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Social Security for Mexicans closer to reality (Millions of immigrants to collect benefits)
www.wnd.com ^ | December 11, 2003 | WorldNetDaily

Posted on 12/11/2003 7:55:33 PM PST by VU4G10

The prospect of millions of Mexicans receiving United States Social Security checks is moving closer to reality.

The Gannett News Service reports U.S. and Mexican officials are discussing a "totalization" agreement that would transfer hundreds of millions of dollars in payments south of the border. The plan would allow documented and undocumented immigrants to return home but still collect U.S. benefits.

WorldNetDaily reported the idea to merge both countries' Social Security systems was pushed late last year by Mexican President Vincente Fox as payback from President George W. Bush for failing to secure major new immigration reforms beneficial to Mexico City.

"When the legalization talks began going nowhere, the Mexicans began focusing on this," Maria Blanco, national senior counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, told the Washington Post.

Excerpts from a U.S. Social Security Administration memo dated December 2002 said the agreement "is expected to move forward at an accelerated pace."

The pact is the latest and largest attempt by Washington and Mexico City to ensure that people from one country working in another aren't taxed twice for Social Security benefits. In the first year alone, the agreement is expected to trigger 37,000 claims from Mexicans working in the U.S. legally who paid Social Security taxes but haven't been able to claim their checks, said the memo, prepared by Ted Girdner, the Social Security Administration's assistant associate commissioner for international operations.

Supporters say the proposal would improve the daily lives of Mexican citizens, many of whom are still trapped in poverty a decade after the North American Free Trade Agreement promised prosperity to the nation's 103.4 million people.

"Let's be honest, there are millions of Mexican immigrants contributing to the Social Security system and the U.S. economy," Katherine Culliton, an attorney with the Washington, D.C., office of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, told Gannett. "It's only fair they get back a benefit they deserve that will keep them from dying in poverty."

Critics, as well as some on the Bush administration economic team, worry that adding more beneficiaries would burden an already ailing system, just as American baby boomers begin to retire.

Currently, around 94,000 beneficiaries living abroad have been brought into the U.S. system under the auspices of about 20 international treaties designed to help Americans sent abroad by their employers signed since 1977. The accords are mostly with European countries, but also include Canada and South Korea.

Of the $408 billion distributed in Social Security benefits in 2001, according to Gannett, the federal government paid $173 million to about 89,000 foreigners living abroad.

Opponents contend the number of Mexican beneficiaries added to the fold would dwarf the total numbers from the 20 other countries. One estimate puts the number of Mexicans coming into the system at around 164,000 in the first five years.

Social Security Administration officials estimate about 50,000 Mexicans would collect $78 million in the first year of a U.S.-Mexican agreement. By 2050, the number is predicted to swell to 300,000 Mexicans collecting $650 million in benefits a year.

But that number doesn't include the potentially eligible, undocumented Mexican immigrants – numbering about 5 million, according to federal estimates – a recent General Accounting Office report pointed out.

Accounting for illegals, the agreement could cost U.S. taxpayers $750 million within five years of implementation.

Steven A. Camarota, director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies, says if Mexicans receive the $8,100 in benefits that Mexican-born retirees in the U.S. currently get, the total expenditure for the program will easily surpass $1 billion annually.

Beyond the cost, Republican lawmakers worry the proposal will fuel further illegal immigration.

"Talk about an incentive for illegal immigration," Gannett quotes Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, as saying. "How many more would break the law to come to this country if promised U.S. government paychecks for life?"

Any "totalization" agreement ultimately reached must be approved by Congress.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; Mexico
KEYWORDS: aliens; biggovernment; illegalaliens; legalplunder; plunder; republicanturncoats; socialism; socialsecurity; stateasfather; thenannystate; thewelfarestate; welfarestate
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1 posted on 12/11/2003 7:55:35 PM PST by VU4G10
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To: VU4G10
Anyone know what it takes to sue the U.S. government?
2 posted on 12/11/2003 8:00:05 PM PST by Hoosier-Daddy (It's a fight to the death with Democrats.)
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To: Hoosier-Daddy
Anyone need a American laborer?

