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Dynamic immigration scoring: Score one for Cato and Marco Rubio


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James Pethokoukis



Cato’s Alex Nowrasteh offers a rather persuasive, 11-point (!) prebuttal to a forthcoming Heritage study on the fiscal cost of low-skill immigration. The Daily Caller’s Matt Lewis blogs that Team Rubio is urging conservatives to embrace a dynamic fiscal scoring approach of the sort Cato prefers. Here are two points from Nowrasteh, in particular, that are worth noting:




Good points. Indeed, most fiscal calculations are snapshots that don’t account for immigrants’ taxes and transfers over their entire lifetimes. As Madeline Zavodny argues, “The direct fiscal impact of the foreign born in a single year is only a small piece of understanding their economic costs and benefits.” You also need to take into account immigration’s affect on economic growth, which could result in more tax revenue. And even using a static approach, immigration overall is a big fiscal winner. Zavodny:




And here is former CBO director Douglas Holtz-Eakin now with American Action Forum on the broad fiscal impact of immigration reform:

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