Three “Fixes” to Restoring Freedom and Federalism – Part 3

We’re all familiar with the adage that “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”  This adage is one that applies to the third “fix” I wish to address, namely the 14th amendment.  The 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments compose the trio of “reconstruction amendments” that were necessary to ensure that the newly freed slaves in the South were acknowledged to be citizens and entitled to the full rights of white citizens (although there had been a huge number of non-black slaves in the South as well, and these amendments would also have applied to them).

The need for the amendments arose when President Andrew Johnson vetoed as being an unconstitutional overreach of federal power, the Civil Rights Act of 1866 that acknowledged these rights as being afforded to the slaves.  The former slaves were not being accorded their due rights as citizens and it was determined that it was best to amend the Constitution as that would nullify the president’s veto argument and could not be overturned by a future Congress as easily as a piece of legislation could be.  This logic is sound.

However, as well intentioned as this action was, because it was not more clearly defined, the courts over the years have been able to expand upon it and make applications that have led to a major issue with our illegal immigration problem.  It was never intended by the authors to grant citizenship to anyone simply because they were born on US soil – that language was inserted to make it clear that the former slaves who had been born on US soil were now to be considered as citizens; futuristic application to those who had not been slaves was never intended.  Such is an application of constitutional originalism.

 Congress attempted to exercise its power vested in Section 5 of the amendment when Harry Reid of Nevada introduced the Immigration Stabilization Act of 1993 in an effort to correct the misinterpretation of Section 1 of this amendment:

“TITLE X—CITIZENSHIP 4 SEC. 1001. BASIS OF CITIZENSHIP CLARIFIED: “The Congress has determined and hereby declares that any person born after the date of enactment of this title to a mother who is neither a citizen of the United States nor admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident, and which person is a national or citizen of another country of which either of his or her natural parents is a national or citizen, or is entitled upon application to become a national or citizen of such country, shall be considered as born subject to the jurisdiction of that foreign country and not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States within the meaning of section 1 of such Article and shall therefore not be a citizen of the United States or of any State solely by reason of physical presence within the United States at the moment of birth.”

A second issue with this amendment is the abuse that has been made over the decades of the so-called “Due Process” clause.  It was unfortunate that this was inserted as the Constitution in the 5th amendment already guaranteed this right.  Because it was joined in this 14th amendment with the use of the word “person” in conjunction with this clause, it has been interpreted by the courts to mean that all those on US soil are entitled to the rights of citizens in this regard.   Again, that is taking this amendment out of its historical context, and as we see has contributed to several of our ills today related to immigration and the attending failure to assimilate into our culture.

So was this amendment necessary?  Yes, unfortunately it was.  Yet the amendment clearly illustrates the law of unintended consequences and needs to be rectified, not by statute or court rulings as these can be overturned by future legislation and court rulings, but amended to clarify the meanings that it was originally intended to set in place.

-April 7, 2017

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Who has Constitutional “Rights”?

In the debate over immigration, those advocating for open borders and legalization of those who enter our country illegally are often heard to assert that these individuals have “constitutional rights”, but do they?  To answer this question we must return to the understanding of exactly what a constitution is and why they are created.

A constitution is a compact – a contract if you will – between members of a society in which they agree with one another as to what authority they will cede to a government that will rule over them in order that society might be orderly, and the rights and property of the citizens be protected.

However, not all constitutions are of this exact nature; it all depends upon who drafts the constitution for the society.  For example, the old Soviet Union had a constitution, but it was created by those in power to secure their power over their citizens, not for the benefit of the people.

Our constitution is different.  All you need do is read the opening words of the Preamble – “We the people of the United States…do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”  In our constitution we see the definition of a constitution that I stated above.  We – the citizens of the United States – agreed (and each generation continues to agree amongst ourselves) that the powers contained within the Constitution are those, and only those, which the government may exercise over us, and all those not granted to it reserved, ultimately, to us, the people (Amendments IX and X).  Within the first eight amendments certain of our rights are enumerated and guaranteed to be protected from government encroachment.

