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The New Politics Of Immigration

Memo Pad

The New Politics Of Immigration


WASHINGTON — Think back to the battle over health care reform. Can you imagine Republicans, upon hearing that President Obama was about to offer his own proposals, would want to rush ahead of him to put their own marker down — and take positions close to his?

That’s the comparison to keep in mind to understand the extraordinary transformation of Beltway politics on immigration reform. Until Obama was re-elected, party competition translated into Republican efforts to block virtually everything the president wanted to accomplish. On immigration, at least, the parties are now competing to share credit for doing something big. It’s wonderful to behold.

Republicans who always held views on immigration similar to the president’s — notably Sen. John McCain — are now free to say so. Other Republicans who thought a hard line on the issue was a political winner have been forced by the electoral facts to change their minds. Democrats, aware of how important Latino votes are to their party’s future, are determined to get immigration reform done. Nothing is certain in Washington, especially in the Republican-led House of Representatives, but the odds that we will finally fix a broken immigration system are very high.

The behind-the-scenes wrangling over the choreography of this week’s twin immigration announcements — by a bipartisan group of senators and by the president in a speech in Nevada — shows how strong the bias toward action has become.

We’ve become so accustomed to the politics of obstruction that we forget there is still such a thing as legislative craftsmanship. Monday’s unveiling by eight senators of their ideas for reform was months in the making as Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) worked closely with their colleagues to prepare for this moment.

But Obama felt compelled to make clear early on that immigration reform was one of his highest priorities. The Senate negotiators worried that if Obama got out front with positions more progressive than theirs, particularly on a speedier path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, he could foil their efforts to reach accord.

E. J. Dionne

Besides contributing to The National Memo, E.J. Dionne, Jr. is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a syndicated columnist for the Washington Post, and a university professor in the Foundations of Democracy and Culture at Georgetown University.

His most recent book is Our Divided Political Heart: The Battle for the American Idea in an Age of Discontent (2013).

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  1. Dominick Vila January 31, 2013

    After decades of supporting an immigration law that, by design, encouraged illegal immigration, a bipartisan effort is finally underway to remedy an immoral and inhumane situation. The changes are influenced, in part, by moral imperatives, a sense of humanity, awareness of the values and history of our country…and political and economic considerations.
    Latinos-Hispanics are the largest ethnic minority group in the USA. Their buying power, involvement in politics, and willingness to work hard and contribute to the betterment of our society could no longer be ignored.
    It remains to be seen how far our politicians will go to remedy an untenable situation. The consequences of this attempt are far reaching and include finding a solution to the status of illegal immigrants, making changes that allow semi-skilled immigrants to enter the country legally to satisfy demand and be consistent with the immigration law clauses that allow foreign professionals to enter the USA legally with H1b visas. Most importantly, it must solve once and for all the citizenship status of children of illegal immigrants born in the USA. The latter, which should not be an issue or a question, is an embarrassment to our society.

    1. charleo1 January 31, 2013

      Well, I don’t know Dominick. Of course we can hope. If for no other reason than some
      pretty terrific, and talented kids will finally be able to become a full citizen in the only
      Country they’ve ever known. But when it comes to the path to citizenship, the terms
      demanded by some hard nosed politicians, worried about their right flank in a primary.
      Well, I’m just afraid the requirements will be made so onerous, that we still find ourselves
      with millions not coming forward. Asking those who earn little more than a subsistence
      wage, to repay years of back taxes. And, just how would the amount of those taxes be set?
      When the person has been working, and paying into the system. Just not in their name,
      and number. And before the enforcement at the Southern border was ramped up, the
      immigrants often traveled back to their homes, and family in Mexico, or further South.
      Then, return when work played out in the home Country. Or a harvest they had worked
      before, was coming in. Very nomadic. But everyone knew their status in these border
      towns. Including law enforcement. They knew their names, recognized their children, knew who they worked for, and the truck they drove, without a license. But I don’t know how one could peg a number to such a lifestyle.

