Letters to the Editor April 5, 2006
April 4, 2006
Don’t ignore our own pork
The duplicitous nature of our arguments never ceases to amaze.
All of us, Republicans and Democrats alike, are upset at the astounding, “drunken sailor-ish” spending that’s currently going on in Washington. No offense to drunken sailors, but we demand answers! We demand accountability! We demand restraint!
And then the Defense Department freezes the funding for the $9 million airman’s center that’s scheduled to be built on our very own Cannon Air Force Base, whose future is in limbo.
Whoa, time out! Suddenly, our delusions of thriftiness have hit a wall. That pork is on our plate. Hands off!
U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman’s press release stated, “Knowing that a new mission will be found at Cannon, there’s no reason to hold back on releasing this funding.” Hold on there, senator. Let’s talk straight for a moment.
Frankly, there are a lot of wild rumors floating around this town, but the actual news from Washington regarding our situation is a bit more guarded regarding Cannon’s fate.
It seems prudent to this observer that a little fiscal restraint is warranted here in the interim.
But the funds were set aside before Cannon even made the military’s base-closure list, the argument continues. Apparently, in the Washington mindset, money is like a bullet — once it’s fired, it cannot be called back.
An American family’s budget certainly cannot operate in this whimsical manner. This is part and parcel of what’s wrong with bureaucracy at its core. It doesn’t play by logical rules.
I urge everyone to pay close attention to this issue while you’re writing those painful checks to the IRS in the next two weeks. This construction should wait until we know if we get to keep Cannon for sure.
Employers are real problem
I’m open to argument but it seems obvious that the national debate about illegal immigration assumes two stupid assertions while ignoring the core problem.
Assertion one: They’re “taking” our jobs.
Nonsense. Our employers are giving “them” the jobs at ridiculously low wages. “They” can’t be faulted for that.
Assertion two: “They” are a drain on our economy.
Nonsense. Workers pay U.S taxes, spend money and contribute to national productivity. Where they are from is irrelevant.
We’re wasting millions and killing thousands in pursuit of the illegal “them” (caused by our employers’ willingness to exploit cheap labor) because so many of us think we should get those jobs. But we don’t get those jobs because most employers refuse to pay any more than they can get away with.
Can you see where we’re going here?
The simple-minded interests of employers willing to break the law by hiring cheap “illegals” is the problem — not just because they do it, but because they are not compelled to hire folks at reasonable wages for the often unpleasant jobs they do.
Fix that and you fix a lot.
The rules of immigration should be eased, rules for decent wages reinforced. This would cut crime dramatically and economically benefit everyone in the long run.
Instead, as usual, lawmakers are mostly listening to well-off special interests who care for little but the immediate bottom line.
This is business as usual and exactly the direction we should avoid.