However, again, to whom are these guarantees given?  Remember, these are part of a contract that “We the People” made and continue to agree to as belonging to us, American citizens.  Those who come to our country illegally have never entered into this agreement; they are not part of our society, though they live among our society.  They have no allegiance to our principles of government and society, and have not assimilated into our culture, learned our language (English), nor come to an understanding and appreciation for our history and the sacrifices of those before who made our country the greatest on earth.

This being the case, therefore, they do not have “constitutional rights” or guarantees as they have not become a part of “us” who agreed to continue that contract established over 200 years ago.  They have inalienable rights granted to them by our Creator, but constitutional rights, no.  You see, rights are those things that no one has the authority to give or take; they come from our Creator.  A constitution cannot grant rights, only protect or restrict them as agreed to by those who created and perpetuate it, and illegal aliens living among us are not of us nor parties to our contract known as our Constitution.

-September 9, 2016

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United States of America?

These past two weeks we have heard much on the topic of “unity” as the two major political parties strove to convince their delegates on the need for them to be “united.”  In the Republican convention they went further and stressed the need to “make America one again” as the theme of one of their evenings.

It is unfortunate that such an emphasis should be deemed necessary, but today we are indeed in dire need of being “one” again.  We as a country are more divided than any time in my lifetime since the 1960s’.  I could never have imagined Americans reverting back to the horrendous divisiveness of that decade, and yet we have.  However, as one studies our history unity has always been rather tenuous, from the debates over how to form a “United States” to a war between the states through the turbulent decades of social unrest and change of the last century.

Unity is achieved when individuals or groups join together based upon a commonality.  In the case of our political parties, that common ground appears to be the defeat of the opposing party.  Yet for true unity to be realized, that common bond must be of a positive nature.  So we are led to ask, “What common force brought together those original thirteen diverse colonies who often had more things at odds with each other than not?”  The answer can be found in the speeches and writings of our founders, culminating in the words of our Declaration of Independence – Liberty!  It is (or was) the same common ground that drew so many to our shores over the past two centuries, as echoed in the poem on the base of the Statue of Liberty:  “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

Yet today, is this the common thread among us?  It strikes me that there is more of a desire to fracture ourselves into different groups and to obtain benefits for our group at the expense of the others and that we are being flooded with people from other countries who desire the freebies available to them and not to become united as part of the American fabric.  Unity and freedom will never be achieved from such seeds.  Only when we acknowledge that to achieve true individual freedom we must come together based upon common grounds will freedom and unity be realized.

In this conclusion to Part I of his exposition of his insights into the United States of the 1830s’, Alexis de Tocqueville opined:

“If this process of assimilation draws foreign peoples closer together, it is all the more true that the branches of the same people cannot stay strangers to each other.

 Therefore, a time will come when we shall be able to see in North America one hundred and fifty million people all equal to one another, all belonging to the same family, sharing the same beginnings, the same civilization, the same language, the same religion, the same ways, the same customs and among whom thought will circulate in similar forms, depicted in the same colors.  All else is uncertain but this is certain.”

 Or, as he could have said, E Pluribus Unum:  “Out of many, one.”  Hopefully, when this election season is over we can once again be united as one.

-July 29, 2016

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Immigration and Assimilation

It has been said that without secure borders, where illegal immigration proceeds unabated and unchecked, you have no country.  Yet even with legal immigration, without assimilation you have no nation.

You may think these two terms, country and nation, are one in the same, but actually they are not. The term “country” more specifically can be defined by geographical measures – boundaries or borders if you will – as they define the physical scope of a people’s sovereignty.  On the other hand, “nation” carries with it a connotation related to the people within a country.  A nation is a collection of people who reflect a specific identity that distinguishes them from the other nations of the world.  Thus, when someone speaks of “the French”, a profile of what those who live within the borders of France immediately comes to mind that is peculiar to them.  The same could be said for every other nation and used to be said of us, Americans.  Alas, that distinguishing identity is quickly vanishing.

