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WHAT DOES DAVE BRAT MEAN BY ‘AMNESTY’?
The American Spectator ^ | June 18, 2014 | Jon Cassidy

Posted on 06/18/2014 8:01:31 PM PDT by Bratch

The lesson of Dave Brat’s victory over Eric Cantor last week is being missed: In all pundits’ talk about immigration, no one has stopped to point out that Brat boldly grabbed the third rail of American politics, ripped it off the tracks, and beat Cantor with it.

George W. Bush, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Perry all rhetorically touched entitlement programs and lived, but I’ve never seen a politician tell the plain, actuarial truth the way Brat did and get rewarded for it. Republicans should be overjoyed that they can finally shout about underfunded social programs. Instead, the only lesson they’re learning is that the candidate who loses is the one who’s amnestiest.

“Add up Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Bush prescription drug plan,” Brat told his audiences, and you get “$127 trillion in unfunded liabilities. Unfunded — that’s not the cost of the program, that’s just the unfunded part in law. Right? All these programs are insolvent. They’re bankrupt. We can’t pay for them. By 2048, not that far off, those four programs alone take up the entire federal budget, the entire federal budget. So no more military spending, no more judiciary, no more anything.

“Has any leader that you know on the Republican side or on the Democrat side mentioned that number to you, in public?” he asked. “I haven’t heard anyone ever say ‘yes’ at a talk yet.”

In one video of a Brat appearance, the bald and graying heads in the audience that had been nodding along go still when he hits those points. But they voted for him anyway, voted for the man who didn’t tell them what they wanted to hear. That’s impressive, and makes it hard to dismiss Brat by saying that his version of RINO-bashing is just a new take on the old Washington-is-broken, throw-the-bums-out method of campaigning.

Now, I’m as thrilled as anyone to see liberty-minded conservatives hold a double-talking,big government Republican like Eric Cantor accountable. But the message they’re trying to send keeps getting confounded by immigration politics.

Plenty of Tea Party folks tack immigration onto their list of Constitutional and fiscal concerns. But can Brat really do the same without undermining himself? An economist by training, Brat identifies with the Milton Friedman/Chicago School; he preaches free markets, denounces crony capitalists, and promises to “unflinchingly uphold” the Republican creed. Then he makes himself ridiculous by trying to explain his position on immigration in those terms.

The idea that opposition to immigration, legal or otherwise, is somehow the authentic Republican position is arrant, ahistorical nonsense, and it’s especially pharisaical coming from a free marketer. The Republican Party was formed in 1856 as an alternative to the anti-immigrant Know Nothing Party and the pro-slavery politics of Franklin Pierce’s Democratic Party. The call to attend the first Republican National Convention went to out to everyone who favored limiting or abolishing slavery and “restoring the action of the Federal government to the principles of Washington and Jefferson.”

The name of the party was meant to reflect those republican principles of the founders. James Madison — Brat’s a big Madison fan — defined “the republican principle” specifically as a limit on the sort of factionalism that we would now call the tyranny of the majority. In Federalist No. 10, Madison argued that in a democracy “the majority, having such coexistent passion or interest, must be rendered, by their number and local situation, unable to concert and carry into effect schemes of oppression” on their fellow citizens.

The native-born children of illegal immigrants have the exact same claim to citizenship that anyone else does: Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment. Redefining the Constitution to eliminate "birthright citizenship" would create out of them an underclass of stateless refugees. You might want to deport them, but what obligation would any other nation have to admit these American strangers? To me, that is plainly a scheme of oppression against a class that has always been recognized as American. It is, in other words, anti-republican.

Brat leveled the always malleable charge of “amnesty” against Cantor for favoring a path to citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants brought here at a young age by their parents. He’s got something of a point here, especially speaking for a party that stands for law and order. Still, amnesty means a pardon for a conviction, and I’m not sure what syphilitic idea of justice could convict children for the sins of their parents.

Brat works his opposition to illegal immigration into his general theme of opposition to crony capitalism. That juxtaposition has drawn a lot of attention for its novelty, but it would be more effective, or coherent at least, if he wasn’t trying to argue that restricting the labor pool was somehow pro-free market. “Big business gets the cheap labor and the rest of us pick up the tab,” Brat says.