Will work for CASH.

3 posted on 12/11/2003 8:03:21 PM PST by Stopislamnow (Islam-Founded by Evil, and thriving on death. Just like the modern democrats)
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To: VU4G10
This makes me want to wretch! How bad is this mess going to get before the taxpayers decide to do something about it?
4 posted on 12/11/2003 8:04:35 PM PST by AD from SpringBay (We have the government we allow and deserve.)
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To: VU4G10
The sooner it's ruined the better for us who want it privatized. I'd rather keep my 15% and invest it as I see fit. Not some asshole politicians doing it for (against) me. You pay all your life to SS and when you die it's gone. At least private plans would be left to a beneficiary.
5 posted on 12/11/2003 8:06:35 PM PST by Ron in Acreage
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To: AD from SpringBay
It is time for a tax revolt. But it will take years to organize one, and we should have started a while back.
6 posted on 12/11/2003 8:12:11 PM PST by GeronL (Is your Tagline weak, limp and ineffective? Has it hurt your relationship? Try TiAGra today!!!!)
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To: VU4G10
I see another one term BUSH as the result.
7 posted on 12/11/2003 8:13:22 PM PST by org.whodat
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To: GeronL
Abso-freakin-lutely! A tax revolt and a few hundred thousand cash-only jobs. At this point maybe we could go back to barter? Why do people not care about this?
8 posted on 12/11/2003 8:15:19 PM PST by AD from SpringBay (We have the government we allow and deserve.)
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To: AD from SpringBay
Why do people not care about this?

Because its not BAD enough, apparently. I still think we should start oeganizing one, and when we reach 35 million members or so, we can announce that if government doesn't shape up, we will shape them down.

9 posted on 12/11/2003 8:17:34 PM PST by GeronL (Is your Tagline weak, limp and ineffective? Has it hurt your relationship? Try TiAGra today!!!!)
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To: VU4G10
Meanwhile, we have soldiers fighting for the best interest of the American people. Mexico, however, refuses to support our troops.

I support "W" in so many ways. I will promise that he WON'T get my vote if he continues to pander to Mexico and every other special interest group.
10 posted on 12/11/2003 8:19:35 PM PST by boycott
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To: Blue Collar Christian
Is it time yet?
11 posted on 12/11/2003 8:20:06 PM PST by philetus (Keep doing what you always do and you'll keep getting what you always get)
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To: VU4G10
no . . . . No . . . . NO .. . . NO! . . . NO!
12 posted on 12/11/2003 8:21:28 PM PST by BenLurkin (Socialism is Slavery)
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To: VU4G10
Well, I think the best solution is for both nations to stop salivating over these tax dollars and exempt legals from SSI and send the illegals home and tell them to quit cutting in line.
13 posted on 12/11/2003 8:21:31 PM PST by CindyDawg
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To: AD from SpringBay
How bad is this mess going to get before the taxpayers decide to do something about it?

Like what? Vote for Democrats and Republicans?

14 posted on 12/11/2003 8:22:35 PM PST by templar
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To: VU4G10
To be perfectly frank, the last few days have been so discouraging I'm tempted to renounce political activism and put my head in the sand (it hurts less that way). The ideas that are being discussed as possibilities are the kinds of things that would have been laughed off the political stage just 10 years ago (DLs for illegals, limits on political but no other kind of speech, mortgages for illegals, Tommy Thompson's amnesty, and now this SSN thing).

