- The Washington Times - Monday, August 20, 2007

The truth about ‘immigrants’

Ceaselessly stoking up xenophobia, Michelle Malkin asserts that the recent horrific murders in Newark, N.J., are yet more evidence that immigrants are especially likely to commit crimes (“Sanctuary nation or sovereign nation?” Commentary, Saturday). She’s mistaken.

Economists Kristin Butcher and Anne Piehl carefully examined the data and found that the incarceration rate of immigrants is only one-fifth that of the native population. The rate is even lower for recently arrived immigrants. Further, this fact is not the result of deportation. And finally, in their demographic groups, immigrants are only one-tenth as likely to commit crimes as are native-born Americans in those groups.

Ignorance of the facts is, well, criminal.

DONALD J. BOUDREAUX

Chairman

Department of Economics

George Mason University

Fairfax

Government is the answer

The editorial “Health spending at five times defense?” (Saturday) should be a wake-up call to U.S. taxpayers and our representatives. We cannot afford or sustain the health-care system we have, but we can’t seem to extricate ourselves from its pro-market, multi-insurer entanglements.

I appreciated the clear presentation of the trend data — the comparatively high percentage of GDP expended, the potential drain on funds needed for other services and sectors of the economy.

One key cost factor must be highlighted: the escalating administrative costs of the private insurers. While publicly funded Medicare holds overhead to less than 3 percent, private insurers report administrative costs running at 20 to 30 percent.

Your projection that health spending could approach the “entire U.S. military budget” is indeed startling.

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