      1. Dominick Vila January 31, 2013

        I agree, the requirements that are likely to be put in place as a condition for amnesty, ostensibly, to satisfy the expectations of some constituents, are likely to be so draconian that most illegal immigrants, including those who have lived in the USA for decades, will not be able to afford. I will be surprised if they are given a path to citizenship. I expect them to get permanent residency status, what we used to call a green card, that allows them to live in the USA without fear of deportation, work and pay taxes.
        Hopefully the children of illegal immigrants born in the USA will get citizenship consistent with the 14th Amendment, and those who entered the USA as minors are granted a path to citizenship consistent with our history, traditions, and the fact that children should not be punished for their parents crimes, regardless of how insignificant or heinous those crimes may be.
        The problem is, indeed, complex and solving it is going to take a lot of courage from politicians unaccustomed to take political chances, but I think there is enough consensus and pressure this time for something positive to happen.

        1. charleo1 January 31, 2013

          Yes. I believe if an upgraded system insures the immigrant youth, brought
          here undocumented by their parents, or other family members. And this
          Country is their Country in all ways but one, can rightly be included as
          citizens, as part of the process. Because, we should fix this unfairness
          right away. About the same time as the AZ. papers please laws were being
          enacted, someone on the school board decided it would be a good idea to
          require the birth place of the child, and the parents on the school registration form. Of course, it scared these little 7, and 8 year old children.
          They live with this fear daily, of coming home to find their parents have
          been taken away. So, they were crying, and looking at the camera crew, and getting more upset. And I thought, such immorality should never happen in this, of all Countries. The school board, mostly out of shame, dropped the requirement. But, I doubt those kids will ever forget the time they were frightened to tears by an intolerance they couldn’t understand, and didn’t deserve. I know I’ll never forget it.

        2. James Jim Lucas January 31, 2013

          Dominick, I am afraid that you are correct about, “draconian that most illegal immigrants, including those who have lived in the USA for decades, will not be able to afford.” That way the Republicans will be able to say that they offered amnesty, when they knew that they were attaching requirements that could not be met. It is even more “shame on the Republicans.” We need to help everyone remember this at the mid-term elections.

    2. Fern Woodfork January 31, 2013

      How Right You Are My Friend!! And Too Bad They All For It Now Cause They Lost So Badly In This Last Election!! Believe Me These People Are Not Going To Fall For Their Sudden Change Of Heart They Know Just Why They Want Something Done About It Now!!!! Singing I Really Don’t Need No Light To See Thru You!!!

      1. joeham1 January 31, 2013

        Even when there is bipartison agreement to a problem that needs a great solution, your still a partison hack! Get a life Fern!

        1. James Jim Lucas January 31, 2013

          The Republicans fought immigration reform for so many years, until they lost the presidential election. Fern Woodfork was right on saying; “Too Bad They All For It Now Cause They Lost So Badly In This Last Election!! Believe Me These People Are Not Going To Fall For Their Sudden Change Of Heart They Know Just Why They Want Something Done About It Now!!!! Singing I Really Don’t Need No Light To See Thru You!!!” The Republican hacks need to grow up and take the lumps that they have earned for their debacles and the lumps will be over quicker. Next we need to get rid of Joe Arpaio and 1070.

          1. joeham1 January 31, 2013

            James your either lying or dumb as a box of rocks. Neither The democrats or Repubicans have put a bill forward for immigration reform. Reagan was the last president to address it. There was no sudden change of heart, it’s just time they get together and fix it!

            We should all applaud that they are working together to solve the ilegal alien problem. Of course the partisan retards will make this about the evil right!

            I realize you go to the church of the extreme. Hating repubs and not addressing issues makes you look foolish!

          2. MARK January 31, 2013

            Far to late to take the high road.Just shut up and do the fucking work!

          3. joeham1 February 1, 2013

            Mark I’m sorry that your so misguided. It’s never to late to take the high road! That’s how this country has always worked. Until Obama the left and right always found a way to get things done. Today the left demonizes, blames, moans, and obstructs!

          4. MARK February 1, 2013

            Lay off the crack pipe and go away.The only misguided ones are fools like you who fall for the fascist propaganda and lies.You wouldn’t know truth if it spit in your eye!

          5. joeham1 February 1, 2013

            Mark, I realize that it’s hard for Obamas sheep to hear the truth, but I want you to name one time in the last 30 years where we had a President that wouldn’t compromise like Obama? Ya see when the truth is told you can only call names and say stupid thing like Fascist propaganda!

