You can try to put “conservative” lipstick on the lawless amnesty mob. In the end, however, it’s still a lawless mob. The big government/big business alliance to protect illegal immigration got a lot of mileage using foolish Republicans Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan as front men. But the true colors of the open-borders grievance-mongers always show through.
After America said no to a pork-filled security-undermining amnesty bill in 2007, the No Illegal Alien Left Behind lobbyists changed their overtly thuggish tactics. They put down their upside-down American flags, stopped wearing their ...
As Americans obsess over NSA spying, abuse by the IRS and other assaults on our freedom, I can’t get my mind off the thousand other ways politicians abuse us.
In their arrogance, they assume that only they solve social problems. They will solve them by banning this and that, subsidizing groups they deem worthy and setting up massive bureaucracies with a mandate to cure, treat and rescue wayward souls.
Their programs fail, and so they pass new laws to address the failures. It’s one reason that 22 million people now work for ...
Grutter v. Bollinger was the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that upheld the University of Michigan Law School’s racial admissions policy. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, writing for the majority, said the U.S. Constitution “does not prohibit the Law School’s narrowly tailored use of race in admissions decisions to further a compelling interest in obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body.” But what are the educational benefits of a diverse student body?
Intellectuals argue that diversity is necessary for academic excellence, but what’s the evidence? For example, Japan ...
PARIS — Anyone who knows anything about the real world of intelligence and espionage knows that James Bond is a joke who wouldn’t survive his first day on the job (and not just because he’d fall asleep during static surveillance). But just try explaining to people that Agent 007 bears absolutely no resemblance to the reality of espionage profession. So it shouldn’t come as any surprise that intelligence-leaking NSA contractor Edward Snowden — with his lack of understanding of the intelligence apparatus, given that he’s a tech guy and not ...
President Obama is as thoroughly fenced him by his scandals as President Nixon ever was. The scandals that are engulfing him hurt him badly with both the younger voters who have been his political base and the older voters he has sought to woo. And, the media scandals are destroying his image with his political mainstay: His popularity with the press.
The latest CNN poll affords ample evidence that Obama is hurting himself with young people. The survey reflects a 15-point drop in job approval among under 30 voters in just ...
It would make things so much easier for everyone if Edward Snowden were working for China.
And that’s certainly a possibility. His decision to flee to Hong Kong — a Chinese vassal — was an odd one, given that China is hardly a bulwark of transparency and civil rights. It’s a bit like complaining that Boston is too Catholic and then moving to Vatican City in protest.
Then there’s the nature of the crime itself. Informed sources I’ve spoken with are generally aghast by what they say is the scope of information ...
Last week, Bill Clinton warned that President Barack Obama risked looking like a “wuss” and “a total fool” for not acting sooner on Syria. Shortly thereafter — but two months after Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel charged that strongman Bashar Assad had crossed a “red line” in using chemical weapons against his own people — the White House announced that in response to Assad’s use of sarin, the administration would send small arms to help Syrian rebels.
Allow me to stand up for the president. Obama didn’t look like a fool ...
On Sept. 11, 2001, al-Qaida terrorists, on orders from their superiors based in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, flew U.S. commercial planes into the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon. They would have targeted the White House or Capitol with a fourth plane if not for the heroism of the passengers on Flight 93. Overall, almost 3,000 Americans were murdered. Nine days later, President George W. Bush told the nation, “We condemn the Taliban regime. … Our war on terror begins with al-Qaida.”
Our war on terror is now over. It’s over not ...
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Instead of a series of awkward
silences, punctuated by the vacuous desire to "create
education better," do you wonder what might have happened
if the lovely Marisa Powell had prepared for the pageant by, say,
studying a relevant
article about the gender wage gap at Politifact?
Imagine no longer.
"What if Miss Utah Gave the Correct Answer at the Miss USA
Pageant?" is the latest from Reason TV?
Watch above or click on the link below for video, full text,
supporting links, downloadable versions, and more Reason TV
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its cost estimate and economic impact documents for S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, today. We are still analyzing the lengthy reports, but already a few items stand out as noteworthy.
CBO reports that S. 744 would have only a marginal impact in reducing future illegal immigration. According to CBO, S.744 would reduce the future inflow of illegal immigrants into the U.S. over the next two decades by only 25 percent. CBO estimates that by 2033, 7.5 million new illegal immigrants will have entered the U.S. and taken up residence. The Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector estimates that these new illegal immigrants could cost the taxpayers (federal, state, and local) some $400 billion over 20 years.
