Washington, DC -- (ReleaseWire) -- 12/03/2015 --The tragic terrorist attacks in Paris just over a week ago had us all glued to our televisions, watching on in horror. In the time since, a conversation has developed about national security, the Islamic State, and America's role in succoring refugees from crisis zones, in particular Syria. Unfortunately, every buffoon in Congress seems to have an opinion, and the media immediately picks up on the ridiculousness, amplifying and legitimizing it. If I've learned anything as a life-long student of the world, it is that opinions should be backed by facts, not fear.
Let's look at some things we know to be true. First, as President Obama said when repeating his promise that the U.S. would allow 10,000 Syrian refugees into the country, America is the sort of country whose generosity should extend to those in the worst sorts of trouble. I am sympathetic to this, agree that our country is blessed with the sort of open hearts that want to respond to the plights of refugees. However, when he goes on to claim that there is no risk because a handful of government agencies will thoroughly screen every Syrian refugee, an eyebrow has to raise. From my work in financial services I know without a doubt that "Trust me, I'm from the government, and I'm here to help," is a fantasy. The government believes far more in its own competence than evidence will let any outside observer to.
A fact that many are unaware of is that every new refugee arriving in the United States is automatically enrolled in welfare. With $19 trillion in debt (not counting unfunded liabilities like Social Security and Medicare), can we really afford to expand the welfare state even further? Creating more dependence on government is an easy way for politicians to buy goodwill, but I think we need to question this whole thing.
Senator Rand Paul spoke on the Senate floor last week, and addressed many of the issues with the refugee plans. He pointed out that we have in fact been attacked by refugees in the recent past, giving the Boston Bombers as examples and saying, "They didn't take very kindly to what we gave them: education, food, clothing. And they chose to attack our country." He went on to talk about the massive trouble we have keeping track of legal and illegal immigrants, bringing up the fact that 40% of illegal immigrants simply overstayed their visas, and wondering how well our process works for keeping up with the 150,000 Middle Eastern students in our colleges and universities. He also proposed an amendment to defund the program that provides housing and financial assistance to refugees. "We don't have enough money to do this. It's a threat to our national security."
Rand Paul gave a reasoned argument, based on facts, but so many in Congress and the media have been waving their hands in panic and spouting false information, as if repeated assertion can stand in for rational thought. Despite this fear, uncertainty, and doubt, we have learned a few things in the days since the attack in Paris. Yes, it seems that at least one of the ringleaders exploited the flow of refugees into Europe to travel unobtrusively. However, the fact is that none of the known attackers was a Syrian citizen or refugee. They were all European nationals. The Syrian passport found near one of the men was a fake, and the German Interior Minister has gone so far as to suggest that ISIS may have purposefully used it to create a false trail and create the precise sort of knee-jerk closing of borders being advocated by many in American politics and media. After all, refugees fleeing ISIS is a PR disaster for an organization that claims to have created an Islamist utopia.
It's clear that the issue of refugees is neither simple nor clear-cut, and no more suitable for sound bites and the nattering of talking heads and stuffed shirts than any other. In the same way that I encourage you to evaluate the facts when looking at your portfolio and plans for your financial future, I urge that you do the research, look at the information from all sides, and then draw a conclusion. Here are some questions to look at in that light: Do we as a nation have a moral obligation to open our doors to refugees, those fleeing oppression, violence, and deprivation? Do we have the capability in the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department to really evaluate and track refugees from conflict zones, including Syria? Can we afford to increase our country's debt by putting them on the welfare rolls, or should churches and charities take that responsibility? Don't let the media or politicians answer these questions for you. And once you know your answers, make your voice heard.
For over a quarter century, the experienced advisors of Bennett Group Financial Services, LLC have been successfully guiding clients through the complexities of wealth management. Bennett Group Financial Services provides individual investors, corporations and foundations with holistic investment strategies using unique portfolio solutions across a breadth of asset classes. Our unique vision and insight into market trends makes Bennett Group Financial Services a much sought after expert resource with regular appearances on Fox News Channel, CNBC, Bloomberg TV, and MSNBC as well as being featured in Business Week, Fortune, The NY Times, The NY Sun, Washington Business Journal in addition to our highly regarded weekly talk radio program - Financial Mythbusting. Through attentive service and prudent, thoughtful advice, Bennett Group Financial Services, LLC strives to consistently provide its clients with the highest quality of guidance and personalized service available.
About Dawn Bennett
Dawn Bennett is CEO and Founder of Bennett Group Financial Services. She hosts a national radio program called Financial Myth Busting http://www.financialmythbusting.com
She discusses educational topics and events in the financial news, along with her thoughts on the economy, financial markets, investments, and more with her live guests, who have included rock legend Ted Nugent, as well as Steve Forbes and Grover Norquist. Listeners can call 855-884-DAWN a as well as take podcasts on the road and forums for interaction.
She can be reached on Twitter @DawnBennettFMB or on Facebook Financial Myth Busting with Dawn Bennett.