            For instance: The Balanced Approach to cutting the deficit turned our to be 660 billion in tax increases and 4 trillion in new deficits. (CBO Report Jan 4 2013)

            The repubs compromised and gave the revenue and the President gave no cuts! He won’t compromise!

            Now I know what your probably thinking: “he wouldn’t do that would he?”

            Those are the facts Mark. I know they won’t fit your slanted view, but thats life!

          6. MARK February 1, 2013

            How many times does Obama have to come to the table with an offer.He has suffered an awful lot of left wing rath for not holding as hard a line as he has encountered from republicans who over and over again insist on raping and pilaging the middle class ,the sick,the elderly,the disabled ,all to protect thier rich corporate cronies bottom line.What’s next? I suppose you will try to tell me that old Mitchy boy is not a stinking crook and is really looking out for the public interest.I dont need to call names because I call things for what they are.Someone is able to do that when they know the difference between shit and shinola.I wouldn’t wipe my ass with what you think are facts.Cuts,you want cuts.Make a reasonable suggestion.Theonly cuts the president refuses to make are the ones the gop wants and the gop and you with them can go fuck yourselves.You are due for a healthy dose of reality because we don’t compromise with crooks or fascists.Now tell me I don’t know what fascists are.

          7. joeham1 February 1, 2013

            Mark, I gave you a bunch of facts, and all you did was come back with stupidity.What’s wrong with you? I realize you sheep can’t think for yourselves and I also relaize that you have the Obama talking points down to a T. The President hasn’t offered any cuts. Don’t give your lies and tell me he’s willing. Are you stupid or just a liar? I told you about the balanced approach lie! There were no cuts! That was His plan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            Your raping and pilaging shit proves how stupid you are! Who was the oversite for Freddie and Fannie before and when it collapsed?

            I gave you FACTS, Cold hard facts and you come back with crap! In 2 or 3 years when it’s much worse then it is today. You stupid fucks will probably blame Nixon! Your certainly not awake enough to realize that the deficit does matter! Bush sucked for raising it as much as he did, But my god Obama has taken it to a whole ne level!

          8. MARK February 2, 2013

            Fact:Federal revenue today at 15.8% of GDP is lower than sixty years ago while corporate profits are at an all time high. Fact: Corporate income tax revenue as a % of GDP is near a record low.Fact: Billions could be saved by eliminating corporate wellfare.Fact:Profitable corporations need to pay more tax as part of the deficit solution.Fact: Mitch McConnell has betrayed the public trust by inserting a loophole,designed to benefit biotech firm Amgen,into the last minute deal to avoid the fiscal cliff.Fact:Amgen convicted of fraud in court late last year and ordered to pay criminal and civil penalties.Fact: If Mitches piece of shit is allowed to stand,Amgen recoups the fines it pays and it costs the American taxpayer as much as half a billion dollars. Fact:The fascists are most easily recognized by thier deliberate perversion of truth and fact.Thier newspapers and propaganda carefully cultivate every fissure of disunity and every crack in the common front against fascism.Fact:Fascists claim to be super patriots,but they would destroy every liberty offered by the Constitution.Fact:They demand free enterprise,but they are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest.Fact:Thier final objective toward which all thier deciet is directed is to capture political power so that,using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously,they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.Fact: Anyone who cares to take a close and long hard look at the consistant wrong headedness of the GOP since the 1920’s can find ample evidence of thier close association with fascism.Fact: I and others like me are opposed to fascism in all its forms,corporate or otherwise.Fact: I will not call you a fascist on these pages,but you have all the earmarks of someone who is willfully ignorant.Fact; A little bit of knowledge such as you possess is a dangerous thing.Fact: You gain no traction on these pages.Fact: You change nobodys perspective of the issues or of yourself. Fact: I am done with you,Joeham,and will not respond further.

          9. joeham1 February 2, 2013

            Fact: You made most of that up. Fact: Obama’s job guy and the CEO of GE paid 0 in federal taxes. Fact: Obama gave 90 billion in corporate welfare to his buddies.
            Fact: The union owned democrats have destoyed our education system. Fact: Barney Frank and Chris Dodd knew about the housing issues and still told congress and the white house evrything was fine 3 months befocre the collapse.