Milton Friedman would laugh at Brat’s complaint about immigration’s (brief, barely discernible) depressive effect on wages. A better summary is that big business gets the cheap labor and the rest of us pick up the cheap products and services.

Of course businesses “would prefer to pay lower wages rather than higher wages,”Friedman once told someone making a similar point. “You’d like to pay lower prices for the things you buy rather than higher prices. Of course. That’s the whole system. That’s exactly the system.”

Brat aligns himself with Friedman, but Friedman was in favor of illegal immigration, owing to the massive productivity gains it produces. “Look, for example, at the obvious, immediate, practical example of illegal Mexican immigration,” Friedman once said. “Now, that Mexican immigration, over the border, is a good thing. It’s a good thing for the illegal immigrants. It’s a good thing for the United States. It’s a good thing for the citizens of the country. But, it’s only good so long as it’s illegal.”

Free immigration, as the U.S. had before 1914. “was a good thing,” too, Friedman added. The problem with unrestricted immigration today, as he famously said, is that you can’t have free immigration and a welfare state both.

So here’s an idea, one the Democrats usually reject out of concerns for equality, but one that I think a lot of immigrants would accept. How about a path to permanent legal guest worker status, not citizenship? Workers would pay payroll taxes, and be eligible for no benefits and no citizenship. There’d be some fraud, but the taxes could be set to cover the cost.

Brat ought to tell us if that counts as amnesty.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: amnesty; brat; friedman; immigration
IMO, this article is a classic example of someone getting so tied up with philosophy and theory that he becomes blinded by the realities of the real world.

What would happen, for instance, when the Democrats start beating the Republicans over the head with the heartless club?

Or when a liberal judge decides these "undocumented workers" have the same rights as citizens, Congress be damned?

Any step that doesn't include border enforcement and repatriation is amnesty. Period.

1 posted on 06/18/2014 8:01:31 PM PDT by Bratch
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To: Bratch

Yes, the democrats have used the 3rd rail as an effective tool in politics. And that tactic could work for another decade.

But leadership is seeing coming problems and have the courage to solve them. History teaches us that previous great empires before, met their demise through over spending, unaffordable debt and foreign military adventures on borrowed money.

Dave Brat the economics professor sees the disaster coming at us like a freight train. But the powers in DC only worry about the next election.


2 posted on 06/18/2014 8:15:34 PM PDT by entropy12 (Obummer = worst president ever, thanks to voters who abstained on election day!)
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To: Bratch
If illegals get to stay it's amnesty.

Amnesty will mark the formal end of the USA as a sovereign independent country with its own language, borders, and culture.

3 posted on 06/18/2014 8:16:07 PM PDT by Dagnabitt (Amnesty is Treason. Its agents are Traitors.)
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To: Bratch

” How about a path to permanent legal guest worker status, not citizenship? Workers would pay payroll taxes, and be eligible for no benefits and no citizenship. There’d be some fraud, but the taxes could be set to cover the cost.”

The cost of what?

The cost of deporting them, which will never happen?
The cost of whatever agency will ultimately be responsible for deporting them which will never do what it was charged to do?
The salaries of the bureaucrats who will administer, corruptly, such an agency?
How about the deterioration in the overall respect for the law?
And the law enforcement efforts required for the extra policing all these illegals require?

And who is going to enforce the conditions under which they are going to be “citizenized”?

Suppose they promise to learn English. Will they be deported if they do not? Or will be then undertake large programs designed to teach them English?
And what if they do not pay taxes. Will they be deported if they do not pay taxes?
What the costs of inoculating hundreds of thousands of people against disease that were generally consider eliminated from the US? Now we have measles, scabies, and other treats running around. Treating that/those is free, right?


4 posted on 06/18/2014 8:19:22 PM PDT by Attention Surplus Disorder (At no time was the Obama administration aware of what the Obama administration was doing)
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To: Bratch

Dope isn’t legal here in Texas, so how’d Jon Cassidy get his?


