Wednesday, February 18, 2009
In support of illegal aliens (sigh)
Posted by Courtney E. Howard
I am all for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed by President Barack Obama this week. It is about time our hard-earned tax money was used, not to help well-paid executives at failing businesses, but to help us. What a novel idea--investing in us and the infrastructures we rely upon daily (roads, transportation, etc.). Isn't that why we pay taxes? I know I don't cut a fat check to the government annually to enable fat-cat executives to take long spa vacations, benefit from "golden parachutes," or flit around in private jets.
Two things disturb me about this stimulus package, however. First, what took so long? Why did Congress need to deliberate so long and so passionately over a stimulus that benefits taxpayers? Seems to me a no-brainer. Go out and talk to people. How is morale these days? Not good. I know it was a different Congress that deliberated (hmm...) not at all over spending hundreds of billions overseas on bodies, bombs, and bullets; but it still gets my goat, and that of thousands of other taxpaying Americans.
That brings me to another peeve, how about those non-taxpaying non-citizens? They have long benefited from our tax money, and they stand to gain even more from the stimulus. California reportedly spends upwards of $9 billion a year on illegal aliens, the very ones that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has claimed are essential to the health of the state's economy. (It is a common argument: cheap labor enables businesses to keep running and in turn paying wages to Americans and taxes to local and state governments.) I would argue, however: What health? California's economy is far from healthy. (To be fair, whose is? Organizations ranging from a rural town in N.H. to the country of Iceland have declared bankruptcy.) In a press conference Wednesday, Gov. Schwarzenegger said: "People are concerned that this state is going to go off the cliff... this budget deals with the $42 billion deficit, which is the biggest deficit that we have ever had." (Small factoid: Schwarzenegger was once himself considered an illegal immigrant in the 1970s, when he was rumored to have violated the terms of his visa.)
State and local governments in California stand to receive roughly $26 billion under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, says one source; others estimate the amount at more than $32 billion over two years. The State Finance Department sets that number even higher: $37 billion.
What are your thoughts on the stimulus? California's economy, and what appears to be a state-wide max exodus (hundreds of residents moving out of state most months)? I would love to know.