Currently, the state is facing a budget shortfall of $20 billion, equal to the Gross Domestic Product of oil-rich Bahrain. Think about that for a moment. Then, consider that according to a 2007 study by Philip Romero–a former RAND Corporation research economist, top economic adviser to former California Gov. Pete Wilson, and later the Dean of the University of Oregon School of Business–the gap between state services enjoyed by and tax revenue from illegal immigrants is between $10 and $38 billion.
Even on the conservative side, a 2004 study by the Federation for American Immigration Reform based on an analysis of data from the 2000 Census revealed that Californians were footing the bill for illegal immigrants at a total of $10.5 billion per year, or roughly $1,200 per non-illegal household in the state. From FAIR:
The more than $10.1 billion in costs incurred by California taxpayers is composed of outlays in the following areas:
- Education. Based on estimates of the illegal immigrant population in California and documented costs of K-12 schooling, Californians spend approximately $7.7 billion annually on education for illegal immigrant children and for their U.S.-born siblings. Nearly 15 percent of the K-12 public school students in California are children of illegal aliens.
- Health care. Uncompensated medical outlays for health care provided to the state’s illegal alien population amount to about $1.4 billion a year.
- Incarceration. The cost of incarcerating illegal aliens in California’s prisons and jails amounts to about $1.4 billion a year (not including related law enforcement and judicial expenditures or the monetary costs of the crimes that led to their incarceration).
And that was in 2004. Things are getting worse. Quickly. Consider that the same study conducted by Philip Romero in 2007 was conducted a little more than a decade before under Gov. Wilson — at that time, the shortfall between state services enjoyed by illegals and tax revenue received from illegals was a mere $3.6 billion.
But if you ask Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, illegal immigrants “provide a great deal to the economic might” of California.
“There are a lot of benefits to [illegal] immigration,” he told CNS News in May. “More benefits than detriments, if you will.”
Actually, Mr. Mayor, at last count it seems as though Californians are looking at between $10 and $38 billion in detriments.
And, even better, here’s good ole’ Governor Moonbeam, promising that once he has the budget “solved”–good luck with that–one of the very first bills he will sign will ensure that illegal immigrants will be guaranteed college admission in California.
We have enough wealth to continue to have a great university and get every kid in this school that can qualify. And when I say ‘every young man and young woman,’ I mean everyone — whether they’re documented or not. If they went to school, they ought to be here.
And that will be one of the first bills I sign. Of course, I’m not going to sign any bills until we get the budget solved, and that may take me a couple of months.
Certainly, the state couldn’t force illegal immigrants to pay for schooling … why start now? Unfortunately, when it comes to the three-prong common sense approach to stemming the tide of illegal immigration–build a fence, shut down the magnets, enforce the laws currently on the books–California gets a failing grade for all three. Any fencing along the southern border is there because of the hard work of folks like Duncan Hunter, and yet California still has upwards of four million (five? six?) inhabitants who have broken the law just by stepping foot into the state in the first place.
Californians are going to wake up and smell the stupidity, right? They can actually feel the downward spiral by now, can’t they?
See for yourself. If you believe Reuters or Survey USA, Brown is actually leading Meg Whitman by four points only a fortnight away from the election. If you believe Scott Rasmussen, Brown is leading by six.
It’s inexplicable. It’s like Stockholm Syndrome. It’s like the battered wife who just keeps coming back for more, absolutely positive that her abusive husband will change. And in those cases, depending upon which Lifetime movie you’re watching, one of two things will inevitably occur: either the battered wife decides that the shiner she’s covering up with foundation will be the last and she introduces her scumbag husband to a sharp object of some sort, or she ends up dead in a bathtub at the hands of a psychotic spouse who just couldn’t stop at a broken orbital this time.
California has a choice. The state either elects a woman who has spent her entire life growing business and creating jobs, or it elects a washed-up, embittered has-been whose ideas for economic recovery is limited to strengthening a sector of the economy responsible for only three percent of the jobs in the Golden State. With that economic picture, it’s either kill or be killed. It’s either once again become a beacon of hope and shining example of prosperity for the United States of America, or start a chain reaction that could bring the entire nation to its knees.
Is California capable of being saved? We’ll know on the morning of November 3.