Jeb Bush and Fertile Immigrants

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Jeb Bush, former Florida Governor, and son and brother of two Presidents, was urging Congress to pass immigration reform Friday.  He stumbled a little when he said that a bill should be passed because immigrants were “more fertile,” and therefore a benefit to the United States.

The conservative audience believes that his reference was to statistics proving a higher fertility rating by the group, when compared to native-born citizens.

“Immigrants create far more businesses than native-born Americans over the last 20 years. Immigrants are more fertile, and they love families, and they have more intact families, and they bring a younger population. Immigrants create an engine of economic prosperity,” Bush said at the annual Faith and Freedom conference in the nation’s capital.

Bush told the audience that America’s demographics are creating unique problems.  With larger numbers of retirees every year, the work force is dwindling.  Both social security and Medicare are in funding difficulty.

Economists estimate that social security disbursements can be paid in full until 2036.  Beyond that, only 77 percent of the amount will be available from projected funds.  At present, more money is being paid out in social security payments than is coming in from payroll taxes.

With the “baby boomer” event, and the length of lifetime increasing, America will have a difficult time keeping its promises to its citizens.

“We’re going to have fewer workers taking care of a larger number of people the country has a social contract with to be able to allow them to retire with dignity and purpose,” Bush said. “We cannot do that with the fertility rates that we have in our country. We’re below break-even today.”

Bush said that adding immigrants to the work force would increase payroll taxes.

“The one way that we can rebuild the demographic pyramid is to fix a broken immigration system to allow for people to come and learn English and play by our rules, to embrace our values and to pursue their dreams in our country with a vengeance to create more opportunities for all of us,” said Bush, a longtime proponent for comprehensive immigration reform.

“This is a conservative idea,” he continued. “If we do this we will rebuild our country in a way that will allow us to grow. If we don’t do it we will be in decline, since productivity of this country is dependent upon young people who are equipped to work hard.”

Bush has remained a supporter of a pathway to citizenship, provided they pay fines and learn English.

In typical fashion, the conservative audience remained silent throughout his speech.  The majority of the party remains anti-Hispanic.

Bush is expected to be a candidate for the White House in 2016.  His centrist policies would offer independents a new choice.  As long as the majority of the GOP continues to drift towards the extreme right, Democrats have received the majority of their votes.

Chris Christie and Jeb Bush may indicate that a new GOP is emerging, that strangely is more like the ‘old’ GOP.

Although Jeb Bush’s comment about fertile immigrants may be a small ‘gaff,’ his ideas are a welcome change.  Ideas have been lacking in the Republican Party for a long time.

James Turnage

The Guardian Express

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