It used to be that when the rest of the world spoke of “Americans”, there was something special about that designation.  Even in the eyes of our enemies it evoked envy in that, as in the case of communist regimes, they were not able to match the accomplishments of our unique culture, driven by our economic and political systems, both of which tied back to our unique identity.  However, when we allow individuals into our country who have no desire or intention of taking on the traits that identify one as an American, that special, unique identity becomes more and more diluted until it becomes no longer recognizable by both those within and without our borders.

The things that made us great – the belief in inalienable rights of all people, personal responsibility, the political philosophy of limited government and individual liberty, all based upon the dignity and man and the sanctity of life – are being assailed on every side, and their diminishment is leading us down the pathway to oblivion.  When we assimilate it does not mean that we give up our individuality or those traits of the ancestry from which we came (as in the case of the Borg of Star Trek fame), but rather we incorporate those American traits into ourselves.  It is these traits, along with a common language and pride, that bind us together as one people, just as our motto states:  e pluribus unum – “out of many, one”.

In a recent episode of Dennis Michael Lynch’s program “Unfiltered” on the Newsmax TV channel, a guest pointed out that that in 1970 the immigrant population of the United States totaled 13.5 million, or 6.6% of the total  population.  Today, that number has grown to 61 million or 19% of our population and growing rapidly.  What makes this more alarming is these individuals are not integrating into the American culture and identity like immigrants in times past, and this trend must change or we will be changed forever.

Thomas de Maiziere, Germany’s foreign minister, gets it.  He said that he will push a new law that basically tells immigrants in Germany to either learn German and assimilate into the German culture or lose their residency status and be deported.  America needs to follow Germany’s lead.

Unless we secure our borders and re-evaluate the goal of our immigration policies, we will no longer have a country; but, it will not matter as we will also have ceased to be a nation.

 

(for a more in-depth, scholarly reading on this matter I highly recommend Who Are We? The Challenges to America’s National Identity by the late Dr. Samuel P. Huntington, former University of Harvard professor and chairman of the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies)

 

-April 1, 2016

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For Whom Was the Constitution Written?

Presidential candidate Donald Trump has been under fire for his statement that we should ban all Muslim immigration and visa visitors for a temporary span of time until we can better vet the background of these individuals.  I have heard several criticisms of this proposal that are both ludicrous and ignorant.  Senator and presidential candidate Marco Rubio has stated that such a prohibition is unconstitutional.  Others state that it violates the principle of freedom of religion as espoused in the first amendment.  A third claim made Thursday evening by former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, was that “we do not have the right” to prohibit a group or class of individuals from entry into our country.

The first objection that it is unconstitutional belies a lack of understanding of our Constitution (something I would think an attorney, Senator and President-wanna-be should know).  To support this assertion we must ask “For whom was the Constitution written?”  One needs look no further than the Preamble to the Constitution to ascertain the answer to this question.

“We the People of the United States, in Order to…secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

It was the citizens of the several states through either direct election (Rhode Island) or through their representatives in either their legislatures or conventions who comprised “We the People.”  This did not include everyone who resided in the territory of the states at that time.  It wasn’t until the passage of the 13th, 14 th and 15 th amendments that the securities of the Constitution were expanded to those previously enslaved (both black and white).  The Constitution was ordained and established for the citizens of “the United States”, not “we the people of the world.”  The Constitution says nothing about our obligation or requirement to admit any and all who wish to enter our borders.

Having established that the sureties given in the Constitution are for citizens, not for any and everyone who comes or wants to come to our shores, the answer to the second objection is also rendered moot.  However, I will make just a couple of brief points on it specifically.  There are only three references to religion in the Constitution.  Article VII references the date of the finalization of the Constitution as being “in the Year of our Lord,”  a common phrase that has nothing to do with the practice of a religion.  The first amendment has two clauses referencing religion, namely that

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”

By prohibiting the importation of those practicing Islam the federal government is not “establishing a religion” for the United States.  Nor is the government prohibiting these individuals from “the free exercise” of their religion – they are at liberty to practice it in their home countries or some other Islamic country.  It is no different than when a couple of years ago we prohibited individuals from countries experiencing an outbreak of Ebola from migrating en mass to our shores.