The SocSec figures listed are ridiculously low-balled in a number of ways:
- It starts with all of the cost figures. When you divide cost by beneficiaries, the result is about $2,000, even for current payments to those who move to foreign countries. That's more like a monthly benefit for a wage-earner who earned near the maximum taxable amount for most of his working career (current max benefit is about $18,000) PLUS a stay-at home spouse (spouse's benefit would normally be another 50% on top of that if they are the same age, so a grand total potential maximum of $27,000). I would say multiply the per-person and therefore total costs by about 6 and you'd have an accurate cost estimate.
- The quoted benefit per person in the article of $8,100 is very low, because it includes a lot of past retirees, who went out with lower benefits due to lower wages.
- Illegals with bogus SSNs are paying into the system and would surely demand benefits even though they are here illegally. If a half million illegals and their spouses start collecting about $15,000 a year in benefits (benefit levels are higher per dollar earned at lower earnings levels), it would cost $7.5 BILLION each year, for starters.
- If you finish losing control of the SSN numbering system (we're well on our way to that), the potential for massive fraud is incredible, and the chances of prosecution for committing it in the current moral climate are very low. Hundreds of people colluded in massive fraud during the final three years of the Clinton Administration at the Department of Education, and I'm not aware that any prosecution of anybody ever occurred.
- The current estimate of illegals in the country of 5 million is probably low. Many others estimate 8-12 mil.
- The impact of incentivizing illegal immigration are not quantified.
- This action would give no incentive to Mexico to heal itself. Vicente Fox has been a major disppointment on that front.

I'm trying to think of when I have been more discouraged about this country's future. Maybe 1979 during the Carter nightmare, but this is really worse because much of it is being done or proposed by the people I thought were usually the good guys.

And while I'm in the neighborhood, let me criticize the late Robert Bartley for the one glaring blind spot in an otherwise stellar editorial career: illiegal immigration.
15 posted on 12/11/2003 8:23:43 PM PST by litany_of_lies
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To: JustPiper
Isn't Social Security already in the tank?
16 posted on 12/11/2003 8:23:58 PM PST by Pro-Bush (Homeland Security + Tom Ridge = Open Borders --> Demand Change!)
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To: VU4G10
I hesitate to make the following statement, since it is
unenforceable, and unproveable by myself, if this garbage
passes, I will not vote for Bush in 04. Period. He could run
against Hillary Clinton. He will not get my vote. I'm tired
of being sold up the river.
17 posted on 12/11/2003 8:25:29 PM PST by SpaceBar
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To: GeronL
Think about this - social security is now an international relief fund and we, the citizens who pay the bills, had no say in it, no vote - it's just happening. Yet we are assured the system is safe. What is going to happen when enough people either take up another spot at the momma-guv'ment nipple line or John Galt it the hell out of here?
18 posted on 12/11/2003 8:25:45 PM PST by AD from SpringBay (We have the government we allow and deserve.)
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To: CindyDawg
Well, I think the best solution is for both nations to stop salivating over these tax dollars and exempt legals from SSI

That would make them more employable than citizens since employers wouldn't be liable for thier share of the FICA tax but they would be for citizens.

19 posted on 12/11/2003 8:26:27 PM PST by templar
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To: Ron in Acreage
Just give me what I have paid in and call it even. I won't pay any more in and the government won't owe me anything. I'll take care of myself.
20 posted on 12/11/2003 8:27:05 PM PST by CindyDawg
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To: VU4G10
OK let's just run up the white flag, declare Mexico City the capital of once USA and allow Mr. Fox to loot the rest of what was the USA.

Neither major party in this country wants to put a stop to this Mexican pandering, so this will just go on and on.
21 posted on 12/11/2003 8:27:57 PM PST by vladog
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To: ntnychik; autoresponder
Did you see this?
22 posted on 12/11/2003 8:30:13 PM PST by potlatch (Whenever I feel 'blue', I start breathing again.)
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To: templar
I'm just now learning about all this stuff. :'(. I'm trying to start a business. I'm not open yet but had to register with the IRS and they are already hounding me for employee taxes and I don't even have any yet!
23 posted on 12/11/2003 8:30:19 PM PST by CindyDawg
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To: Ron in Acreage
The sooner it's ruined the better for us who want it privatized.