5 posted on 06/18/2014 8:26:10 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2Million for ANY 2016 pro-2nd Amendment candidate.)
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To: Bratch
George W. Bush, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Perry all rhetorically touched entitlement programs and lived

Has it occurred to this author what's left of middle America have got a belly full of government pandering, lies and deceit?

Has it occurred to Mr. Jon Cassidy we're becoming more outnumbered daily, by tens of millions who entered illegally and continue to do so?

This after 30+ years of American voting, begging screaming, protesting, petitioning government for relief. To the point where it's clearly undermined and compromised our future and the electoral process.

All while government has aided and abetted lawlessness, all while middle America has been forced to subsidize this epic decades long illegal invasion to the tune of hundreds of billions of their tax dollars.

6 posted on 06/18/2014 8:26:20 PM PDT by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: Bratch

This idiot misses the entire point! Without effective border control, we CAN NOT even discuss any form of legalized status. And not a couple months control, years of control. Three to five years of strict border control and strict punishment for those who employ illegals. Not just fines, jail time for corporate officers who employ illegal aliens. Coupled with ZERO, SIP, SILCH, NO form of welfare for ANYONE here illegally and a majority of the problem solves itself.

After a few years, then we can START to talk about some form of legalization. Maybe.


7 posted on 06/18/2014 8:28:47 PM PDT by Jim from C-Town (The government is rarely benevolent, often malevolent and never benign!)
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To: Bratch
Workers would pay payroll taxes, and be eligible for no benefits and no citizenship.

Please. Enabled by liberal politicians they would be at the trough in no time.

8 posted on 06/18/2014 8:28:53 PM PDT by RightGeek (FUBO and the donkey you rode in on)
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To: Bratch
Sorry, Mr. Cassidy, but Dave Brat's victory was all about amnesty and nothing else. Thanks for the great idea about a guest worker program, but we already have one in the H1B visa, which is equally controversial. You try to extrapolate Dave Bratt's 'like' of Milton Friedman, among many others in the conservative pantheon, as an adoption of all of Friedman's comments over his lifetime.

You, Mr. Cassidy, are merely singing this week's GOPe amnesty hymn. We don't buy your reality distortion field.

9 posted on 06/18/2014 8:29:40 PM PDT by Kennard
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To: Bratch

Yep, and Friedman was an idiot on immigration.

Already our nation is only a memory, and the U. S. is just a place to work now.

We built a nation, an identity, a culture, a people, and now it is every man for himself, get what you can while the getting is good, and destroying the host is the cost of business.

This is more like looting than being and American.


10 posted on 06/18/2014 8:32:15 PM PDT by ansel12 ((Ted Cruz and Mike Lee-both of whom sit on the Senate Judiciary Comm as Ginsberg's importance fades)
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder

Good post, those are the questions nobody asks. We’re not supposed to think of them. We’re being bamboozled.


11 posted on 06/18/2014 8:39:01 PM PDT by Nea Wood (When people get used to preferential treatment, equal treatment seems like discrimination.-Sowell)
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder
” How about a path to permanent legal guest worker status, not citizenship? Workers would pay payroll taxes, and be eligible for no benefits and no citizenship. There’d be some fraud, but the taxes could be set to cover the cost.”

When you reward something, you get more of it. What happened to the Rule of Law? What is the impact on the native born American worker?

12 posted on 06/18/2014 9:48:49 PM PDT by kabar
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To: ansel12
Look to Milton: Open borders and the welfare state

"It's just obvious you can't have free immigration and a welfare state,"

13 posted on 06/18/2014 9:56:13 PM PDT by kabar
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To: kabar

Friedman said that ILLEGAL immigration is the BEST of all.

Today, immigration is destroying us, our nation and culture are being completely erased and replaced and it doesn’t matter if it is legal or illegal, it is too massive.

Whether we have welfare or not doesn’t matter to the 100s of millions of the worlds peasants that want to flood the United States in an endless stream of humanity, do you really think that they look at America and the infrastructure and culture, and the nation we built and think they prefer dirt floors and their peasant life of work to working here and living in an apartment?

With or without welfare 100s of millions would come here if the borders were opened.


