Reforma imigracyjna naprawdę się opłaca! (Immigration Reform Pays Off!)

June 6, 2013. The Polish-language paper Super Express features a story about the Fiscal Policy Institute’s report on immigration reform.

Ameryki i jej mieszkańców, o naszej metropolii nie wspominając – mówi David Dyssegaard Kallick, dyrektor Fiscal Policy Institute’s Immigration Research Initiative, niezależnego instytutu skupiającego się na różnych aspektach mających wpływ na rozwój gospodarczo-ekonomiczny Nowego Jorku. – Z naszych wyliczeń wynika, że Nowy Jork zyskałby znacznie na sile roboczej. Wiele osób przestałoby się bać i dzięki temu efektywniej pracowało. Ponadto nie zapominajmy, że reforma wyeliminowałaby szarą strefę i wykorzystywanie ludzi przez nieuczciwych pracodawców – dodaje.

Nearly half of seniors, including a majority of elderly blacks and Hispanics, are on the cusp of poverty, a new Economic Policy Institute report finds.

June 6, 2013. In a new briefing paper released today by the Economic Policy Institute, the report finds that 52.0 percent of New York seniors are at risk. See FPI’s press release below.

Contact: James Parrott, Deputy Director and Chief Economist, 212-721-5624 (desk), 917-880-9931 (mobile)

New report:

52% of New York seniors are economically vulnerable, the fifth highest among all states.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s Medicare proposals would put many more seniors at economic risk.

Having to squeeze their dollars, 48.0 percent of seniors nation-wide are at economic risk. The rates of vulnerability are much higher for elderly blacks and Hispanics, at 63.5 percent and 70.1 percent, respectively, a new Economic Policy Institute (EPI) briefing paper finds. The rate for New York State is 52.0 percent, fifth highest among all states. The Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI) is co-releasing the EPI report.

In Financial security of elderly Americans at risk: Proposed changes to Social Security and Medicare could make the majority of seniors ‘economically vulnerable,’ Elise Gould, EPI director of health policy research, and David Cooper, EPI economic analyst, explain that because official poverty statistics do not account for seniors’ increased health costs, they mask the true vulnerability of the elderly population.

Using a more comprehensive assessment of seniors’ living expenses, the EPI study finds that nearly half of America’s seniors, especially minorities and women, are just one bad economic shock away from falling into poverty. As such, any proposed changes to Social Security and Medicare must be evaluated not just for their impact on future budget deficits, but for their impact on living standards of the elderly. “After working hard their entire lives, millions of our elderly are struggling to pay for basic needs like food, medicine and housing, even with Social Security and Medicare,” said the report’s co-author, Elise Gould. “As such, policymakers should consider the dire consequences proposals to restructure these programs would have on our parents and grandparents, shifting more costs onto them when many are already barely making ends meet.”

The EPI study used the Elder Economic Security Standard Index (Elder Index), an income standard developed specifically for the elderly by Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW), to determine what level of income represents actual economic security for elderly Americans.  The EPI study determined that elderly “economic vulnerability” can be defined by having an income less than 2.0 times the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) threshold. Under this more appropriate measure of economic security, the authors find that 48.0 percent of seniors live with dangerously low levels of income, varying considerably across different groups of elderly Americans.

Comparing the elderly by age group—65 to 79 years old versus 80 years old and older—shows that the older elderly have a far higher rate of economic vulnerability (58.1 percent) than people age 65 to 79 (44.4 percent). At 52.6 percent, elderly women are more likely to be economically insecure than men (41.9 percent). Meanwhile, though blacks and Hispanics constitute just 15.4 percent of the elderly population, they comprise over one-fifth (21.9 percent) of the vulnerable elderly, at 63.5 percent and 70.1 percent, respectively.

There are also considerable variations across states and the District of Columbia, from a low of 35.4 percent in North Dakota to a high of 59 percent in the District of Columbia. Not surprisingly, states with large minority populations—like the District of Columbia and California (55.8 percent)—tend to have the highest levels of elderly vulnerability. Hawaii, Georgia, Tennessee, and New York each have at least 52 percent of seniors living below two times the supplemental poverty line. North Dakota (35.4 percent), South Dakota (37.2 percent), Nebraska (40.5 percent), and Wisconsin (40.6 percent) have the lowest shares of vulnerable elderly.

Because lower-income elderly households depend heavily on social programs such as Social Security and Medicare, changes to these programs should be viewed through the lens of how they would affect economically vulnerable seniors. Proposals to shift additional health costs onto seniors, such as House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s plan to convert Medicare into a voucher system, would drive more seniors into poverty. The new EPI report found that under Ryan’s proposed Medicare changes, the predicted increase in seniors’ out-of-pocket health costs would raise the share of economically vulnerable elderly from 48.0 percent to 56.4 percent, an increase of almost 3.5 million vulnerable seniors. Similarly, proposals to change the calculation of Social Security cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) to a chained consumer price index would result in 132,000 more economically vulnerable seniors.

James Parrott, Deputy Director of the Fiscal Policy Institute, warned, “The changes to Medicare and Social Security being considered in Washington will only push more vulnerable older New Yorkers to the edge. It is a giant step backwards to worsen living conditions for our seniors in the name of long-term fiscal stability. That only makes our future less, not more secure.”