            You see mark. Both parties are owned by greedy corporations or institutions. You just happen to be a sheep of the left. I choose to look at the whole picture. Both left and right have done more damage than we know.

            Stay Blind! It seems to work for you!

        2. Witnes This! January 31, 2013

          Tou sound really pissed! Get a grip.

          1. joeham1 January 31, 2013

            Who’s Tou?

        3. Stella53 January 31, 2013

          Fern is spot on and so is Dom. The GOP is not fooling Latinos.

          1. joeham1 January 31, 2013

            Again, The last time immigration reform was addressed it was by Reagan. So now the dems and Repubs get together to solve a huge problem and you partison hacks just want to beat up the repubs. That’s not only disgusting, it shows how radical some of you are! It’s to bad

          2. Fern Woodfork January 31, 2013

            And Remember I Said They Was Going To Give Hagel Hell??? That’s Just What They Are Trying To Do Cause Hagel Wont Be Part Of Their War Mongering!!! Hagel Been In A War Close Up And He Will Not Jump The Gun And Get Us In Another Going Nowhere War!!!

        4. Fern Woodfork January 31, 2013

          And Here You Lying Ass Is Back Talking To Me What In The Hell Is Wrong With You???? STOP TALKING TO ME ASSHOLE!!!!!!! YOUR MOTHER BITCH!!!! TAKE YOUR RED NECK ASS AND GET A DAMN JOB AND A DAMN LIFE!!!!!!

          1. joeham1 January 31, 2013

            Talking to stupid people like you is fun. You always say something that only the retarded can understand!!

          2. Fern Woodfork January 31, 2013

            Then You Must Love Talking To Your Mother!!!

          3. joeham1 January 31, 2013

            UM..Yeah, Whatever that means

          4. Fern Woodfork January 31, 2013

            What Wrong joehamhocks Red Neck STALKER You Don’t Understand The Words You Read????? Too Much Meth????

          5. joeham1 February 1, 2013

            Well fern you hillbilly. You write like a 4th grader. Who could understand your senseless rambling?

          6. Fern Woodfork February 1, 2013

            I Learn All I Know From Your Hillbilly Mom!!! Asshole!!! Plus You Still Whining And Throwing Hissy Fits Like A 2year Old Cause That Lying Shape Shifting Romney Ass Lost!!!Troll!!! GET A LIFE!!

          7. joeham1 February 1, 2013

            You haven’t learned shit from anyone you toothless moron!

          8. Fern Woodfork February 1, 2013

            Your Mother Is The Toothless Red Neck Hillbilly Bitch Just Like Her Meth Smoking Ignorant Ass Son FUCK YOU FUNKY BITCH!!!

          9. joeham1 February 1, 2013

            spoken like a true moron Fern!

        5. sigrid28 January 31, 2013

          Far easier to attack Fern than Dominick, eh Hammy?

          1. Fern Woodfork January 31, 2013

            The War On Women LOL Just Like The GOP/Tea Party Has been Declaring For The Longest!! Too Much Of A Coward To Attack A Real Man!!!

          2. joeham1 February 1, 2013

            Oh, I’ve let Dominick have it many times. But It’s even easier to attack your dumb ass!

          3. Fern Woodfork February 1, 2013

            Skank Asshole Thug!! Low Life Faggot!! Punk Ass Bitch Go Fuck Yourself!!

          4. Fern Woodfork February 1, 2013

            You Are The Result Of When Family Members Have Sex With Each Other, INBRED!! joehamhock Stop Screwing Your Sister!!! You Kids With Be Screwed Up Like YOU!!!

          5. joeham1 February 1, 2013

            Good one! Moron!

        6. Independent1 January 31, 2013

          Joeham, as usual you’re a day late and a dollar short with everything you bring up: Reagan may have pressed for immigration reform in 1986, with an attempt to offer illegals true amnesty, but in reality very little of what he was proposing ever came to fruition because of resistance from most Republican congressmen. And Clinton also actually tried to get something going in 1999/2ooo but ran into the same GOP roadblocks: As did Bush, who actually did far more than Reagan by trying to get reform passed in 2004/2005 and 2007, each time getting nowhere because of once again, GOP resistance. And even Obama tried to get the GOP to look at reform in 2010, but with the GOP determined to resist anything he proposed, Obama got nowhere too.