14 posted on 06/18/2014 10:11:16 PM PDT by ansel12 ((Ted Cruz and Mike Lee-both of whom sit on the Senate Judiciary Comm as Ginsberg's importance fades)
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To: Bratch

The healthcare and education costs are huge.

Once an illegal gets older or injured they won’t leave and them staying isn’t free of charge.


15 posted on 06/18/2014 10:23:46 PM PDT by ObamahatesPACoal
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To: RightGeek

One black robed tyrant could take care of that for the illegals in no time flat.


16 posted on 06/18/2014 10:30:50 PM PDT by jospehm20
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To: Jim from C-Town
This idiot misses the entire point!

You nailed that idiot traitor precisely. Well done!

He seems to forget that President Calvin Coolidge advocated a policy of limited, highly-selective immigration. And until Ted Kennedy undid that program of restrictive immigration in the mid 1960s, America prospered.

17 posted on 06/18/2014 10:54:13 PM PDT by re_nortex (DP - that's what I like about Texas)
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To: ansel12
Did you read the Robert Rector link I included in my post?

While most open-border libertarians proclaim a desire to dismantle both borders and the welfare state, in practice what they offer is open borders today and a vague (and almost certainly illusory) promise to end the welfare state in the indefinite future. As Milton Friedman understood, open-border enthusiasts have the sequence wrong: Opening borders with the redistributionist state still intact will result in a larger and more confiscatory government. In response to libertarians who propose to open borders and dismantle the welfare state, practical conservatives should answer: "Go ahead. Dismantle the welfare state. As soon as you've got that finished, let us know, and then we'll talk about open borders."

You are preaching to the choir about the impact of immigration. And I consider our current LEGAL IMMIGRATION policies to be more destructive than the ongoing illegal alien invasion.

18 posted on 06/19/2014 5:30:16 AM PDT by kabar
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To: kabar
I consider our current LEGAL IMMIGRATION policies to be more destructive than the ongoing illegal alien invasion.

If you wouldn't mind, please explain further. Thanks.

19 posted on 06/19/2014 5:32:34 AM PDT by Lakeshark
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To: Bratch

“Brat works his opposition to illegal immigration into his general theme of opposition to crony capitalism. That juxtaposition has drawn a lot of attention for its novelty, but it would be more effective, or coherent at least, if he wasn’t trying to argue that restricting the labor pool was somehow pro-free market. “Big business gets the cheap labor and the rest of us pick up the tab,” Brat says. Milton Friedman would laugh at Brat’s complaint about immigration’s (brief, barely discernible) depressive effect on wages. A better summary is that big business gets the cheap labor and the rest of us pick up the cheap products and services.”

The author of this piece must be comprised of concrete from the neck up.

Brag is exactly right. Illegal invasion, backed by the Chamber of Commerce, Tysons, National Restaurant Association, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, etc., etc., is part and parcel of crony capitalism.

The Big Business elites get the benefit of cheap serf labor. And when Brag says “we pick up the tab” he is exactly right. What Brag means by that, which the author is too dense or too deceptive to acknowledge, is that we pick up the tab of free schooling, free emergency room treatments, free food stamps, and innumerable other benefits to illegal invaders that the Big Business elites push off onto the taxpayers.


20 posted on 06/19/2014 6:33:04 AM PDT by SharpRightTurn (White, black, and red all over--America's affirmative action, metrosexual president.)
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To: Bratch
Once again we have the conflation between "immigration" and "illegal infiltration". The illegals coming here are not coming to become Americans. They are coming to stay their own nationality. This is NOT immigration, this is invasion.

And there are more attacks on the normal, sensible Americans who oppose this situation. They're the problem.

21 posted on 06/19/2014 6:39:25 AM PDT by Jabba the Nutt (You can have a free country or government schools. Choose one.)
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To: Lakeshark
We have just had the two largest decades of LEGAL IMMIGRATION in our history. 29 million LEGAL IMMIGRANTS have come to this country since 1990. They have had a major, long-term impact economically, culturally, demographically, and electorally.