The CBO estimate is in sharp contrast to the rhetoric of the bill’s sponsors, who have said the bill “contains the toughest border immigration enforcement measures in U.S. history.” Measures to increase border security or make an amnesty contingent on securing the border first have been voted down by the bill sponsors and their allies in the Senate.
Effect on Workers
Congress should pass only immigration reform measures that are good for American workers. The economic goal should be increased after-tax income for those in the United States lawfully. This bill appears to fail that test in the years following enactment, since per capita gross national product (GNP) would be lower in the bill all the way out past 2030 (Figure 2). (See also “S. 744 would reduce per capita GNP by .7 percent in 2023” [page 14].) CBO notes that by 2033, a range of estimates indicate that per capita GNP could be lower or higher.
Wages also seem to take a hit in the first decade or so, according to CBO. If Heritage is right about the heavy fiscal costs of amnesty starting around 2026 (13 years after a potential enactment), then it would be even more important to measure post-tax wages than simply per capita GNP or wages in any event.
The CBO report also does little to assuage concern that the amnesty portion of the bill would be very costly to U.S. taxpayers. It provides only a look at the first 10 years in any real detail. (It includes only a sketch of the second 10 years.)
As we noted last week prior to the report:
Specifically, the bill allows those who move from unlawful status to registered provisional immigrant status to obtain few benefits initially. Then, upon entering legal permanent resident status, they would be eligible for additional benefits, and in time they would qualify for the full panoply of means-tested welfare and entitlement benefits.
It is important to note as well that the most significant costs during the lifetime of would-be legalized immigrants are during their retirement years after they qualify for Medicare and Social Security. For the vast majority of unlawful immigrants, that is well past the 10-year budget window.
Heritage has noted that an amnesty would be costly to American taxpayers, would not stop unlawful immigration, and would be unfair to those who immigrated lawfully or did not enter the U.S. illegally. Tomorrow, Heritage will host an event to discuss the CBO report in more detail.
I predict "war on men" will prove a more enduring idea than "war on women."
— James Taranto (@jamestaranto) June 19, 2013
The New Yorker this week
has published an exhaustive—and exhausting—account
of the Senate's attempts thus far to pass comprehensive immigration
reform. The article, by Ryan Lizza, focuses on the "Gang of Eight,"
a bipartisan group of legislative negotiators whose non-negotiable
criteria for membership was that participants had to favor "a
comprehensive approach to immigration—all the major issues had to
be settled in one bill—and they had to support a pathway to
citizenship for undocumented immigrants."
Tuck away those groundrules for later.
The lead character in Lizza's story is Gang of Eight GOP leader
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who headed up Republican efforts in the
failed 2006 negotiations for bipartisan comprehensive immigration
reform (then known as "McCain-Kennedy"), but largely
handed the task over in early 2007 to the then-junior Arizona
Sen. Jon Kyl so that some other Republican would take conservative
flak while McCain tried desperately to
fundraise his presidential campaign out of oblivion. The
flak-dodging strategy did not work—McCain got hammered by the GOP
grassroots as Senate negotiations reached their crescendo, made
headlines by yelling "Fuck
you!" to Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) at one pivotal moment,
and his campaign
came within an eyelash of imploding two weeks after the 2007
version of comprehensive immigration reform
failed to make it to a final vote.
Note that the previous paragraph is not The New
Yorker's gloss on events, but mine. Here's how Lizza describes
McCain's evolution on the issue:
Beginning with his Presidential run against Barack Obama, in
2008, McCain had aligned himself with a wing of the Republican
Party he once fought, and retreated from issues he once championed,
including immigration reform.
"Retreated" is an incomplete and over-generous description of
John McCain's immigration politics in 2007, the implications of
which have direct relevance to 2013. In fact, the senator, having
narrowly averted seeing his decades-long quest for the White House
blown up on the launching pad over this single
issue, started openly campaigning against his own
bills. After having co-sponsored the DREAM Act three times
previously, for example, including earlier that year, McCain
opposed it in the fall of 2007, with his aides explaining
that "The senator has said 1,000 times since immigration reform
failed this summer that he got the message. The American people
want the border secured first."
The Republican Party Platform when John McCain was its
presidential nominee stated bluntly that "we
oppose amnesty," and contained language such as this:
The rule of law means guaranteeing to law enforcement the tools
and coordination to deport criminal aliens without delay—and
correcting court decisions that have made deportation so difficult.