          So this nonsense of yours that Reagan is the only one who’s tried to get reform passed prior to today is once again just that – nonsense. So with a clear record of GOP refusal to even address a reasonable reform package, how now does the GOP expect that Latinos and Hispanics are going to suddenly forget 15-17 years worth of absolute refusal by the GOP to do much of anything with respect to implementing true reform?????

          1. joeham1 February 1, 2013

            That’s funny, Your blame the right crap is again a lie. Reagan did get millions of ilegal aliens amnesty. The dems ran congress while clinton was in office until 1994. So that is a lie too! From 2008 to 2010 the dems had a super majority, AND DID NOTHING!!!!! so you might as well shut up and stop your B.S.

            How are the latino’s going to forget that the left had many chances to help them that and they even have idiots like you lying for them!

            If you were at all truthful you would admit that the only sticking point for the GOP is securing the border! You sheep would have even have a fence to keep you form wondering to far!

          2. Independent1 February 1, 2013

            Again you’re wrong. The Dems did not have a super majority from 2008-2010. The Dems had a super majority from 1/1/2009 til Scott Brown got elected to replace Ted Kenedy who died in August 2009. And that amnesty was a one time thing Reagan got which hasn’t done anything for the illegals since then and it’s the LEFT that has opposed any true reforms since then, except lfor Bush Jr.

          3. joeham1 February 1, 2013

            Wow, your full of it. They had a super majority and they could of passed immigration reform on their own but they didn’t. Reagan gave millions amnesty.
            Of course that amnesty was a one time thing! Duh! And your right it was the left that opposed amnesty since then!!!

    3. dalnb February 3, 2013

      There is no doubt many immigrants have come to our nation and have made huge contributions to our welfare, economy and standard of living. Greatness and graciousness is not unique to any race, education or nationality.

      We at one time worked hard with very little restraint to draw immigrants into our nation; they came as legal immigrants. Following that we adopted and made legal laws that were designed to manage our immigration program. Those laws set up a legal pathway into the United States; legal for visitors and for those who would remain here continuing to comply with our laws. Since that time Amerce has welcomed millions of Legal Immigrants into out nation. The number of legal immigrants who have disappointed us in any fashion is minuscule and almost unheard of.

      On the opposite end we have the illegals who have decided they too want to come to the United States. They give a lot of reasons why but none has anything more legitimate than just a desire; better living conditions, better money, get away from bad governments, whatever. Studying the results of their presence in the United States shows a pattern consistent with the demising quality-of-life and economical well being of our own people and legal immigrants in our nation. The effect of the illegals in America over the past twenty years has significantly damaged America’s quality of life over the past 15-20 years. The massive onset of illegals following amnesty given by President Reagan became obvious by the middle of the First Bush Administration. By the end of the first Bush 2 term we were seeing huge problems growing from the continued growth of illegals coming into our country. Leaders from both parties were openly identifying those problems but neither party was doing anything to truly control or mitigate the mess. By the end of the Bush era we were seeing number of 14 to 18 million illegals in our country. Still little was being done to control the entry and illegal stay in our country; millions of people refusing to obey our national and local laws.

      The question demands consideration; what would we do if every day your neighbor stole gas from your car, took your yard tools, ran stop signs or sped around town ignoring laws. It makes no difference where they come from or why they decide to steal the gas or tools or refuse to comply with out traffic laws. Our laws to do make it okay for one race wile allowing another race to openly violate our laws. America is a law abiding nation and we all expect our neighbors and visitors to obey our law. We fine and put people in jail every day for minor violations often resulting in hardships to the violators family; along with the kids. This frequently results in families loosing jobs, loosing homes and friends and ending up destitute. We have millions of American citizens who have ended up without homes, without work, utilities, healthcare or educations. These are American kids and families; born here to American Parents and legal immigrants. These families and kids with and without families are being pushed to the back with a dwindling interest from politicians. The same politicians who have decided their own welfare and careers are contingent upon ensuring the illegals will become citizens and politically support them tomorrow. Far too many politicians care less about what happened yesterday, what is happening today, or what their actions will do tomorrow. Their primary interest is what is best for their own good, for their party and for those who have helped fund costly campaigns to get them elected.