Oh if that were only the case.

The fact is that if it deteriorates too badly it will get to the point where we can't afford the transition costs to privatization (money going into private accounts can't be paid out as benefits). If the politicians run the math and realize they can't privatize without a massive tax increase, it won't happen. If potential beneficiaries conclude that their benefits less the tax increases will be lower than the current system's level, they'll vote anyone who want's privatization out of office.

France, Germany, Italy, and Japan are probably already at the point where privatization will never work. They're stuck with either benefit cuts and/or tax increases, and the intergenerational warfare long predicted by SocSec opponents is beginning to appear.

We probably have about 5-7 years, if that, to get some kind of privatization in place or we'll be in the same boat.

24 posted on 12/11/2003 8:32:14 PM PST by litany_of_lies
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To: templar
Like what? Vote for Democrats and Republicans?

Like start shutting it down. When the rule of law can no longer be trusted or depended upon to provide fairness for the citizens of this nation, then the options begin to lessen.

I realize an election is on the horizon and so President Republican and Candidate Democrat have to woo the largest minority - the hispanics. I just wonder how high the bidding will go before election day and what that will mean for those who have to pay the bills.
25 posted on 12/11/2003 8:32:44 PM PST by AD from SpringBay (We have the government we allow and deserve.)
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To: AD from SpringBay
where are we going to go??

Its going to take a serious tax revoly.

and we should start organizing now, it will take at least twenty million people to have the proper effect.

26 posted on 12/11/2003 8:35:25 PM PST by GeronL (Is your Tagline weak, limp and ineffective? Has it hurt your relationship? Try TiAGra today!!!!)
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To: vladog
It will take a tax revolt, seriously
27 posted on 12/11/2003 8:37:00 PM PST by GeronL (Is your Tagline weak, limp and ineffective? Has it hurt your relationship? Try TiAGra today!!!!)
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To: VU4G10
There is a little bit of "the sky is falling" on this thread. Sure, such a decision (to pay Mexicans SS) would be an abomination. SS should be converted to individual savings accounts--for American citizens. But this bill will have to pass congress and we can Freep the day lights out of them--enough to scare them off. I personally pledge to write every member of congress a snail mail letter if this comes up. Who will follow me? 50,000 snail mail letters to each member of Congress would make a noise heard across this nation. They know there are a 100 people who agree with every letter they receive.
28 posted on 12/11/2003 8:37:03 PM PST by Forgiven_Sinner (Praying for the Kingdom of God.)
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To: Pro-Bush
SocSec is well on its way to the tank.

Current projections are that it will pay out more in benefits than it takes in through taxes starting in about 2020. Since the so-called "Trust Fund" has been lent to the rest of the government, THERE IS NO stash of cash to pay benefits without demanding that the rest of the government pay back what it borrowed from SocSec. The only way to get that money back is for the rest of the government to decide to raise taxes, or at that point (not the 35-40 years the SocSec Administration always likes to refer to) start cutting benefits.
29 posted on 12/11/2003 8:37:58 PM PST by litany_of_lies
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To: litany_of_lies
You're bringing up all the reasons why it's going to be very difficult to negotiate a fair deal with Mexico. The people from Mexico who are working here legally should get something from Social Security. But it's hard to picture how to do it because of all the issues associated with illegals.

You mention the low per-person costs. This agreement deals with people who have less than 10 years paying into Social Security. Their payments are pro-rated with part paid by the U.S. and part by Mexico. I'm assuming that is the reason for the low per-person amounts.

30 posted on 12/11/2003 8:38:54 PM PST by AzJohn
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To: AD from SpringBay
Why do people not care about this?

Most people are very short sighted. If it does not affect them personally right now, they do not see any problem with it.

If Bush does this, combined with the amnesty talk, combined with the trillion dollar Medicare fiasco, combined with the 300 billion plus Education/Kennedy fiasco, combined with his total lack of support for his court appointees, etc., etc., and I also see another one term Bush.

