President Barack Obama claimed on Thursday that an immigration boost would increase the nation’s economy by five percent after 20 years — but he declined to mention that the extra money would go to the 16 million new immigrants, and to employers and the government, but not to American workers or current immigrants.
“A five percent growth in GDP and a five percent growth in population, mathematically means zero net gain” to Americans and current immigrants, said Steven Camarota, the research director at the Center for Immigration Studies.
“It’s not rocket science — it has to come out that way,” he told The Daily Caller.
Obama’s forecast of a 5 percent economic was unusual, because his speeches and White House statements generally avoid using numbers or percentages.
“Economists estimate that if that bill becomes law, our economy would be 5 percent larger two decades from now. That’s $1.4 trillion in new economic growth,” he said.
Obama made his forecast during a speech intended to capitalize on his partisan victory in the October government shutdown battle. He used the event to urge Democrats and Republicans to rally around his goals of increased spending, higher taxes and more immigration. (RELATED: Obama spokesman promises more taxes, spending and immigration)
But he generally avoids using statistics that might allow his critics to undermine his forecasts and claims.
For example, Obama also used his Thursday statement to push for a fairer tax system, and for more government spending on schools and infrastructure. But he declined to put any dollar numbers on his tax and spending increase goals.
Similarly, Obama also said the nation’s deficit is decreasing, but he declined to say how much the deficit is now, how much it was in 2010 or how much it would be increased by extra federal spending he’s trying to win.
Obama’s forecast of a five percent economic boost from immigration comes from a June report by the Congressional Budget Office.
The office also predicted the bill would increase the population would rise by 4.2 percent, or by 16 million, in 2033.
The CBO forecast, however, may understate the population growth, because it assumed that only half of the current 11.5 million illegals would stay in the country.
When combined with existing immigration rules, the Senate bill would provide residency to 33 million illegal and new immigrants over the next 10 years, according to estimates by groups that favor and oppose high levels of immigration. Current immigration rules annually bring in 1 million people, very few of whom have any technical skills.
The nation’s after-inflation Gross Domestic Product “would be greater… by 5.4 percent in 2033 if the [Senate] bill was enacted,” according to the CBO’s report, titled “The Economic Impact of S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.”
Obama, however, declined to mention that the report also showed that Americans’ average incomes owould be pushed lower by immigration until 2031.
“Per capita GNP would be less than 1 percent lower than under current law through 2031 because the increase in the population would be greater, proportionately, than the increase in output,” the CBO reported.
Average wages decrease for the next 12 years, according to the CBO. The decrease would ensure that a larger share of the nation’s wealth would go to investors and employers, and less would go to the wage-earners and salaried professionals.
The lower average wage would ensure that “the income earned by capital would increase,” it said.
In turn, the gain by employers and investors would drive up the cost of the federal debt, CBO reported. “With that greater rate of earnings on investment, the federal government would face higher interest rates than under current law because it would be competing with the private sector for investors’ money,” according to the CBO.
Obama also ignored the issue of who would gain from the expanded economy.
Those benefits will go overwhelmingly to the immigrants, according to an April report by Harvard economist George Borjas. Nearly all of the $1.6 trillion economic boost provided by today’s 11 million illegals goes to the illegals, while “97.8 percent goes to the immigrants themselves in the form of wages and benefits,” Borjas wrote.
American workers and recent immigrants get little or nothing, Borjas reported. The remaining 2.2 percent, or $35 billion, would most likely go to employers because they can pay lower wages for Americans amid competition from the many extra workers.
Across the economy, competition between Americans and immigrants for jobs forces down workers’ salaries by $402 billion per year, and also boosts employers’ profits and incomes by $437 billion.
The extra revenue, however, also generates tax revenues for government.
For example, the CBO’s 2033 forecast says the Senate immigration bill will add $900 billion in federal taxes over the 20 years.
Since his inauguration, Obama has added $6 trillion to the government’s annual deficits and to taxpayers’ federal debt. Those debts add up to roughly $123,000 per worker, according to a study conducted by the Harvard University Institute of Politics.