The nation’s immigrant population (legal and illegal) reached 40 million in 2010, the highest number in our history. The U.S. immigrant population has doubled since 1990, nearly tripled since 1980, and quadrupled since 1970, when it stood at 9.7 million. Of the 40 million immigrants in the country in 2010, 13.9 million arrived in 2000 or later making it the highest decade of immigration in American history, even though there was a net loss of jobs during the decade. Growth in the immigrant population has primarily been driven by high levels of legal immigration.

Roughly three-fourths of immigrants in the country are here legally. With nearly 12 million immigrants, Mexico was by far the top immigrant-sending country, accounting for 29 percent of all immigrants and 29 percent of growth in the immigrant population from 2000 to 2010. The median age of immigrants in 2010 was 41.4 compared to 35.9 for natives.

In 2010, 23 percent of immigrants and their U.S.-born children (under 18) lived in poverty, compared to 13.5 percent of natives and their children. Immigrants and their children accounted for one-fourth of all persons in poverty. The children of immigrants account for one-third of all children in poverty.

An astonishing 57 percent of immigrant households with children accessed at least one major welfare program — particularly the non-cash programs such as foods stamps and Medicaid.

Since the 1965 Immigration Act, our pro-population growth immigration policies have fueled major demographic changes in a very short period of time. In 1970, non-Hispanic whites comprised 89 percent of the population; today they are 66 percent; and by 2043, they will be 50 percent. The Democrats, under the banner of multiculturalism and diversity, have forged a political coalition that depends on individuals coalescing around racial and ethnic identities rather than the issues. The continuing and increasing flow of minority immigrants, mostly poor and uneducated, provides a natural constituency for the Democrats, which see them as their principal source of political power.

87 percent of the 1.1 million legal immigrants entering annually are minorities as defined by the U.S. Government and almost all of the illegal aliens are minorities. By 2019 half of the children 18 and under in the U.S. will be classified as minorities and by 2043, half of the residents of this country will be minorities. Generally, immigrants and minorities vote predominantly for the Democrat Party. Hence, Democrats view immigration as a never-ending source of voters that will make them the permanent majority party/

In 2010, 29 percent of immigrants and their U.S.-born children (under 18) lacked health insurance, compared to 13.8 percent of natives and their children. New immigrants and their U.S.-born children account for two-thirds of the increase in the uninsured since 2000.

Immigrants favor big government and more government services.

Immigrants and their US born children account for 80% of our population growth. International migration is projected to surpass natural increase (births minus deaths) as the principal driver of U.S. population growth by the middle of this century, according to three new series of population projections released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. This scenario would mark the first time that natural increase was not the leading cause of population increase since at least 1850, when the census began collecting information about residents' country of birth. The shift in what drives U.S. population growth is projected to occur between 2027 and 2038, depending on the future level of international migration.

Finally, LEGAL IMMIGRANTS can work legally. They compete with Americans for jobs and result in declining wages. We have a surplus of labor, yet we continue to bring in 1.1 million permanent legal immigrants a year and 640,000 guest workers annually while 21 million Americans are unemployed or underemployed.

All of this just scratches the surface on how LEGAL IMMIGRATION is far more dangerous to the long-term future of this country and the vision of our Founders. We are being transformed every year by an influx of LEGAL IMMIGRANTS who are not being assimilated. We will lose this country thru the ballot box.

22 posted on 06/19/2014 6:56:24 AM PDT by kabar
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder
” How about a path to permanent legal guest worker status, not citizenship? Workers would pay payroll taxes, and be eligible for no benefits and no citizenship. There’d be some fraud, but the taxes could be set to cover the cost.”

All this will do is create the demand for a new influx of illegals, who'll work off the books without paying taxes etc.

23 posted on 06/19/2014 6:59:38 AM PDT by Jabba the Nutt (You can have a free country or government schools. Choose one.)
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To: kabar

That is what I point out to people about libertarians, the Popeye tactic.

Please give us open borders, and social decay and drugs today, and we will gladly give you right wing voters who will vote to eliminate social programs and welfare, on Tuesday.


24 posted on 06/19/2014 8:32:42 AM PDT by ansel12 ((Ted Cruz and Mike Lee-both of whom sit on the Senate Judiciary Comm as Ginsberg's importance fades)
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