NDN Blog

Simon joins Howard Kurtz's #MediaBuzz to talk Trump and Immigration, 2016

Last Sunday, Simon joined Howard Kutz on Fox News' MediaBuzz. He appeared in two segments of a panel with Amy Holmes, anchor of the Host List on Blaze.com, and Susan Ferrechio of the Washington Examiner.

They talked 2016 politics, including one on Donald Trump impact on the race and the media's response to him. Then the panel discussed the issues with the New York Times' report on Hillary Clinton's emails. You can check out both videos below, and be sure to follow Simon on Twitter for additional 2016 commentary.

Segment on Donald Trump, Immigration, and the Media

 The discussion begins here at about minute 2:00, and Simon's first comments are at about 3:30. 

Discussion on New York Times and Hillary Clinton's emails 

 

Important note on House GOP/sanctuary cities

As we prep for the House "sanctuary cities" bill important to note that due to House GOP's embrace of "King Amendment" that DHS would not be able to prioritize someone like the SF shooter for deportation. 

This is no small point.  If the House GOP wants to prevent future incidents like the one in SF, it requires that once a local community turns over a violent criminal to DHS, DHS would be able to rapidly deport this criminal.  This of course has been central to the Administration's strategy since 2010.  And of course the House GOP voted to roll back this approach, preventing DHS from prioritizing criminals for deportation in both 2013 and 2014.  In fact, preventing DHS from prioritizing criminals for rapid deportation was the only immigration the House GOP passed in the last Congress. 

On Immigration Enforcement, The GOP's Decade of Blocking Sensible Reform

This week we will see, even by Washington standards, a breathtaking level of cynicism from the national Republican Party on the issue of immigration enforcement (the data backing up the arguments in this piece can be found here, here and here).

For a decade now there has been broad consensus that the huge wave of undocumented immigrants who came into the United States from the early 1990s to the later part of 00s needed federal legislation to resolve; that this enormous influx has overwhelmed law enforcement and immigration courts responsible for managing domestic immigration enforcement, degrading the integrity of a system built for a much lower level of unauthorized migration; that local enforcement desperately wanted to spend their limited resources on going after serious criminals and not law-abiding, job holding undocumented immigrants; that enforcing immigration law is a federal not a local responsibility, something reinforced repeatedly in the courts over the past decade; that the passage of comprehensive reform would have created an orderly process allowing law enforcement agencies at all levels to better focus on the imprisonment and deportation of serious criminals.

As we head into a week of significant debate then on immigration enforcement, it is important to remember a few things:

- Since Comprehensive Immigration Reform was first introduced by Senators Ted Kennedy and John McCain in 2005, Republicans in Congress have blocked its passage on four separate occasions. The most significant instances came in 2006 and 2013/4, when the House Republicans refused to even consider sensible bi-partisan bills passed by the Senate and supported at the time by President Bush and then President Obama. Each of these bills would have helped unclogged an overwhelmed immigration enforcement system in the United States, making incidents like what happened in San Francisco far less likely.

- In 2010, recognizing that the primary method we had for helping unclog the overwhelmed immigration enforcement system – CIR – was not going to happen in the President’s first term, DHS implemented new enforcement priorities known as the “Morton Memos” which prioritized illegal border crossers and undocumented immigrants with serious criminal history for deportation. These reforms brought immediate change to the huge immigration enforcement system in the US, and have resulted in the deportation of more serious criminals and has helped keep illegal entries into the US at historic lows.

- In 2013 and again in 2014, the House Republicans passed legislation designed to overturn these smart reforms, making it impossible for example for DHS to prioritize felons like the suspect in the San Francisco shooting for rapid removal through the immigration enforcement system. And the House doubled down on this approach by threatening to shut all of DHS down earlier this year in a standoff over the implementation of these reforms, including the new Priority Enforcement Program. PEP as it is known was launched last year to forge a higher level of cooperation between federal and local law enforcement to more rapidly remove serious criminals from the country.

Finally, it must be said that the attacks on President Obama’s immigration enforcement record are ridiculous. The President has deported more unauthorized immigrants than any President in American history; after a decade and a half of the US absorbing half a million new undocumented immigrants into the county, the net flow of new immigrants on this President’s watch has dropped to zero (an extraordinary public policy achievement); crime along the entire US side of the border is way down, and the two safest large cities in the US today sit on the border, El Paso and San Diego; reforms initiated by DHS throughout the Obama Presidency, including a new round in late 2014, have made the deportation of violent criminals the highest priority for our immigration system. All of the policies used to achieve these outcomes have been opposed by the House Republicans, and further reform, comprehensive immigration reform, has been repeatedly blocked.