It means enforcing the law against those who overstay their visas,
rather than letting millions flout the generosity that gave them
temporary entry. It means imposing maximum penalties on those who
smuggle illegal aliens into the U.S., both for their lawbreaking
and for their cruel exploitation. It means requiring cooperation
among federal, state and local law enforcement and real
consequences, including the denial of federal funds, for
self-described sanctuary cities, which stand in open defiance of
the federal and state statutes that expressly prohibit such
sanctuary policies, and which endanger the lives of U.S. citizens.
It does not mean driver's licenses for illegal aliens, nor does it
mean that states should be allowed to flout the federal law barring
them from giving in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens, nor does
it mean that illegal aliens should receive social security
benefits, or other public benefits, except as provided by federal
This is what happens when John McCain's electoral
needs outweigh his instinctive aversion to the conservative
brazen, insincere pandering that makes a mockery out of his
claim to talk "straight."
The low point of which may have been this May 2010
commercial, during McCain's primary campaign against
immigration restrictionist J.D. Hayworth:
The progression from 2006 Teddy Kennedy partner on immigration
to 2010 J.D. Hayworth competitor demonstrates much about what is
unseemly in John McCain, but it also tells us plenty about the
fundamental flaws with the immigration deal he's brokering this
time around. Yes, it's gross when flip-flopping politicians pay
unconvincing tribute to "crazy
base land." But it also doesn't speak well to either the GOP
grassroots or their favorite media outlets that it has become
fairly mainstream for Republicans to advocate
double-fencing the U.S.-Mexico border and imposing a
mandatory federal database-verification system before any
American—not just foreigner, American—is allowed by the
government to be hired by any employer.
Instead of forthrightly telling their own base that the only way
to track each and every foreigner's movements at and within the
borders of the United States is to construct a police state,
Republican politicians have instead opted for a McCainite
dodge—talk the tough language of "securing the border" during
primary season, switch to
my-grandfather-was-a-hardworking-immigrant stories during
the general, and wait until the next electoral lull to head back up
the greased pole of comprehensive reform.
As Tim Cavanaugh wrote in a perceptive
April 2008 piece, there's a palpable "sense that even when
public officials do get serious about illegal immigration,
they're really winking at the audience.... Rhetoric about
immigration remains as passionate and hysterical as ever. And so
government officials respond to the hysteria, but since they know
in their hearts that the immigration crisis is a solution in search
of a problem, they do so with a vain, affected quality that reveals
the very condescension restrictionists find so infuriating."
So it is that the same John McCain who in May 2010 campaigned to
"complete the danged fence” is, three years later, saying stuff
There are some people that, if you and I built the Berlin Wall
and had machine guns every fifty yards, then [they would say] that
border would not be secure.
On this subject, I certainly agree with John McCain (the 2013
version, anyway) more than double-fencer Michele Bachmann. But I
also wish that instead of alternating between pandering and scorn
for a conservative base that has become attached to the illusory
goal of even 90 percent border security, McCain instead tried to
forthrightly win arguments on facts, regardless of his temporal
Meanwhile, by insisting at every step that this immigration deal
be "comprehensive"—that it include a pathway to citizenship for 11
million unauthorized immigrants AND increased border security AND
an expanded number of legal visas AND more database-enforcement of
visa overstays AND a new temporary-worker program, and so
on—negotiators have ensured that basically every possible
improvement to the country's pathologically dysfunctional
immigration system will be held hostage to a legislative
sausage-making process that grows more foul by the day.
So instead of treating the existence of 11 million-plus
unauthorized immigrants as a prohibition problem that could be
ameliorated with the relaxation of federal controls and expansion
of the legal visa regime, legislators continue to treat it as a
lawlessness problem requiring
unending billions in stepped-up enforcement. Instead of
increasing visas for postgraduate students or any other category of
desirable workers, negotiators are holding everything up so that
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) can convince enough distrustful
conservatives that the Gang of Eight will indeed do the impossible
of "securing the border."
When this latest effort fails, maybe then Washington will
finally be ready to have an honest conversation about which
discrete reforms are desirable, possible, and consistent
with the motto "Land of the Free." It will probably require a
generation of politicians who don't take their cues from John
Repealing Obamacare will increase the deficit by $109 billion over 10 years. That was a headline from a CBO report in May when Republicans voted on full repeal of Obamacare. Somehow, when it comes to ascertaining the costs of wrongheaded policy, CBO wants us to engage in willing suspension of disbelief. The most costly entitlement will actually reduce the deficit, they claim. In Washington, up | Read More »