As I said yesterday, Trump's mass deportation plan could be his first self-inflicted economic wound, but what I had in mind apparently wasn't grand enough.
We could all be underestimating the economic fallout of Trump's plans if a study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research is correct.
According to the bureau, deporting all undocumented immigrants could cost $5 trillion over the next 10 years.
That represents the contribution of the millions of unauthorized workers to the world’s largest economy, about 3 percent of private-sector gross domestic product, according to a recent paper issued by the National Bureau of Economic Research. At an average of $500 billion in [economic] output a year, removing all such immigrants would be like lopping off the equivalent of Massachusetts from the U.S. economy, said study co-author Francesc Ortega.
To say that undocumented workers are present across the whole economy is to say that deporting 5 percent of the labor force would not occur in a vacuum. Even industries that do not employ a significant number of immigrants would be affected because a disruption of the agricultural and service industries would disrupt every other industry.
Some businesses do not employ a significant number of immigrants, but fewer people can afford to shop there if the price of their groceries skyrockets. I'm sure most people reading this can relate to that.
Moreover, Republicans like to say that immigrants are leeches living off the public dime, but the truth is they support the rest of the country through payroll taxes. The truth is old, white America needs immigrants to pay for their Medicare and provide cheap produce.
The potential cost of Trump's actions have to be put into context. The massive cost of this deportation policy would come in addition to the massive cost of Paul Ryan's tax cuts and the potential repeal of Obamacare. This is a recipe for a fiscal nightmare that would make the Bush administration look like deficit hawks.