Lies, Damnable Lies and Statistics

Among the 5 million emails that wind up in my inbox each day (okay, that’s one of those statistics that might be a lie, or at least a slight exaggeration) came this one from my colleague, Bob Dane:

A release from the Phoenix Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
In the field of economics and finance, annual U.S. Hispanic purchasing power exceeds $1 trillion. Hispanic economic development, especially Hispanic small business economic development, is the most dynamic sector of the economy. These dynamic characteristics of demographic change are also presenting themselves in the economic arena of the East Valley. The data reveals that there are 212,670 Hispanics residing in the East Valley, 24% of the total population, who wield a purchasing power of $3.9 billion, representing almost one-fifth of the Hispanic Maricopa purchasing power.

The Chamber of Commerce, as we all know, loves mass immigration. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce spends millions of dollars each year lobbying for more and more. Their release got me thinking about Benjamin Disraeli’s famous quip about lie, damnable lies and statistics. Everything the Chamber claims is true, except that it is deliberately misleading. They accomplish this deception by what they leave out.

Here’s what they aren’t telling us:

What the CoC report does not tell us is Hispanic purchasing power relative to their share of the population. Hispanics represent about 9 percent of the total purchasing power of the U.S.  At 50 million, Hispanics represent about 16.3% of the total U.S. population. Thus, their purchasing power lags significantly behind their representation in the population.

Hispanics represented only about 4 percent of U.S. purchasing power in 1980, according to the same report that places current purchasing power at 9 percent. Thus, over the past 30 years, Hispanic purchasing power has increased by about 125 percent — seemingly a very impressive increase. But not so fast. According to Census data, there were about 14.6 million Hispanics in the U.S. in 1980. The Hispanic population in 2010 was about 3.5 times larger than it was in 1980. Thus, while the Hispanic population has grown by about 250 percent, their purchasing power has grown by only 125 percent. The typical Hispanic in the U.S. in 2010 had half the purchasing power as a Hispanic in 1980. In reality, the report purporting to show what a positive impact Hispanics are having on the economy, actually paints a very dismal picture when you look at the numbers in context.

About Author


Ira joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 1986 with experience as a journalist, professor of journalism, special assistant to Gov. Richard Lamm (Colorado), and press secretary of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His columns have appeared in National Review, LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and more. He is an experienced TV and radio commentator.


  1. avatar

    I agree with everything said above dealing with illegals. Ive been in this fight ever since illegals started their trek here. I want America to be America. When my parents came in they went to nite school and became citizens immediately. I was not taught the language used in their country of birth. They spoke English. I wouldnt have dared ask for a class to learn English. The money and times used to adapt to this country is stupendous. Im tired of seeing Spanish on purchases I make such as TV, etc. In the old days there were quotas on incoming people from each country and that
    was the right thing to do. We cant afford these illegals who refuse to stick to our rules and I wont be voting for anyone that feels differently. Rose Boyter

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    I am a Mexican American raised in this side of the border (CA), and believe me that I do not think this information reflects the statistics above. One trillion dolls. I hope you know what quantity is right. You are talking one and nine zeros is a lot of money; about one eighth of the total economy (USA). All us including me are close to 25 million people out of 365 millions altogether if you know a little of math the numbers does not add up. However, some one is doing us a favor.

    • avatar

      If you knew anything about the subject, you’d know that “buying power” and GDP are NOT the same. You’re comparing apples and oranges. You might just as well say that Hispanics have 1/15 of our deficit. Moreover, if you take a look at the University of Georgia’s Buying Power studies, you’ll see that the author is right. Also, Hispanics have the lowest average household income of any group.

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    Something else they’re not saying: How much damage the illegal population is doing. Between lost/depressed wages and taxes, social services, law enforcement and remittances the drain on OUR economy is huge.