Finally, the statement that we have “no right” to prohibit any group of individuals from entering our land is patently absurd.  Coming to the United States and living among us is a privilege, not a “right.”  A true “right” is of the caliber identified by Jefferson in our Declaration of Independence, i.e., one that comes from our Creator.  Migrating to one country from another falls far short of this bar.  I might add to this that citizenship is also in this category inasmuch as citizenship can be taken away or revoked by the government since it is the entity that bestows citizenship (see Article I, Section 8, Clause 4 of the Constitution).  It is the inalienable “right” of the citizens of this country to be secure in their life and liberty and it is the responsibility granted to the government by those citizens to make those rights secure, which includes keeping out those who might do harm to those rights.

One final question to be addressed, is “Why not adopt the position of Senator Rand Paul and only limit Muslims from a list of countries known to pose a threat?”  To answer this I merely point to the recent atrocities in Paris, France.  Some of those perpetrators came across the French border from other European countries.   There are millions of Muslims living in France, England, Sweden, the Netherlands, etc., and if these countries were not part of the “list” of forbidden countries, then there would be no way we could prevent Muslim radicals from entering the US from one of those nations.

It Is past time that our leaders quit being so “politically correct” and began looking out for the welfare and safety of Americans first.  If you would not throw open the doors to your home and let anyone and everyone enter and live with you without first thoroughly ensuring they posed no threat to your family, then neither should we do so to our country, “America, my home sweet home.”

-December 11, 2015

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The Refugee Crisis: Showdown between Federal and State Sovereignty

A number of states are forbidding the federal government from settling within their jurisdictions some of the thousands of Syrian refugees President Obama wants to admit into the US.  The President has declared that he will force the states to accept however many of these refugees as he sees fit, and so the stage is set for a major constitutional showdown, like two gunslingers in an old western movie squaring off against one another.

The outcome of this confrontation is far more critical to the future of what’s left of our republic than the welfare of these refugees.  It goes to the very heart of the structure of our federally constituted republic and whether or not we shall finally fall into the pit feared by the Anti-Federalists at the time of the ratification of the Constitution by becoming a singular nationalized country instead of a union of independent, sovereign states.

To begin with, nowhere in the Constitution is the federal government granted the authority over the matter of granting refugees admittance.  You can read it forwards and backwards, but that enumerated power is not stipulated.  This being the case, then this authority must be a power retained by the citizens of the several states, who in their capacity as a body politic, according to the tenth amendment, have every right to make the determination as to the settlement of refugees within their borders.

How is it then that we have reached this juncture of a constitutional crisis over who has authority over immigration policy?  Article I, Section 8, Clause 4 of the US Constitution stipulates that “Congress shall have the power…to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization,…”  At the time of the writing of the Constitution, there was a distinct difference in meaning between the terms “naturalization” and “immigration”, and they were not synonymous.  For the first one hundred years of our history the federal government was only concerned with legislation which laid down the requirements aliens would have to satisfy to become citizens of the United States, while the states enacted their own laws regarding who would be permitted to enter their borders.  It was not until the late 1800s that Congress began to enact immigration legislation.  Over the past 130 or so years the courts have gradually upheld the federal government’s assumption of this power, but with varying degrees of suspect constructions (which makes this assumption on the part of the federal government even more dubious).  The conventional argument is that the naturalization clause of the Constitution includes the authority over immigration as well, but such was not the meaning understood by the original authors of the Constitution.  Note the absurd contortion Justice Kennedy resorted to in upholding this argument in the 2012 case of Arizona v. United States:

 “The Government of the United States has broad, undoubted power over the subject of immigration and the status of aliens. … This authority rests, in part, on the National Government’s constitutional power to ‘establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization,’ U. S. Const., Art. I, §8, cl. 4, and its inherent power as sovereign to control and conduct relations with foreign nations….”

