the balance sheets if they simultaneously take out more than they pay in.
“Many policymakers believe that after amnesty, unlawful immigrants will help make Social Security solvent. It is true that unlawful immigrants currently pay FICA taxes and would pay more after amnesty, but with average earnings of $24,800 per year, the typical unlawful immigrant will pay only about $3,700 per year in FICA taxes. After retirement, that individual is likely to draw more than $3.00 in Social Security and Medicare (adjusted for inflation) for every dollar in FICA taxes he has paid.
Moreover, taxes and benefits must be viewed holistically. It is a mistake to look at the Social Security trust fund in isolation. If an individual pays $3,700 per year into the Social Security trust fund but simultaneously draws a net $25,000 per year (benefits minus taxes) out of general government revenue, the solvency of government has not improved.”
Over a lifetime, the former unlawful immigrants together would receive $9.4 trillion in government benefits and services and pay $3.1 trillion in taxes. Deporting them would be expensive, keeping them would be even more so. If we don’t think we have the resources to deport them, we certainly don’t have the resources to keep them. We had better find the will. http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/05/the-fiscal-cost-of-unlawful-immigrants-and-amnesty-to-the-us-taxpayer
Food stamp rolls have grown. 15% of Americans are on the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program (SNAP). http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323699704578328601204933288.html
Between January 2009 and July 2012 Food stamp growth has been 75x higher than job growth. http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/food-stamp-growth-75x-greater-job-creation_660073.html
We are a nation of about 350 million people. A few are rich, but most are not. This is a bad time to even think about adding 11 million people to further drain our resources and burden our tax base. Reagan was promised 1 million illegal immigrants, and he got 3 million. We are being promised 11 million dependents added to the population, and it will surely be more. 11 million dependents added to a population of 350 million is 1 new dependent for every 35 Americans. Some of those 35 are retired, children, or on welfare. If the number is 20 or 30 million then it will be even worse. Whatever is said about restricting them from access to welfare or other aid, the ink will not be dry before some politicians are eager to amend the law to allow it.
Sympathy is no substitute for a legal system. Emotion is not a substitute for feeding your own family. We can’t do this. The resources are not there.
(military wife) out of state