Maybe 8 years of Klinton was not enough to open the peeples eyes. Maybe 4 years of Dean will do it, if we survive.

Unfortunate, it is becomming harder and harder to tell the Dems from the Pubbies, except on National Security and taxes, so far.

31 posted on 12/11/2003 8:40:20 PM PST by technomage
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To: Forgiven_Sinner
There is a little bit of "the sky is falling" on this thread. Sure, such a decision (to pay Mexicans SS) would be an abomination. SS should be converted to individual savings accounts--for American citizens.

I'd feel better if I didn't think that this might be accomplished in the courts (look at what the treasonous Supremes have been saying about considering international law in their decisions) or just done by fiat by the executive branch. Do you know for sure that a law would have to be passed allowing this?

32 posted on 12/11/2003 8:42:10 PM PST by litany_of_lies
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To: AzJohn
This agreement deals with people who have less than 10 years paying into Social Security.

You must know something that isn't noted in the article, since I don't see such a reference after re-re-reading.

33 posted on 12/11/2003 8:47:49 PM PST by litany_of_lies
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To: AD from SpringBay
This is infuriating. I'm Canadian but my wife is an American citizen. She worked in the US for 11 years. So I figure she paid her dues and is entitled to something. Fairly enough she will receive 11/35th of a full social security pension.

But illegal Mexicans can get a full pension? That's nuts.

It may be academic, like others have said, since there isn't any money there anyways.
34 posted on 12/11/2003 8:49:10 PM PST by Faramir
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To: CindyDawg
You might get a little relief from the IRS if you tell them you are consulting with the Mexican Consulate.
35 posted on 12/11/2003 8:51:37 PM PST by texastoo (What a Continent!!! (sarcasm))
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To: litany_of_lies
The WND piece doesn't really explain it. And yes, I've been reading a little about this issue lately and should have posted a source. Here is a link to the specific point in the recent Congressional hearings where there is testimony about this applying to people who have paid in less than 10 years. The part about it being pro-rated between the U.S. and Mexico is also covered in the same hearings.
36 posted on 12/11/2003 8:55:13 PM PST by AzJohn
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To: VU4G10
I give up - just go ahead and take my whole !#$$@@% paycheck, Uncle Sam. I'm only just a natural born white straight single female U.S. citizen of 53 with no children who obeys the law. No special interest here for you to worry about, so go ahead, take all my money and give it to people more deserving.
37 posted on 12/11/2003 9:00:29 PM PST by 3catsanadog (When anything goes, everything does.)
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To: litany_of_lies
Current projections are that it will pay out more in benefits than it takes in through taxes starting in about 2020.

..Uh-huh. America is toast if we do this.
38 posted on 12/11/2003 9:02:47 PM PST by Pro-Bush (Homeland Security + Tom Ridge = Open Borders --> Demand Change!)
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To: VU4G10
The GAO seems to grasp the problem.

From http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d03993.pdf

...A totalization agreement with Mexico will increase the number of Mexican citizens who will be paid U.S. social security benefits in two ways. First, the agreement will make it easier for Mexican workers to qualify for benefits. Second, it will remove some nonpayment restrictions that affect benefit payments to non-U.S. family members residing in another country, thus providing U.S. social security benefits to more survivors and dependents of entitled Mexican workers...

At least the ssa is qualifying the payments to 'entitled' Mexican workers.

But wait!!! There's more!!! The GAO raises some questions about how the U.S. ssa determined the Mexican ssa controls and integrity of the Mexican data...

...SSA took no technical staff on this visit to assess system controls or data integrity processes. In effect, SSA only briefly observed the operations of the Mexican social security program. Moreover, SSA did not document its efforts or perform any additional analyses then, or at a later time, to assess the integrity of Mexico's social security data and the controls over that data. In particular, SSA officials provided no evidence they examined key elements of Mexico's program such as its controls over the posting of earnings and its processes for obtaining key birth and death information for Mexican citizens. Nor did SSA evaluate how access to Mexican data and records is controlled and monitored to prevent unauthorized use or whether internal and external audit functions exist to evaluate operations...