 In order to substantiate that naturalization includes authority over immigration, he has to fall back on the authority of the federal government to deal with foreign nations.  Really?  Such so-called reasoning flies in the face of etymology and our early history (which would be the best indicator of which “sphere of influence” this matter resided).

In light of this and President Obama’s threat, we need to step back and consider the structure of the relationship between the federal government and the states as it was originally intended.  In his throwing down of the gauntlet over this issue, the President is claiming that the federal government can set aside the wishes of the citizens of a state in regards to matters that are constitutionally retained by them.

The question becomes, ”Does this assertation comport to the form of the union created by the Constitution?”  Our system vests sovereignty in but one place – the people of the several, yet united, states.  The sovereign people of the states agreed to grant authority (or limited sovereignty if you will) to two spheres – the federal and state governments – via constitutions.  It is in the US Constitution we see the spheres of authority between these two entities clearly delineated, and that neither “sphere” is permitted to invade that of the other.

In Construction Construed, and Constitutions Vindicated, published in 1820, John Taylor of Caroline, after quoting both Madison’s and Hamilton’s comments to this point in The Federalist Papers, succinctly summed up this principle with these words:

“The co-ordinacy of institution, the independence of each other, and the mutuality of the right of construing the federal constitution, are thus recognised and asserted, as existing in the federal and state governments; and the principle, which pervades the whole, must also pervade the parts. If the entire federal government possesses no supremacy over, and can require no subordination from the entire state governments, whilst acting within their respective spheres, no part or department of that government can exert a supremacy over, or exact a subordination from, the corresponding parts or departments of the state governments.”

To apply this to our current showdown between the states and President Obama, if the matter of admitting refugees is a matter left to the discretion of the states, and “If the entire federal government possesses no supremacy over, and can require no subordination from the entire state governments,” then for Obama to claim he can force the states to do otherwise is to turn Taylor’s principle on its head, namely, that if one part of the federal government can eviscerate the authority of the states in one matter, then the entire federal government can do likewise in all areas, and the significance of even the semblance of states’ existence is reduced to the theatre of the absurd.

It may well be that having the federal government control those permitted to immigrate into the United States, especially in this day and time, is the best course of action; but as Chief Justice John Marshall stated in McCulloch v. Maryland in 1819, “The peculiar circumstances of the moment may render a measure more or less wise, but cannot render it more or less constitutional.”

-December 4, 2015

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Christianity and the Government

This past week I have read many comments by Christians saying that our nation must admit the refugees from Syria into our midst as that is our “Christian” obligation.  Secularists make the same argument but on purely humanitarian grounds.  I will not concern myself with the latter in this essay, but rather address my fellow Christians who hold the former position.  I will also address the companion view that we should not be asking our leaders to, in the words of Donald Trump, “Bomb the ‘stuff’ out of ISIS.”

First, I will concede that Scripture teaches us to help the needy, the oppressed and the poor among us.  Yet every one of those passages are addressing us as individuals.  We are to help those less fortunate “as we have the ability.”  We have the example of the Gentile churches in the book of Acts (and as recorded in 1 Corinthians) sending their collective funds to the needy Christians in the Jerusalem church.  Having said this, however, it cannot be extended to government, for that is not the purpose and function of government.

Individuals form societies from which governments arise because they need a mutually agreed upon entity to ensure that everyone’s rights are equally protected.  For this reason they give over to the government some of their natural rights so that justice and orderliness might prevail.  In short, the purpose of our government is to protect our inalienable rights of life, liberty and property, and as is stated in the Preamble to our Constitution, to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”  For the government to allow into our society those whom we are unable to vet regarding their threat to our inalienable rights is a monumental failure of its prime directive.  It is also a failure for it to bring into our republic those who will not assimilate into it and adapt our values, for in so doing the very fabric of our society (and by extension our liberties) will be unraveled.