So a proper read of the last decade has been one party, the Democrats, have repeatedly advanced proposals and policy that have strengthened our immigration enforcement system and made the rapid deportation of criminals a priority. The other party, has repeatedly block sensible bi-partisan reforms which would strengthened our immigration enforcement system, and have passed additional legislation preventing DHS from continuing policies which have clearly made our border safer and immigration system far more focused on deporting murderers and not moms. If there is a national Party to blame for the tragic event in San Francisco it is far more the fault of the Republicans than the Democrats.

The national GOP’s effort to politicize the tragic shooting in San Francisco is an act of breathtaking and insulting cynicism. For a decade now they have blocked reforms and legislation designed to make incidents like this one far less likely. The new legislation being discussed to crack down on “Sanctuary Cities” will only make a terribly broken system worse, it will generate enormous political ill-will between local and federal law enforcement making the management of our entire national system far more difficult. These bills are hasty, political and ill-thought out. They will only make a serious national problem far worse and seemed far more designed to change the subject from Donald Trump’s recent attacks on legal, law abiding immigrants to the US than to solve a vexing national problem made far worse by their refusal to advance sensible reform over a decade of intense debate. 

If indeed the national Republican Party is serious about building on the extraordinary gains we’ve made in immigration enforcement in recent years, it can:

1) Pass comprehensive reform. HR15 introduced by the Democrats last year included the GOP’s Homeland Security Committee’s package of immigration enforcement provisions. CIR will help allow law enforcement and immigration courts to better target and more rapidly remove serious threats to public safety

2) Fully fund and support the post Morton era reforms by DHS, including the expansion of PEP. These reforms have already produced real results and improvements in border security and domestic enforcement.

3) Fund the Administration’s Central America proposal to help staunch the flow of unauthorized migrants from nearby El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Last summer the House GOP deeply politicized the border crisis, and is now unwilling to follow through on sensible investments which will make future events like this far less likely while improving regional security and economic growth.

This latest focus on "Sanctuary Cities" is another disappointing episode in the GOP's decade long commitment on immigration reform to put politics over smart, sound solutions to a vexing national challenge. 

 

Video: On O'Reilly, Simon discusses President Obama's record on terrorism

On Friday, July 17th, Simon appeared on the O'Reilly Factor to discuss President Obama's use of language and the impact of his policies on combating terrorism. Simon makes a strong argument about how to correctly describe who the U.S. is fighting against. Check out the full segment below:

 

New Study on The Paul-Boxer "Invest in Transportation Act"

Today, NDN is proud to release a timely new study of the economic implications of the “Invest in Transportation Act” sponsored by Senator Rand Paul and Barbara Boxer. The study, “The Revenue And Economic Effects of the Paul Boxer Plan To Encourage the Repatriation of Foreign-Source Earnings by U.S. Multinational Corporations,” is co-authored by Dr. Robert Shapiro of NDN and the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy, and Dr. Aparna Mathur of the American Enterprise Institute. Their rigorous study predicts that the passage and implementation of the Paul-Boxer bill would provide substantial revenues for future highway and infrastructure investment, boost GDP growth and potentially create large numbers of new U.S. jobs.

A PDF version of the study can be found at the bottom of this post. 

The study analyzes extensive data from the 2004 Homeland Investment Act, the repatriation-related part of the American Job Creation Act of 2004, as a benchmark to project what would happen with the implementation of Paul-Boxer. Among the study’s main findings:

  • $1.45 trillion would be repatriated from foreign sources to the United States over the 5-year term of Paul-Boxer.
  • These huge repatriations would generate revenue gains totaling $68.9 billion over five years for the Highway Trust Fund. This addition $68.9 billion in infrastructure investment would generate between $138b and $172b in additional GDP.
  • The Paul-Boxer provision directing that 25% of repatriated funds must be used for specified purposes, including job creation and capital investment, would direct $350b over five years for those purposes, producing an additional $520b in GDP.
  • The $1.1 trillion in repatriated funds not subject to those requirements would generate at least $1.1 trillion in additional GDP.
  • All told, the GDP gains related to the bill would be sufficient to increase GDP by 1.7 percent per-year over the five years.
  • Based on past experience and the terms of Paul-Boxer, the additional funds used for job-related purposes --- hiring, wage increases, and training costs – could support the creation of millions of new jobs over five years.
  • The use of the funds repatriated under Paul-Boxer would generate additional revenues of some $63.4 billion over five years.