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    Plus they do not tell you how much the illegal aliens are costing the federal government and state governments. Guess where they get their money – right the TAX PAYER. I for one do not want my hard earned money/taxes used for people who nothing but common criminals breaking into my country. If they want to go through the legal way of coming to my country then I will welcome them with open arms, but not the thieves that break in in the dead of night. Basically, the majority of households across the country benefitting from publicly-funded welfare programs are headed by immigrants, both legal and illegal. States where immigrant households with children have the highest welfare use rates are Arizona (62%), Texas, California and New York with 61% each and Pennsylvania(59%).The study focused on eight major welfare programs that cost the government $517 billion the year they were examined. They include Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for the disabled, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), a nutritional program known as Women, Infants and Children (WIC), food stamps, free/reduced school lunch, public housing and health insurance for the poor (Medicaid).Food assistance and Medicaid are the programs most commonly used by illegal immigrants, mainly on behalf of their American-born children who get automatic citizenship. On the other hand, legal immigrant households take advantage of every available welfare program, according to the study, which attributes it to low education level and resulting low income.The highest rate of welfare recipients come from the Dominican Republic (82 %), Mexico and Guatemala (75%) and Ecuador (70%), according to the report, which says welfare use tends to be high for both new arrivals and established residents. Not only is our President refusing to producee competent solutions to the problem, he’s actively seeking to worsen it through executive orders of amnesty. And, of course, in typical Obama fashion, we now have executive orders making it far easier to gain social welfare benefits. Under Obama the problem not only still exists, it’s getting much, MUCH worse!
    The Obama Administration’s plan to grant deferred action status and work authorization to illegal aliens meeting criteria similar to the DREAM Act could cost over $585 million, internal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) documents reveal.

    • avatar

      I’m sure we all know on what the COC bases success. How many businesses have those COC memberships which aren’t free. They don’t have a vested interest in whole of this country but in the businessmen interest primarily. Doc Freeman is absolutely on point, and may have only error-ed on what it costs this country. With the loss of full resources that should have stayed, and been spent on American citizens in this county not on illegals mainly from south of the border. Yes it has mostly been Mexican, and Central American illegal immigrants that have came here to steal, and that’s what they’ve done with the help of ignorant liberals who don’t care what happen to American children over those 30 years of mainly Hispanic disregard for America, or her laws. If we didn’t have such criminality on the southern border the other streams of illegals would easily be controlled, but with the Obama, and Mexican administrations working in conjunction to violate US law it will take a change in the White House, and the addition of more law abiding people to the Senate namely Democrats, and Independents that believe in our Constitution. They will hopefully return this to a world leader, and wealthy Country again.

  5. avatar
    Mel Morganstein on

    I saw an excellent documentary on illegal immigration “they Come to America” produced and directed by Dennis ***** last night! You need to see it! Anyway the point is WELL made that a LOT of money earned here is wired back to their home countries! They can afford to do this because the American TAXPAYERS are picking up the tab for their healthcare (a SIGNIFICANT portion of unpaid hospital costs, particularly ER’s, $10,000 for each baby delivery), educating their children, etc, etc! That is one reason why their contribution to our economy is proportionately so much less!

  6. avatar

    The government can not be trusted for anything, They give miss information and back it up with some fabricated facts that make things look good or bad , what ever they need to get re elected, or that will push their agenda. I for one American have had enough. We need laws that protect the public from politicians that are liars. Jail time for lying
    to the public.

  7. avatar

    Where are most of them getting the money to spend?
    It is amazing the lies that come out of some peoples mouth.
    How do these people sleep at night?

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    Both political parties are strictly Quid Pro Quo (something for something), with the Democrats seeking votes—legal citizens or non citizens, with a similar plan from the right to bring into the country legal immigrants, but not the professionals and highly skilled people you would expect. America is in such a predicament with poorly skilled workers and illegal aliens, the TEA PARTY are the only easement from the GOP who will enforce immigration laws. As we approach the general election we must look hard at the voting laws, which are in a state of flux, as we have seen more and more major irregularities. Unknown numbers of individuals who are non-citizens are voting, whether illegal aliens, felons and even dead people. WHAT IS INEXCUSABLE BY THIS ADMINISTRATION IS TRYING TO DERAIL OUR MILITARY FROM CASTING A VOTE, BUT THEY ARE NOT ADDING ANY RESTRICTIONS IN STOPPING NON-CITIZENS FROM VOTING?

    One by one THE TEA PARTY will replace the political hacks—the liars, cheats and frauds in Washington that have been destroying America—and we will continue to do so with your help of the voters in this Republic.

