It's the one-year anniversary of the signing of SB 1070 and the folks at the Republic are desperate to claim that bill has been an economic disaster for the state.
Saturday's paper had three stories on the economic impact of SB 1070. All of the information was anecdotal--businesses that cater to illegal immigrants are now selling less stuff--however there was one actual statistic from one actual report. That statistic pointed out that the economic impact of SB 1070 was--insignificant to the point of being meaningless.
We've all heard that boycotts cost Arizona about $140 million in tourism losses. Well, the author of that report was asked to put that number in context.
Pollack said though still not good news, that was tiny in the context of the state's economy. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis recently reported that the state's total gross domestic product, a rough indicator of the size of its economy, was $231 billion in 2009.
So the tourism hit was about one half of one one thousandth of Arizona's economy. This statistic doesn't take into account the tremendous budget savings that SB 1070 has generated. After all, somewhere around 100,000 illegal immigrants have left the state. If half of those leaving were children, then the state saw budget savings of nearly $500 million. Indeed, the school enrollment statistics show a dip of around 50,000 kids when SB 1070 went into effect.
You can also look a the AHCCCS numbers to see the budget effects of SB 1070. In 2007, there were 20,000 births paid for by AHCCCS...last year there were 7,000.
So the savings to the state have dwarfed the economic impact of the boycotts, but that doesn't fit the newspaper narrative, so they compensate by just making stuff up. Here's an editorial that appeared on the same day as the articles.
The title of the editorial is "SB 1070 has been a costly failure."
Here's how the editorial opens.
A year later, SB 1070 looks like a big, expensive con.
Hmm, it looks to me like the big expensive con is on the editorial pages of the Republic...