As for waging unrestricted warfare against these who are sworn to the barbarism we have witnessed over the past two decades, remember that God has throughout history used governments to punish peoples and nations.  Paul wrote in the book of Romans that governmental authorities “do not bear the sword for nothing.  He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.”   Also, the Lord through the prophet Isaiah called the godless nation of Assyria the “rod of my anger…against a people who anger Me.”  How are we to know whether or not we, the United States, are today the “rod of God’s anger” to destroy the evil being perpetrated against Christians and other innocents by these monsters?

Bottom line, if you wish to contribute to some charitable organization to assist those refugees, such is the “Christian” thing to do; but such is not the purpose of government.  Its purpose is to protect us from evildoers and to punish those who seek our destruction.  As Vladimir Putin, certainly no Christian, aptly put it in regards to the terrorists:  “It’s up to God to forgive them; sending them to Him is up to me.”  For once, I agree with Putin; if only we had a president who understood this duty as well.

-November 20, 2015

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Setting Our Fiscal House in Order

Our debt is soaring, our unfunded liabilities are beyond comprehension, deficit spending continues unabated, and Congress refuses to make the tough decisions to solve any of these problems.  Instead, they persist in perpetuating them via one “continuing resolution” after another instead of a responsible, balanced budget.  However, as I pointed out seven weeks ago, just balancing the budget is not going to solve our problem – it will help and is a good first step, but there is no single, one-step solution, as I’ve spelled out over the past six weeks.  So here is a recap of the several pieces I’ve put forth that must be employed simultaneously to bring us back from the brink of fiscal and economic collapse.

  1. Freeze our spending at current levels. Prioritize items and increase spending in areas desperately needed and constitutionally required while cutting back on those not constitutionally permitted.  This would include immediate elimination of all government subsidies to businesses and organizations not constitutionally eligible for government funds.
  1. Eliminate all duplicative programs/agencies. Begin a five-year step down elimination of the funding to all unconstitutional agencies/bureaus at which time they will be eliminated completely.  Return control of non-nationally related duties to the states as was intended by our founders.
  1. Repeal the Administrative Procedure Act of 1946 and force Congress to assume all legislative responsibilities and the courts as the sole avenue for adjudication of disputes.
  1. Return to the welfare reforms put in place in the 1990s’ (and expand those reforms). By removing government’s heavy hand from our economy as stipulated in points two and three, we will experience economic growth that will provide employment opportunities to those currently on welfare – give people a hand up via a free economy, not a hand out from government dependency.
  1. Place a freeze on legal immigration and clamp down hard on illegal immigration, including the deportation of all those who are here illegally. Those here via both means constitute competition in the job market for Americans and place a huge drain on our overly generous welfare system (see point number four).
  1. Repeal the 16th amendment that authorized the income tax, thereby eliminating all income-related and payroll-related taxes and convert to a consumption-based system of revenue as outlined in H.R. 25, “The Fair Tax Act.”

As I’ve tried to outline, albeit briefly, each of these areas must be done in concert with each other.  Some may be accelerated and fast-tracked so that they are accomplished sooner than others, but they all should and must be completed within a five-year time period for one simple reason – we’re out of time and the edge of the fiscal cliff is upon us.

-October 23, 2015

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What to Do – Part V

A debate can easily be had over what is the greatest threat to the US today.  Credible arguments can be made for international threats from ISIS, Russia, China and Korea.  However dangerous as those threats are thanks to the deliberate evisceration of our military and global strategy by this president, the more immediate threat comes from within, again thanks to Obama and his minions in Congress as this threat is not only a danger to us in the form of terrorism, but even more so in financial terms.  So, as we are looking at solutions to corralling the government’s runaway spending we must while implementing the previous four parts I’ve suggested turn our attention to the threat of immigration, both legal and illegal.