“We can dispel the myth that most seniors are ‘greedy geezers’ with lavish retirements.  Almost half are either in poverty or close to it,” said EPI’s David Cooper, a co-author of the report.  “We shouldn’t be cutting the benefits that are barely adequate as is, effectively legislating more of them into poverty.”


In Opposition Of The New York State ‘DREAM Act’

May 31, 2013. Rebecka Schumann, in the “Fighting Words” section of International Business Times, argues that we can’t afford the NYS DREAM Act, but in the process assumes a cost that is 365 times higher than the reality.

According to a recent Fiscal Policy Institute study, if the act is put into law, it would cost New York residents “less than 87 cents a day” — an estimated $17 million a year financed through state income taxes — in order to fund illegal residents’ education, claiming the cost is “less than the price of a doughnut.”

Actually, FPI estimated that the cost to a typical taxpayer would be about 87¢ per year, not per day.

Guest Opinion: Immigration reform will boost state

May 31, 2013. The California state controller’s op-ed on why immigration reform matters, citing some research of the Fiscal Policy Institute, appears on the Calaveras Enterprise web site.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office determined that comprehensive reform would increase both investment and the productivity of new workers brought to our labor force. Overall GDP would increase between 0.8 and 1.3 percent as early as 2016. Given California’s population and economic mix, we are likely to experience growth at a rate higher than the nation. Assuming the state benefited by just one-tenth of the nation as a whole, California’s 10-year gain could be $80 billion to $140 billion.

The Fiscal Policy Institute estimates that immigrant-owned small businesses employed 4.7 million people in 2007, 500,000 of them in California. With sound immigration reform, we could see more people opening small businesses. According to a study by the Center for American Progress, extending legal status or citizenship to current residents can lead to an annual job increase between 121,000 and 203,000, depending on how fast the reforms are implemented. California stands to expand employment by at least 12,000 jobs annually.

Next NYC Mayor facing $7.8B fiscal cliff from unions who haven’t received a raise in years

May 27, 2013. Fiscal experts say the next New York City mayor faces a fiscal cliff of $7.8B. James Parrott, deputy director and chief economist, said ““Disaster looms if we continue down the road we’re going.” Read the story.

James Parrott added the following comment on the New York Daily News web site after the article was published: When I said, “Disaster looms if we continue down the road we’re going,” I was referring to the fact that the current administration had failed to seriously engage city unions in negotiations about resolving long-expired contracts. “Disaster” is not some supposed “fiscal cliff,” as the article suggests, but the deleterious impact on employee morale and constraining the budget choices for the next administration. Challenges should be faced, not avoided.

Inmigrantes altamente calificados son valiosos en Estados Unidos

May 22, 2013. Venezuela Al Día reports on highly skilled immigrants to the United States.

“Los Estados Unidos es el destino más deseado para inmigrantes de todo el mundo. Ésta siempre ha sido una oportunidad de fortalecer y potenciar la economía”, indica Brito. Un estudio de junio de 2012 publicado por el Fiscal Policy Institute reconoce el espíritu empresarial de los inmigrantes en los Estados  Unidos: “18% de todos los propietarios de negocios pequeños es inmigrante. Esto es especialmente impresionante considerando que los inmigrantes componen menos de 16% de la fuerza de trabajo civil y alcanzan menos de 13% de la población total de EE.UU.”


Detengan el estancamiento del Dream Act

May 22, 2013. Editorial from El Diario in favor of passing the New York State DREAM Act. (In Spanish.)

De acuerdo al Instituto de Política Fiscal y el centro de Política de inmigración, las proyecciones indican que un grupo de estudiantes con mejor educación, graduados y efectivamente activos en la fuerza laboral, contribuirían mejor a la salud económica de la ciudad, en unos 5 a 6 de estos graduarse. O sea, el Dream Act estatal es una inversión, no una perdida.

State Comptroller Issues Report on Costs of DREAM Act

May 20, 2013. The New York State comptroller issued a press release and report estimating the cost of the NYS DREAM Act. The results and arguments about a strong return on investment are very much in line with those previously arrived at by the Fiscal Policy Institute here and here. The comptroller finds “additional TAP costs would be less than $20 million, an increase of less than 2 percent.” (The FPI study estimated the cost at $17 million.)

Students Rally with Donut to Show Low Cost of NYS DREAM Act

May 15, 2013. A Daily News article shows students rallying in favor of the NYS DREAM Act, with a big donut to suggest the very low cost to individual taxpayers–about 87¢ for a typical taxpayer, according to an FPI analysis (which, incidentally, included a photo of a donut).


Immigration Will Boost the California Economy

May 10, 2013. The state controller of California makes the case for embracing immigration reform, in the Mercury News of Silicon Valley.


The Fiscal Policy Institute estimates that immigrant-owned small businesses employed 4.7 million people in 2007, 500,000 of them in California. With sound immigration reform, we could see more people opening small businesses. According to a study by the Center for American Progress, extending legal status or citizenship to current residents can lead to an annual job increase between 121,000 and 203,000, depending on how fast the reforms are implemented. California stands to expand employment by at least 12,000 jobs annually.


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