    If immigration policies had been carried out to the letter, after the blanket amnesty of 1986, then the current horrendous chaos would be insignificant. Communities as Farmers Branch would not be in pitch battles with the court, over ordinances to stop the proliferation of illegal aliens procuring taxpayers money or being able to settle there. The threat of intimidation in Arizona, Texas or other states by the Socialists and Marxists in the Obama administration, has been a financial cross to bear, but has shown the length that these instigators will go to—to get there way. Instead now have 20 million plus illegal aliens scattered across America, either working under the table for dishonest employers or using stolen ID to gain employment. Since the Simpson/Mazzoli bill immigration has got completely uncontrollable with Sanctuary Cities springing up, huge importations of people under Chain Migration adding to ultimately to extra uncompensated programs for the ethnic poor from South of our border, from those who overstayed visas from around the globe. In a second term Obama will press for another mass amnesty, so he can eliminate any chance of the other side from overriding his executive orders.

    If you don’t want to be paying out the money you have earned, for both the illegal aliens who have never paid a cent into anything and the parasites (freeloaders) that were born here, the best hope we have is voting more TEA PARTY members. Whatever happened to President Obama, who was going to be a world changer? All he has done is divided the country, which he not only has his people churned the U.S. Constitution into the dirt, but intimidated numerous states over their stand on illegal immigration. This issue carries enormous costs, which will be even add more vulnerability as more people escaping poverty, will abscond to America that is already under financial peril.

    Obama’s agenda is almost limitless; to kill any permits for drilling any of our massive deposits of oil, gas that makes us ever dependent on foreign nations. Even now we have spiraling gas prices that will never end, until we open up more wells, and dig for more coal for energy to run our homes and industry. Hundreds of billions of dollars have been wasted on alternative methods, but the Socialists in Washington are adamant that they will undermine fossil fuels in this time of urgent need. The Rules and Regulations have become so predominant, that businesses large and small cannot function properly; Obama’s czars are standing in the way of progressing out of this sterile environment and dragging America down.

    The TEA PARTY leadership will vote for to strict immigration policies though the Senate and House of Representatives. But more TEA PARTY politicians must achieve more seats in Congress, which seems to be actually happening? Plenty of these moderate conservatives and true advocate of our U.S. Constitution are ready to influence the other lawmaker’s to enact policies that assist out of work Americans. It will open up jobs for millions of low income Blacks, Hispanics, and Latino’s, Whites, Asians and all other ethnic groups lawfully here. It is passed time we enacted the ‘Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 2885) and the Birthright citizenship Act (H.R.140)? It is time that the state of Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Utah and other 50 states should be able to protect their state borders? Each law is essential in structuring our policies, then once again projecting a zero forbearance on our immigration policies. The Birthright Citizenship law has been manipulated, as it didn’t extend that just anybody who reached into America could be credited with citizenship, as it was only an opportunity for the emancipation of slaves. THESE LAWS MUST BE PASSED SO THE AMERICAN WORKER CAN GAIN A FOOTHOLD AGAIN, ESPECIALLY WHEN 8 PERCENT OF OUR POPULATION IS JOBLESS, OR JUST GIVEN UP BEING HIRED?

    Interesting enough President Obama’s socialized health care is the ‘Catch 22’ situation which will surface when the ‘Obamacare’ plan is fully operational. Illegal aliens will be very vulnerable to detection, as these people will not be able to join the health care program, but the children of illegal aliens will. The children of 11 million illegal aliens (if you believe the government estimates), whereas more thoroughly research surveys estimate the real number in our populace is over 20 million plus or in fact even higher?; children recognized as citizens through a carefully engineered law, with the aim of stating the offspring are citizens, once the Mother has smuggled the unborn baby through the arrival gate at an airport or through the hundreds of open miles along our border. Once here the pregnant mothers are on welfare and are then guaranteed all sorts of care, that the majority of American expectant mother cannot collect. Citizens and legal residents are tracked by their Social Security number for hospital fees, while the illegal alien female pays zero. The American people are on the hook and expected to pay not only for the ‘freeloaders’ but the new baby citizen. An amendment to Rep. Steve Kings (R-IA) ‘BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP ACT will end this taxpayer rip-off, by insuring that one parent must be a U.S. citizen, a legal permanent resident, or an undocumented immigrant serving in the military would be considered citizens—saving hundreds of billions of dollars a year in schooling, health care and many public assistance programs.