These findings are drawn directly from IRS data on what actually happened under the 2004 Homeland Investment , and directly challenge the way in the Joint Committee on Taxation has approached the repatriation of foreign source earnings. From the study’s conclusion:

“This study has analyzed the assumptions used by the JCT to produce those forecasts and tested them against the experience with the one instance in which Congress enacted a one-year tax incentive encouraging such repatriations, the Homeland Investment Act of 2004. The IRS data from that experiment are inconsistent with the JCT revenue estimates. The HIA induced U.S. multinationals to repatriate much greater foreign earnings than forecast by the JCT, including earnings eligible for the HIA's temporary deduction and earnings that did not qualify for the special tax incentives. As a result, the revenues gains during the term of the HIA were substantially greater than JCT had assumed. In addition, the IRS data showed that in the five years following the HIA, U.S. firms did not reduce their repatriations relative to the pre-HIA baseline, as JCT had assumed they would, but actually accelerated relative to the baseline. As a result, the revenue losses that JCT had assumed would occur once the HIA expired did not occur…..This analysis, based on all of the available data and other evidence, demonstrate that the JCT forecast of the revenue effects of Paul-Boxer is fundamentally flawed. The proposal would result in the injection of at least $1.45 trillion in additional resources for the U.S. economy, producing substantial revenue gains and economic benefits.”

It is our hope that this more accurate forecast of the economic and revenue effects of repatriated foreign source earnings of US multinationals will make the passage of a bipartisan, long term Highway Trust Fund bill more likely this year.

Hispanic Uninsured Rate Plummets, Millions Gain Coverage

Last week, we released a study showing how millions of Hispanics gained jobs under Presidents Clinton and Obama, and millions lost their jobs under the last two Presidents Bush. The contrast was stark, and reiterated how much the lives of Hispanics have improved under the last two Democratic Presidents.

But as we’ve seen significant improvements in the economic wellbeing of Hispanics in recent years, the story is even more dramatic when you factor in the impact of Affordable Care Act. According to Gallup, in the first eighteen months of the ACA, the Hispanic uninsured rate has dropped by a quarter, from 38% to 29%. In raw numbers, this means that close to 4 million Hispanics have gained health insurance in the very early days of the ACA. By comparison, this is more people than estimates believe will take advantage of the new DAPA/DACA programs – so it is a very large number indeed.

Taken together, it suggests the last few years have been very good ones for Hispanics in the United States - millions of Hispanics have landed a new job while millions have also gained health insurance.

Of course, Hispanics, and all Americans were told by Republicans that this would not happen – that the ACA itself would fail to provide the coverage promised by the Administration, and it would slow the economy. In fact the exact opposite has happened, something we noted in another study we produced a few months ago called, “The GOP Got It Spectacularly Wrong on the ACA.”

The implications of all this on 2016 could be significant. The message from the likely GOP ticket next year will one of rolling back these gains by adopting an economic approach that led to significant unemployment of Hispanics in each of the last two GOP Administrations, and the direct stripping of at least 4 million Hispanics of health insurance they have recently acquired (and perhaps more by the fall of 2016). As we wrote recently, this is another reason why the “hole is very deep” for the GOP with this critical part of the electorate.

For more, see some illustrative graphs below:

President Obama Announces Nuclear Deal with Iran

This morning, President Obama announced that the United States and its partners (P5 + 1) reached an agreement with Iran on its nuclear program. There will be much punditry and debate. For now, we encourage you to read the President's statement on the deal and this video of his speech.

 

Backgrounder: The GOP, Trump and Hispanics

With Donald Trump putting the issue of our changing demography front and center in the 2016 Presidential election, we’ve put together some of work in this area to help our community make better sense of it all.

Polling/Analysis

"Unintended consequences: Could Trump wake sleeping Latino vote?" Carla Marinucci, San Francisco Chronicle, 7/19/15. Marinucci writes on the impact of Trump on the GOP primary, coming from a historical perspective of how the GOP lost Latinos in California for a generation, and interviews Simon on the political fallout for the Republicans. 

"Poll finds Hispanic disapproval of Trump rhetoric on illegal immigrants," Dan Balz and Peyton Craighill, Washington Post, 7/16/15. 

Univision: The Latino Vote, Bendixen & Amandi International for Univision Noticas, 7/16/15. 

"How Durable Is The Democratic Advantage Among Latinos?" Greg Sargent, Washington Post, 7/7/15. Sargent interviews Simon on the Hispanic Vote and potential GOP tickets for 2016.