Nor did SSA evaluate how access to Mexican data and records is controlled and monitored to prevent unauthorized use or whether internal and external audit functions exist to evaluate operations...

I thought that was worth repeating.

39 posted on 12/11/2003 9:04:05 PM PST by ohmage
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To: GeronL
Perhaps we can convince a majority of Americans not to file next April. IRS can't possibly cope with a few hundred million citizens with their middle finger up in the air on the news April 15th.
40 posted on 12/11/2003 9:04:41 PM PST by 3catsanadog (When anything goes, everything does.)
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To: Forgiven_Sinner
Count me in.
41 posted on 12/11/2003 9:05:15 PM PST by 3catsanadog (When anything goes, everything does.)
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To: VU4G10
No means no when a rape is in progress.
42 posted on 12/11/2003 9:06:11 PM PST by NewRomeTacitus (Now for another episode of "Hand Loading for the Border Defender"...)
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To: AD from SpringBay
When the rule of law can no longer be trusted or depended upon to provide fairness for the citizens of this nation

Taken a look at the decisions emanating from SCOTUS lately? There is no rule of law anymore.

43 posted on 12/11/2003 9:13:36 PM PST by Eala (Sacrificing tagline fame for... TRAD ANGLICAN RESOURCE PAGE: http://eala.freeservers.com/anglican)
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To: Forgiven_Sinner
But this bill will have to pass congress and we can Freep the day lights out of them--enough to scare them off.

How do you propose to "scare" them? Are you going to threaten to not vote for them? What happens when the rest of the FR crowd starts shouting, "But the Democrat will win!", at election time?

How many Republicans do you think lose any sleep over such a threat from conservatives?

44 posted on 12/11/2003 9:15:15 PM PST by John R. (Bob) Locke
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To: GeronL
really shocking!
45 posted on 12/11/2003 9:34:25 PM PST by lainde
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To: GeronL
I spent a few years in Mexico on a sailboat. While there, I got to know some locals in a few places. When we talked politics, I found how bad the taxes were in their families.
When I said, "Why don't you revolt?", they said it wasn't "bad enough. We still have enough to eat."

Probably "Slavery 101" in some political book somewhere. (sigh)

SM
46 posted on 12/11/2003 9:34:43 PM PST by Senormechanico ("Face piles of trials with smiles...it riles them to believe that you perceive the web they weave.)
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To: Ron in Acreage
The sooner it's ruined the better for us who want it privatized.

I wish that were true. I bet the next step will be to loot all the private retirement accounts that we have been contribuing to. A pile of money that big is just too tempting for polititians to leave alone. Watch the whine begin about the injustice of it all that some have private funds to support them while the majority ( including all the south of the border beneficiares) don't.
47 posted on 12/11/2003 9:41:40 PM PST by Kozak (Anti Shahada: " There is no God named Allah, and Muhammed is his False Prophet")
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To: 3catsanadog
MAJOR PING !!!!!!!!!
48 posted on 12/11/2003 9:48:35 PM PST by Senormechanico ("Face piles of trials with smiles...it riles them to believe that you perceive the web they weave.)
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To: zip; BOBWADE
ping
49 posted on 12/11/2003 9:54:51 PM PST by Mrs Zip
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To: philetus
OH, is it time!

I saw on the news this mornig some congressman Avila was going to introduce a bill to the state to allow latino non-U.S. citizens to vote!

This, along with the latino "boycott" tomorro over Sportspecker pulling the driver's licenses for illegals.

We gotta get outa this place, if it's the last thing we ever do.
50 posted on 12/11/2003 10:35:37 PM PST by Blue Collar Christian (Part of the Vast Right Wing Apparatus since I could vote. ><BCC>)
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