    THE DREAM ACT like any other assessment waiver will just attract more pregnant females to the U.S., so they can plant their unborn baby here as public charges? Customs and Immigration Inspectors at any entry port cannot detect a fetus in the womb of any female visitor, so they only deterrent we have are altering the requirements for instant citizenship for babies? The Dream Act will inevitably discover hundreds of thousand, even millions of the physical residences of ‘Dream Act’ kids, which could open a new Pandora’s box’ and reveal the presence parents by ICE for deportation punishment? In furtherance American taxpayers are fully aware now of the scam not addressed by the IRS. While Americans are have a hard time feeding their families, illegal aliens are accessing the child tax credit on a huge scale, ripping of the taxpayer for $4.6 billion dollars with Senator Harry Reid, a diehard Liberal stopping the Senate from passing a law to stop this conspiracy. The records show illegal aliens have been defrauding the public for decades; paying nothing in the way of taxes, yet collecting money through IRS stupidity, even to sending treasury checks to children not present in the good old U.S.A.

    The oddest part of our immigration laws, is that ICE (as Yet) cannot track visa over stays like many other nations? My thinking is that this is intentional, which we should include any entry—which as a serious deterrent should be a Felony—not a civil infraction? California, the well known sanctuary state for millions of illegal aliens and a heavy duty liberal Governor and his progressives is out to push drivers licenses for these people. Only the true voters can halt this and be aware, that illegal alien will be voting in the upcoming elections and the TEA PARTY people will be watching for criminal acts, especially with absentee ballots and with no boundaries on voting the outcome could be well directed fraud by the liberals and the Democrat underlings.

    IF YOU ARE A TAXPAYER AND AN ELIGIBLE VOTER YOU CAN ADD YOUR ANGRY VOICE TO THE CHORUS OF MILLIONS OF OTHER PEOPLE AND THE TEA PARTY WHO ARE NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS TRAVESTY OF OUR LAWS ANYMORE? CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE AND DEMAND THE VOTE FOR A SIMPLE AMENDMENT TO THE ‘Birthright Citizenship Act’. If we can pass this law as many other countries have done, we can discourage the daily onslaught of thousands illegal aliens trying to reach the United States.

    Both political sides in other major problems are responsible for this financial wreck, from the banks not making loans and instead depositing the money in other investments. Hundreds of billions of dollars have been approved by Obama’s people in questionable loans in the solar ‘Sylindra’s and other combinations of ‘Green ventures” that have otherwise faded away from the public eye. Hundreds of thousands of homes lay empty because of incompetence of banking regulators, allowing politicians and high pressure ethnic organization to approve loans for people who could were low income and had no way to pay the loans back. If you look at the statistics this was very visible in states as Arizona, California and Nevada with high concentrations of illegal residents.

    Go to the website of TEA PARTY DOT ORG and read about the new revelation on Obama’s past history? Numerous facts are appearing regarding his right to U.S Citizenship. From the evidence of his academic background, to the fact as a being a citizen of another country, you would be denied an education in Indonesia. Yet Obama was able to gain admittance to a schooling there, which is significant amongst the many other irregularities? This is a time for the American population to judge for themselves, the evidentiary records that are available. I can only speak for myself, but to be honest I just don’t know what to think about it anymore? Questions to ask– was birth certificate produced by the White House proven a computer-generated forgery? Is it true that all of his records were sealed—birth records, college records, passport records? Was the Selective service records altered? A reason why he surrendered his license to practice law—but why? Did he ever really have one? They say that he hide his true birth place? Why was he listed as a “foreign student” in a Harvard Law School Review pamphlet? Is it true he Held MULTIPLE social security numbers. Is he associating with KNOWN communists and subversives, with many allowed into the White House? There is much more detailed information about this crisis, asking does this man really have American citizenship?


    • avatar

      We have to impeach these felons now, and not wait to vote them out. They need to be held responsible for their crimes, and aiding of others who have committed these outrages.

  10. avatar

    Please sign this