HOW LONG BEFORE WE BECOME A NATION OF 50 CALIFORNIAS?
By Frosty Wooldridge
October 8, 2009
While you discovered the dreary reality of Detroit, Michigan—that’s only one American city! Commensurately—Miami, Chicago, Houston, New York, Los Angeles and others follow toward a range of similar futures.
Ask yourself, with 15 million Americans unemployed and 35 million subsisting on food stamps, does it make sense to import 160,000 legal immigrants into this country every 30 days and a total of 1.5 million plus annually? Especially when those immigrants cost American taxpayers (you) a total of $346 billion in resettling services across 15 federal agencies annually?
At this point in time, with 10 million legal and unlawful immigrants, California suffers a $24 billion debt. It cannot pay its bills. It sinks deeper into collapse as it adds 1,700 people per day, every day of the year.
Next question: what if all of our states turned into Californias? Given enough time, they will! Remember that U.S. population projections show immigration adding 100 million people to the USA in 26 years. (Source: Fogel/Martin March 2006, “US Population Projections,”)
In a brilliant expose’ famed economist Edwin Rubenstein wrote, “As California Goes - Facts behind California’s Fiscal Meltdown.” (Volume 19, Number 4, summer 2009,)
In it, Rubenstein illustrates California’s plight as the canary in the coal mine.
“The state’s top income tax rate—10.3 percent—is the highest in the nation, and this surely explains why the richest 1 percent of residents end up contributing half of all the personal income taxes the state collects,” Rubenstein said. “Even the state sales tax rate—a poor man’s levy—is well above the national average.
“The usual suspects—high spending and low taxes—are not to blame. In their place stands something far more fundamental: demographic change. An ever-growing share of California residents are immigrants. The vast majority of immigrants are from Latin America (56 percent) and Asia (35 percent). They are generally young, poorly educated, and mired in low-income jobs that do not provide health insurance. Their English is often rudimentary. They depend on state social services at far higher rates than natives or earlier immigrant cohorts.”
A whopping third of California’s immigrants entered unlawfully! At least half of them work off the books thereby not paying any taxes into the system, but their children tap into education, food and health care at an astounding cost to the state. In the last eight years, 86 hospitals and ER wards bankrupted out of business.
“Latino families are larger than those of other immigrant groups. Their children swell elementary schools but are less likely than other groups to graduate high school or finish college,” Rubenstein said. “Second-generation Latinos are also less likely to grow up with two parents, and more likely to go to jail or become teenage mothers.
“Many observers—including prominent Latin Americans—have concluded that the same traditional values that lie behind Latin America’s difficulties in achieving prosperity and political stability are being substantially perpetuated among Hispanic immigrants and their descendants in California. This implies that the problem is primarily cultural, not economic, and that fiscal measures alone will not suffice to solve it.”
California’s Immigration Tsunami
“Between 1970 and 2006 the number of California residents born abroad increased by more than five-fold, from 1.8 million to 9.9 million,” said Rubenstein. “Currently the state has a much higher share of immigrants in its population than the U.S. as a whole.”
For more than a century California has set the immigration trend for the nation:
“Using official state figures, demographer Leon Bouvier concluded that immigration accounts directly and indirectly for 98 percent of California’s population growth between 1990 and 2002. Direct immigration contributed 57 percent of the rise, while the rest came from births to foreign-born women,” said Rubenstein. “Behind the headline statistics are two telling factoids. First, net migration from other states has virtually ceased. Traffic congestion, schools, the water crisis, the state’s fiscal meltdown, are all a big turn-off to citizens of other, less troubled parts of the country.
“Second, the average California mother is expected to give birth to 2.1 children over her lifetime. This is the so-called “replacement” fertility rate which, if sustained over time, will result in a stable population. The devil is in the details: established residents and immigrants from non-Hispanic groups —Asians, Blacks, Whites, American Indians, and Pacific Islanders—are all reproducing at below replacement rates. Hispanic mothers, by contrast, are on course to have 3.25 children over their reproductive lifetimes.”
The Immigration Deficit
Once upon a time political correctness did not prevent Californians from discussing the fiscal burden imposed by illegal aliens. In the early 1990s California faced a sinking economy not unlike today’s. Social welfare caseloads exploded, state revenue declined by more than 25 percent, and the state’s budget deficit was an unprecedented one-third of total general fund spending.
“Caseloads continued rising even after the recession ended, a trend many officials blamed on illegal immigrants,” said Rubenstein. “In 1993 California Gov. Pete Wilson sued the federal government for the costs of state services to illegals—widely estimated at $2 billion ($2.9 billion in 2009 dollars)—arguing that Washington mandated the provision of such services while failing to prevent the illegal influx. Five other magnet states—Arizona, Florida, New York, New Jersey, and Texas—joined the suit.
“The issue propelled the drafting of Proposition 187, a state initiative denying certain services to illegal aliens. A firestorm ensued. Besides racism and anti-Latino bias, immigrant groups charged the Wilson administration with grossly exaggerating the net cost of illegal aliens on the state’s budget.”
The 1994 study found that the 1.7 million illegal aliens then residing in California and their U.S.-born children:
• Received $4.3 billion in state services
• Paid $739 million in state taxes
• Received about $3.6 billion more than they paid in taxes.
“K-12 education is the largest state expenditure, accounting for 40 percent of the budget,” Rubenstein said. “Enrollments have increased dramatically since 1994, swelled primarily by Hispanic immigrants and their U.S.-born children. Consider this: between 1994 and 2005 California K-12 enrollment grew by 1,054,806; Hispanic student enrollment rose by 1,009,489, accounting for 96 percent of the total increase. White enrollment declined by 246,220 students over the same period.” (See article.)
California Is Our Canary
California still has the nation’s largest immigrant population. But its lead is shrinking: In 1994 32 percent of the nation’s foreign-born lived in California; today about 26 percent do. Only 17 percent of immigrants arriving in the U.S. between 2005 to 2006 settled in California.
“Unfortunately, the same social pathologies that attend the foreign-born in California travel to other U.S. destinations,” said Rubenstein. “In every instance immigrants are, on average, poorer than natives, more dependent on public largesse, more likely to require remedial education, less likely to finish high school, and more likely to evade taxation and to be incarcerated. Throughout the nation native-born citizens are digging ever deeper into their pockets to subsidize public services for immigrants.”
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You may be interested, especially your kids, to see what happens with the projected 70 million new immigrants to be added within 26 years at current immigration rates!
Listen to Frosty Wooldridge on Wednesdays as he interviews top national leaders on his radio show "Connecting the Dots" at www.themicroeffect.com at 6:00 PM Mountain Time. Adjust tuning in to your time zone.
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