It cannot be denied that illegal immigration places a heavy burden upon our financial stability as these individuals cost schools, cities, counties, and states, in additional to the federal government, much more than they can ever hope to contribute.  In addition they take jobs that could/should go to Americans (despite the false argument that they only do jobs that Americans won’t do), thus compounding more financial worries upon those unemployed and straining government budgets at every level.

Legal immigration also  poses a problem in that those we allow in many times are either highly educated and thus complete for jobs against native Americans with similar education and training (think H1B visas) or they are from the lower economic rungs and offer little to our economy.

So, in approaching the issue of immigration both legal and illegal must be addressed.  Several argue that we should put a moratorium on all legal immigration, and that would be a needed first step in that arena.  We should not be letting immigrants into the country unless we at first are certain they are needed.  2015 America is not the same as 1900 America (or earlier).

As for illegal immigrants, there are several things that must be done, all of which have been put forth by various other individuals (for the best information on the threat of illegal immigration I highly recommend the documentary series produced by Dennis Michael Lynch:  They Come to America – I, II, III).

First, the economic magnet that draws them here must be dismantled.  As Milton Friedman stated, you cannot have a welfare state and open borders as those pouring across into the country for all the “free stuff” will overwhelm and sink the system.  This means no more public education, no in-state tuition at universities and colleges, no free medical care at hospital emergency rooms, no food stamps, no housing assistance, etc.  It also means heavy penalties for businesses and individuals who hire illegals.  The enforcement of our immigration laws will not require an expansion of our government, and I’ll outline how in the next installment of this series.

Finally, those caught here must be deported back to their country of origin and the cost of such action be imposed via a corresponding reduction of foreign aid to the governments of those countries or the imposition of a tariff fee on imports from them (limited strictly to the cost of deportation).  This is the only way to incentivize those governments to focus on improving their own lot instead of sending their problems of impoverishment to our shores.

As you can see, the solution to our looming fiscal crisis is not just limited to “reduce spending” or elimination of duplication in the government or even unconstitutional spending.  All of these suggestions I have put forth are part of a fabric that most be woven and implemented together if any are to succeed.  The next piece of the puzzle is the other side of the fiscal coin, namely, revenue and how it is collected.

-October 9, 2015

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Citizenship Doesn’t Mean as Much as It Used To

Lee Greenwood’s anthem to America, “I’m Proud to be an American”, has lost its luster with many US citizens.  According to the US Treasury Department, in 2013 2,999 US citizens moved to another country and gave up their citizenship.  In 2014 that number rose to 3,415, or a 14% increase over the year before.

In a nation of 300 million people, this number may seem trivial, but consider this:  according to a recent survey conducted  by the British money transfer firm Transferwise, 35% of the US citizens it surveyed would have an interest  in leaving the US and thus give up their citizenship.  Of this amount, 14% stated they would consider doing so within the next five years.  Of the 35% who would make this move, 51% stated lower taxes as their main motivation, while almost an equal amount, 48% were motivated by better educational opportunities.  Lower cost health coverage was another major concern as was  the desire for a better quality of life and lower cost of living.

In juxtaposition to this we see millions from impoverished third world countries pouring across our borders to take up residence among us.  Yet when asked about their motivation for coming here, despite citing some of the same reasons given by a significant number of our fellow citizens who want to leave America, more often the reason these individuals give for wanting to come and stay in the US is for the welfare provisions provided by Washington.  Add to this the lack of a desire on the part of these immigrants, mostly illegal, to assimilate into the American culture, learn English, become US citizens and severe ties to their former homeland, it should come as no surprise that upwards of one-in-three of us are tired of having to pay for those individuals and want out of a country that is self-imploding under such lax immigration policies.

I, for one, have no desire to leave America, “land that I love”, and I am “Proud to be an American”.  However, regretfully, it is becoming harder and harder to feel the sentiment of the next phrase in Greenwood’s song, “where at least I know I’m free.”  What a blight on the record of our leadership in Washington where due to their governing, a full one-third of their citizens would give more than a fleeting thought to wanting to give up being Americans.

-August 21, 2015

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