NDN Materials

Memo: On Immigration Enforcement, The GOP's Decade of Blocking Sensible Reform, Simon Rosenberg, 7/21/15.

Hispanic Uninsured Rate Plummets, Millions Gain Coverage, Corey Cantor, 7/15/15.

"Gallup: 1/4th of Hispanics adults gained insurance in the past 18 months thanks to the ACA," Simon Rosenberg, 7/10/15. 

NDN Memo on "Hispanic Unemployment Rate Bushes vs. Obama/Clinton," Corey Cantor, 7/7/15. As in the broader population, for Hispanics things have gotten far better under recent Democrats and far worse under recent Republicans.  

"The GOP's Hispanic Problem - The Hole Is Very Deep,"Simon Rosenberg, 5/5/15. While the GOP may be able to put a promising candidate on the ticket in 2016, the hole they've dug with Hispanic voters is very deep, and will be hard to dig out of next year.

"The State of Immigration in America," Simon Rosenberg, MSNBC, 01/18/15. After 50 years, it is time to declare Hispanic immigration into the US a success? 

""Thoughts on the New ICE Enforcement and Removals Report," 12/19/14. A  report released by ICE contains another year of data showing how Obama era policies have made our immigration system better and border safer.

"The Battle over Immigration Action is Just Beginning," Simon Rosenberg and David Leopold, MSNBC, 11/19/14.  Simon and David write about the steps that President Obama took to improve the US immigration system and the legal battles ahead.  

NDN Report on Central American Migrants, Obama Border/Immigration Enforcement Record, 7/18/14. NDN/NPI's report finds that the Obama Administration has made the border safer, the immigration system better while dramatically expanding trade with Mexico.  

Related Issues

"NDN Offers a Path Forward on Puerto Rico," Simon Rosenberg and Rob Shapiro, Fusion/Univision, 7/8/15. We tried to look beyond the short-term, limited fiscal measures at hand, and towards a longer term strategy for the Island that can help reverse its current, economic “death spiral.” 

"A New Day for the United States and Cuba," Simon Rosenberg, 12/17/14. The Obama Administration’s historic policy changes towards Cuba will be good for the US, the Cuban people and for the hemisphere.  

Classic Articles

""Forward, or Backward?" My Letras Libres Article on The Choice America Faces," Simon Rosenberg, Letras Libres, 10/25/12. The English language version of my major essay about the 2012 elections which originally appeared in the October issue of the Mexico City based Spanish language journal, Letras Libres.

"On Obama, Race, and the End of the Southern Strategy," Simon Rosenberg, Huffington Post, 1/8/08. Liberating American politics from the pernicious era of the Southern Strategy should be one the highest strategic priorities for left-of-center politics.

"The 50 Year Strategy: A New Progressive Era (No, Really!)" Simon Rosenberg and Peter Leyden, Mother Jones, 11/07. The article lays out a grand strategy for how today's Democrats could build a lasting electoral majority and today's progressives could seize the new media, build off new constituencies like Hispanics and the millennial generation, and solve the urgent governing challenges of our times.

NDN Offers a Path Forward on Puerto Rico

Last summer, Rob Shapiro and I became alarmed at the economic news coming out of Puerto Rico and decided to do something about it. Over that summer and the following fall, we produced a series of papers and essays about the worsening fiscal and economic crisis there. We also briefed folks around town, including key advisors in the Obama Administration.

Due to the growing interest in these issues, we send along one of our essays from last year, an English language op-ed which ran on the Fusion website (it below and here). You can find a Spanish language companion here which ran on Univision’s site, and the full paper from Rob which we reference here. Rob is a recognized international expert in sovereign debt crises and has advised the IMF on Western Hemisphere economies. As people think about what to do next, we tried to look beyond the short-term, limited fiscal measures at hand, and towards a longer term strategy for the Island that can help reverse its current, economic “death spiral.”

Rob has also written on the economic situation in Greece, which you can find here.

"To Restore Prosperity, Puerto Rico Should Look to Ireland"

Submitted by Simon Rosenberg and Robert Shapiro on 9/17/14

How much longer will the people of Puerto Rico have to live with failed economic policies? It must be clear by now that the Commonwealth reliance on U.S. corporate tax preferences for U.S. companies locating operations there ran its course many years ago. Low tax rates matter to foreign investors, but it’s time for Puerto Rico to expand its horizons well beyond the United States. Rather, the Island should consider the example of Ireland, which a generation ago was the poorest member of the European Union (EU) – and became one of its most prosperous members by 2006.

