Tackling the deficit

The political debate on immigration reform includes an abundance of reports, analyses and studies arguing for and against legalizing the undocumented, which lend themselves to manipulation from supporters and critics.

However, among them, it is worth highlighting the non-partisan independence of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which is charged with calculating, from an economic viewpoint, the costs and benefits of a bill so that lawmakers know its impact before voting on it.

For example, the CBO—pleasing lawmakers whose goal is to decrease the budget deficit and the debt—publicized a way to cut the deficit by $200 billion between 2015–2024 and by a much larger amount during the following decade: immigration reform.

The CBO’s analysis about H.R. 15—a House of Representatives version of the Senate-approved S. 744—released yesterday indicates that the reform will boost economic output, as well as increasing average wages for the workforce and the productivity of labor and capital.

Here, the fiscally conservative vocation of the large majority of the Republican caucus crashes with myths and prejudices that exist against undocumented immigrants—with the latter unfortunately winning out. It is the victory of fiction over reality.

That is why every time someone wants to balance the budget at the expense of eliminating the social safety net for children, poor families, retirees and the disabled, we must remember that there are other ways to do that and more.

The CBO, with its independent analysis, is showing a path to cutting federal spending and improving the economy. Not taking it into account reflects irresponsibility when it comes to seeking solutions to economic challenges.