In 2007, the report from Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation detailing how amnesty would cost taxpayers at least $2.6 trillion helped kill the McCain-Kennedy amnesty push. The pro-amnesty crowd is terrified that Rector’s upcoming update will also derail the Schumer/Rubio amnesty push.
So they’re going after Rector (the father of the 1996 welfare-reform law), and Heritage with all they’ve got. The libertarian Cato Institute has published a pre-buttal criticizing the use of the household as the welfare-receiving unit (something Julian Simon even agreed with, but I guess he wasn’t pure enough for Cato?). The Jeb Bush–affiliated “American Action Forum” claims that reciting the “dynamic scoring” enchantment, with just the right twist of the magic wand, will turn millions of imported high-school dropouts into tax-paying unicorns. Rubio’s chief of staff, Cesar Conda, has also been trying to undermine the upcoming Heritage report by emphasizing the dynamic-scoring business. In other words, the amnesty-pushers want us to believe that because under certain circumstances the changed incentives caused by tax hikes can lead to lower revenue (the Laffer Curve, an example of dynamic scoring), the harmful effects of any policy they approve of can be inverted to their benefit. Talk about Ignorance Is Strength.
But Grover Norquist has been most forthright in attempting to purge
capitalist roaders immigration skeptics from the party (as Betsy Woodruff outlines in a new piece on the homepage). He sent out a memo yesterday attacking Heritage and claiming that “Robert Rector’s work does not speak for the conservative movement; in fact, it does not even speak for the Heritage Foundation.” In comments to the Daily Caller earlier today, Norquist was even more cutting, implying incompetence on the part of Ed Feulner and Jim DeMint: “When [Heritage vice president for research] Burt Pines was there, you couldn’t have gotten it out the door.” He didn’t suggest that Jim DeMint is a secret abortionist, but that’s not far off.
Heritage has not conceded anything to Norquist and its other attackers, and Jim DeMint just today on Laura Ingraham’s show reiterated that amnesty would have a “huge cost” and that the political class has to earn the trust of the public by enforcing the law before discussing amnesty.
Norquist is hurling stones from a glass house. He has insulted Phyllis Schlafly for the entertainment of The New Yorker’s readers; he’s pro-gay marriage; he was a lobbyist for Fannie Mae, playing his small part in crashing the economy; he pitched the Marianas’ indentured labor program — marked by official corruption, sex slavery, and forced abortions — as a shining example of the free market; he was practically married to Jack Abramoff; and now, as a board member of the American “Conservative” Union, he is helping direct an organization that’s soliciting industry money to lobby against spending cuts.
I’m all for a big tent, it looks to me like Grover has been working to cut the ropes, saw down the poles, and rip open the fabric.