      There is no way any illegal immigrant deserved preferential treatment over our own citizens or the legal immigrants in our nation.

      The illegals aliens are an embarrassment to the legal aliens. Their illegal activities too leave doubt toward the legal immigrants; the illegals activities create embarrassment and conflict toward the legal immigrants. Still – select politicians prefer to ignore those who deserve the efforts, time and money being spent b the government to give amnesty while our own people suffer! We are spending too much time, effort and money helping the illegals and too little to help the legal immigrants.

  2. frida January 31, 2013

    My friends Hispanic, how nice that you are making republicans panic. You have all become king-makers. Hold your veto votes strongly. If republicans do not abide to your wishes, show them again and again how powerful you are.

  3. Fairplay4 January 31, 2013

    I am all for Immigration reform but we should ask ourselves how we got here. If the border crossers did not find work here they would not have stayed. Those who profited from their cheap labor do not want to pay the attendant social and economic costs. Rubio, not unlike some members of the GOP, is getting in on the action for political gain. If we apply the embryo theory propounded by his colleagues, we may find that he was conceived in Cuba, hence ineligible to run for President.

    1. johninPCFL January 31, 2013

      There are NO ILLEGAL CUBAN IMMIGRANTS. Work that one around in your head awhile, then think about Rubio and Cruz taking the lead here. They have Latino faces (important to the GOP now) but have absolutely no connection to the issue they are negotiating. They are clueless.

      According the The Primacy Doctrine of the Birthers, Rubio is inelligible since his parents weren’t born here. It is odd, however, that the GOP has been screaming about anchorbabies for the last several years and now appears to be preparing to run one for president.

  4. MARK January 31, 2013

    Would it be too much to hope for that Immigration Reform results in disolving the club made up of narrowminded,tired,old,white guys?

    1. James Jim Lucas January 31, 2013

      I am often considerd old. I am often tired. I am white. However, I do not belong to that club of narrow minded people. My prayer is that an immigration Reform bill will be passed and become law that does not have a lot of narrow-minded poison pills in it that make it impossible for those who work here to become citizens, because we have passed laws that have criminalized the activities that have been going on for centuries, i.e., the regular crossing of the Rio Grande without hinderance.

  5. ObozoMustGo January 31, 2013


    This is all just fodder to keep your minds away from the real disaster that looms on the horizon: Our nation’s fiscal house. Hat tip James Agresti, JustFacts(dot)com. Go there and follow the links to actual government data. Read it and weep…….. 🙁

    Federal government finances deteriorated by $6.5 trillion in 2012
    By James D. Agresti
    January 30, 2013

    In January 2013, the U.S. Treasury released its annual “Financial Report of the United States Government,” which presents an “accrual” accounting of the federal government’s finances. In contrast to the White House budget, which primarily uses “cash” accounting, this Treasury report uses accounting standards like those that the government requires of large corporations.

    Based on this newly published data, Just Facts calculates that our national government has $67.4 trillion in debts, liabilities, and unfinanced Social Security/Medicare obligations. This represents a significant deterioration over the past year. Although the official federal deficit for fiscal year 2012 was $1.1 trillion, this comprehensive accounting reveals that the federal government’s fiscal position deteriorated by $6.5 trillion—or an average of $53,000 per household.

    Beyond the commonly cited national debt, the accrual accounting methods used in this Treasury report account for other federal financial obligations, such as retirement and healthcare benefits for federal employees, liabilities from government-sponsored enterprises (like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), and obligations to current participants in Social Security and Medicare that exceed the programs’ dedicated revenues.

    The report also accounts for federal government assets, such as cash on hand, certain properties and equipment, and stocks in companies such as General Motors. The report, however, does not account for federal stewardship land and heritage assets, such as national parks and the original copy of the Declaration of Independence. While these items have tangible value, the report explains that the government “does not expect to use these assets to meet its obligations.”

    In total, the federal government’s comprehensive fiscal shortfall now equals $214,000 for every person living in the U.S. or an average of $557,000 per household. The precise methodology for computing these figures is detailed in Just Facts’ national debt research, which will soon be updated with this new data. This research also shows that this shortfall is based upon federal agency projections that incorporate some highly optimistic assumptions. As such, the true shortfall may be considerably worse.

