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Larry Kudlow is still not in touch with reality on immigration

Larry Kudlow offers "Immigration reform is pro-growth and pro-GOP" (cnbc . com/id/101685285). I'll briefly describe how it's wrong and what he's intentionally or not ignoring.

He writes:

Tea-party activist Sal Russo offered an eye-opening remark this week. He said: "Conservatives should be leaders in the immigration-reform movement." Then tax-reform activist Grover Norquist organized a media conference call in which he reinforced his support of immigration reform. American Conservative Union chairman Al Cardenas joined in that call, as did Robert Gittelson, president of Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

Gittleson is married to an immigration lawyer, and he is or was involved in the garment industry. He has at least one direct financial interest in comprehensive immigration reform, and perhaps two or more. Whether the others mentioned are being paid to take their positions aren't known, but would it surprise anyone if they were? In addition to not following the money, Kudlow isn't mentioning that the conference call was organized by [1] the Partnership for a New American Economy, a Michael Bloomberg group. He references a PNAE poll later on, but doesn't tie the two together. Is he just unaware of the link, or did he choose not to mention it? He also doesn't mention in the later reference the link between Bloomberg and PNAE.

Kudlow says:

If the GOP is to recapture the Senate come November and move on to retake the presidency in 2016, it must have a strong pro-growth message. Jobs and the economy are going to be key issues. Tax reform, regulatory rollbacks and a rewriting of Obamacare that ends the mandates and provides real health-care freedom to choose are vital points... But so is the immigration issue... Not only because it is pro-growth, but because the Republican Party must return to its big tent roots. It must follow the lead of Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. It must reach out to Latinos, African-Americans, young people and women.

Following the lead of Reagan will result in a repeat of the 1986 amnesty. Millions of illegal aliens will be legalized, but promised reforms will be undercut by the same forces that currently support amnesty and loose borders. Passing amnesty didn't help the GOP with the Hispanic vote; two years after Reagan passed amnesty, George HW Bush got 7 points fewer votes among Hispanics (Reagan 1984: 37%, Bush 1988: 30% [2]).

The "outreach" Kudlow proposes will mostly help the Democratic Party. Not only will it give more power to the Democrats and the far-left, but it supports rather than undercuts far-left identity politics concepts. No matter how the GOP gives in on amnesty, the Democrats will be able to undercut them. Even if most GOP leaders vote for it, the Democrats will make those who don't the face of the GOP. The GOP will be playing on the far-left's field by the far-left's rules, and they won't ever be able to win by doing that. The outreach the GOP could do is to Americans as Americans, coming up with policies that would help most Americans. That would be very difficult for them to do considering their move in an often-disreputable libertarian direction and that they still worship the "trickle down" policies of Reagan. The GOP could stop pushing policies that only help the wealthy, but the money from their donors is apparently too good.

As for mass immigration being pro-growth, why aren't our streets paved with gold already? All throughout the recession we've had high immigration, yet millions are still unemployed and 92 million Americans are out of the workforce entirely. At what level of high immigration would we see the high growth kick in?

Other parts of Kudlow's post are wrong too, but I'll just finish with this:

All the recent polls say immigration reform is popular. A survey by the Partnership for a New American Economy shows that around 70 percent of Republicans who identify with the tea-party movement support immigration reform. They back the idea of undocumented immigrants obtaining either legalization or a path to citizenship. And 76 percent of surveyed Republicans support improved border security and letting immigrants remain in the U.S., while 69 percent say they would also support a candidate who backs broad reform... Other polls from Gallup, CNN/ORC, Fox News, and CBS News agree. In fact, the Fox News poll indicates that more than two-thirds of Americans support a pathway to citizenship and reject mass deportation.

Kudlow is illustrating GIGO for us: immigration polls tend to be designed to deceive and give comfort to amnesty supporters, but don't reflect reality. If there's so much support for amnesty, why hasn't it passed by now? Why do politicians constantly have to dance around their support for amnesty, such as playing word games? Why are so many Republicans reluctant to admit that they support mass legalization? (For examples, see the many unanswered questions on the conversations page). If amnesty is so popular, we should see GOP politicians openly supporting it and winning elections on it. Yet, even some Democratic politicians need to find ways to dance around the issue.

A closer look at two of the polls Kudlow mentions do not speak highly of his intellectual honesty. The PNAE poll has various issues [4], as does the Fox News poll [5]. Wouldn't someone who was actually interested in what people thought demand better polls, rather than repeating unreliable polls?

Want to do something about this? Send this page or make the arguments on this page to @Larry_Kudlow. And, do the same with those who talk with or to him.

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[1] nydailynews . com/new-york/immigration-reform-luring-
strange-bedfellows-washington-article-1.1793922

Still later that day, and hosted by the Partnership for a New American Economy — a pet project of former Mayor Bloomberg — Russo held a conference call with conservative heavyweights Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, and Al Cardenas, chairman of American Conservative Union.

[2] rushlimbaugh . com/daily/2012/11/13/
history_shows_amnesty_won_t_win_hispanic_votes_for_republicans

[3] rushlimbaugh . com/daily/2014/01/10/
stunning_92_million_americans_not_working

[4] renewoureconomy . org/wp-content/uploads/
2014/05/National-Tea-Party-05-12-14-Topline1.pdf
#7 and #12 refer to "undocumented immigrants"; see the immigration terminology page for how that's a contradiction in terms. One wonders what response they would have received with the legally-correct term "illegal aliens". #8 is a guage of how easily someone can be duped; see How the Senate amnesty bill's border commission will be bogus and note that any anti-welfare provisions will be fought against by the very forces who'll get more power from amnesty such as the National Council of La Raza. #9 references something like the DREAM Act, without revealing its downsides; see the link. #11 is a false choice; another alternative is to actually enforce the current laws. #13 offers the deportations false choice.

[5] foxnews . com/politics/interactive/2014/01/22/
fox-news-poll-voters-say-us-still-in-recession-glad-know-snowden-secrets
This is the question:

Which of the following comes closest to your view about what government policy should be toward illegal immigrants currently in the United States? Should the government... SCALE: 1. Send all illegal immigrants back to their home country 2. Have a guest worker program that allows immigrants to remain in the United States to work, but only for a limited amount of time 3. Allow illegal immigrants to remain in the country and eventually qualify for U.S. citizenship, but only if they meet certain requirements like paying back taxes, learning English, and passing a background check

That too is the deportations false choice: it fails to mention attrition as an option.

Other tags: tea parties

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 12:56 · Importance: 4