In the late 1980s, Irish policy planners recognized that the fastest way to modernize their economy and turbo-charge productivity and growth was large-scale foreign direct investment (FDI). They also knew that with scores of middle-income countries vying for FDI, Ireland needed a comparative advantage. So they offered up Ireland as a low-wage, low-cost platform for multinationals from everywhere but Europe to enter the huge EU market. But they also had to make Ireland the most attractive place in the region for foreign investment. So in addition to the tax breaks that countries offered, the Irish government ramped up its public investments in modern infrastructure, they created 10 "enterprise zones" for foreign investors and equipped each zone with a new institution for advanced training and education, and they rolled out an array of special services and subsidies for foreign multinationals. The program even included helping foreign companies find the best locations and workers to meet their needs and providing relief from selected regulations and taxes for individual companies.

From 1987 to 2006, more than 1,000 multinational companies established new facilities in Ireland, including Microsoft, Dell, and Citicorp. The country’s real GDP grew at an average annual rate of 6.9 percent over that period, unemployment fell from 17 percent to 4 percent, the brain-drain of highly-educated young Irish was reversed, and the government’s debt as a share of GDP declined from 112 percent to 33 percent.

Like Ireland and the E.U., Puerto Rico and the mainland United States share a common currency, and virtually everything made in the Commonwealth enters U.S. markets without cumbersome customs and other import regulation. In short, Puerto Rico has a real opportunity to attract large-scale FDI from around the world by offering itself as a low-wage, low-cost platform for multinationals from Latin American, Asia and Europe to sell into the huge American market.

To succeed as Ireland did, Puerto Rico will have to undertake a comparable commitment to undertake difficult spending and tax reform, including targeted increases in public investments in education and infrastructure while still bringing down budget deficits. The Commonwealth government also must repair its tattered image with large foreign investors. To restore their confidence, Puerto Rico must step back from a possible debt default and from proposed changes in its bankruptcy laws to word off technical defaults by its public utilities. In this context, Puerto Rico also can ill-afford widely-publicized controversies that cast doubt on the Government’s commitment to keeps its word, such as current efforts by the Commonwealth Treasurer to negate its legal agreement to provide tax credits for tax over-payments to one of the Island’s major financial institutions, the Doral Financial Corporation.

The alternative is that the future for Puerto Ricans will look much like their present and recent past. After nearly a decade of stagnation and recession, the economy is 13 percent smaller than it was in 2004 – compared to Puerto Rico’s 13 Caribbean neighbors, which have averaged 2 percent annual GDP growth over the same period. That’s unsurprising. Business investment has grown in Puerto Rico at half the rate as elsewhere in the Caribbean. Capital flight has accelerated: foreign financial flows have been negative since 2006; and more recently, FDI flows turned negative as well. Unemployment is double the rate of the U.S. and nearly percent among the young, and the labor participation rate is the lowest in the Western Hemisphere. Moreover, public debt has soared from 66 percent of GNP to 96 percent, and both Moody’s and Standard & Poors rate the Commonwealth’s bonds as junk.

Here’s what ought to be the bottom line: While the per capita income of the Irish people increased from 60 percent of the EU average in 1987 to 136 percent of the average in 2003, per capita income in Puerto Rico today is seven percent less than it was in 2006. The choice – a hard road to long-term prosperity or the easy road to further decline – is Puerto Rico’s.
 

Hispanic Unemployment Rate Bushes vs. Obama/Clinton

Having just finished a study looking at the economic performance of the last two Democratic and Republican Presidencies, we decided to take a similar look at how a particular group we have long studied, Hispanics in the United States, fared over the past generation.

As in the broader population, for Hispanics things have gotten far better under recent Democrats and far worse under recent Republicans. Using a very simple economic measure, the unemployment rate among Hispanics, the contrast is very clear:

H.W. Bush: Jan 1989 (8.6%), Jan 1993 (11.3%)
Clinton: Jan 1993 (11.3%), Jan 2001 (5.8%)
Bush: Jan 2001 (5.8%) Jan 2009 (10.1%)
Obama: Jan 2009 (10.1%) June 2015 (6.6%)

In both Bush Presidencies, the net effect of their policies was that millions of Hispanics lost their jobs. In both the Clinton and Obama Presidencies, millions of Hispanics gained jobs.

Admittedly, this is a simple analysis and we will be returning to this again in the coming months. We also include some graphs we think will be helpful in gaining a deeper understanding of the data. You can find a PDF version of this memo below as well.

Source for Data is Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Unemployment during the Great Recession and Recovery

Longer Term Looks at Hispanic Unemployment

 

Comparisons between Presidents

 

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