    Have nice day!

    “You can only confiscate the wealth that exists at a given moment. You cannot confiscate future wealth — and that future wealth is less likely to be produced when people see that it is going to be confiscated.” – Thomas Sowell

    1. Dominick Vila January 31, 2013

      The $67.4T debt mentioned in the Treasury report refers to Unfunded Liabilities, the total amount of financial obligations accrued by the Federal government without the funds and assets needed to cover them. In addition to debt, it also includes the contractual liabilities related to Social Security and MEDICARE benefits the government is obligated to honor in exchange for the contributions made by taxpayers. Needless to say, demographic changes associated with an aging population, and our refusal to pay for what we get are exacerbating the problem and contribute to continuous increases in unfunded liabilities.
      You forgot to mention that in mid 2008, before the TARP and the stimulus package, the total amount of unfunded liabilities was $50T.
      Obviously, they is a major concern that cannot be ignored, but it is not a sudden development. With one brief exception, deficit spending, borrowing, accumulation of debt, and increases in unfunded liabilities have been the norm for decades.
      I am glad our politicians finally discovered the effects of trickle down economics, continuous warfare, and irresponsible tax breaks; and took the time to read the reports issued by the Treasury and the OMB. The big question is what are they going to do about it, besides pointing fingers and blaming each other?

      1. ObozoMustGo January 31, 2013

        Dom…. you ask what are they going to do about it? The answer is, unfortunately, nothing. There isn’t the political will because Americans are too attached to the teets of big government. We are too dependent. And there isn’t anything that can be done because everyone wants everyone else’s ox to be gored, but not theirs. For example, you mention that SS and Medicare are obligations the government owes because people paid into them over the years. Well, you may be right about that but the dirty little secret is that the money paid in has been long ago spent. It’s not there anymore. Hence the unfunded liabilities definition. And America’s seniors, despite being the wealthiest demographic, WILL NOT give up their precious entitlements. This is like saying that people who invested with Bernie Madoff are entitled to their money. Well, that’s true. But reality is something else, now isn’t it? And we must deal with reality. Like I said, nothing will happen. Not unless we get a real leader that is capable of directing an adult conversation with America and getting the buyoff on the hard choices that must be made, not someone that pits classes against one another and refuses to acknowledge that our national finances are a problem.

        You guys on left love to blame what you deride as “trickle down economics” but your forgetting that the real issue is too much government and Keynesian economic fantasy that results in trickle up poverty. Taking more money out of the productive private sector IS not a successful economic strategy. It’s a politicians lie that tricks you into believing that giving them more of your and your neighbor’s earnings is somehow good for you. It’s not. You guys on the left have bought the lie hard. We are not where we are because of too much freedom. We are where we are because of too much government selling too many promises to too many people that it cannot possibly keep.

        Have a nice day, Dom!

        “All that seems indispensable in stating the account between the dead and the living, is to see that the debts against the latter do not exceed the advances made by the former.” – James Madison

        1. James Jim Lucas January 31, 2013

          Same response as last time to wit: You are still paying that same old tune, even though it cost you the election. Keep it up and we will win the mid-terms too.

    2. James Jim Lucas January 31, 2013

      You are still playing that same old tune, even though it cost you the election. Keep it up and we will win the mid-terms too.

      1. ObozoMustGo February 4, 2013

        Hey JJ you stupid moron…. it’s about the future of our country, not just winning elections. For too long it’s just been about winning elections, even at the expense of our nation’s future. The time has come that this must stop. Only a fool does not see that. Or perhaps you’re one of those leftist freaks that actually wants to see the decline of America. For many on the left, it is intentional, and they will rejoice at America’s demise.

        Have a nice day!

        “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” ― Alexis de Tocqueville

  6. dalnb January 31, 2013

    What is the most obvious message here? Politicians care less what the issue is or what effect it will have on our nation- they are more interested in establishing party dominance and getting votes (Recall Senator Mitch McConnell’s comments stating that is their secondary mission – the first seeing Obama is a one term president) .

    The majority of Americans still believe we need Immigration Reform WITHOUT amnesty. The PRO- amnesty supporters are twisting the facts with half-truths when they fail to include Amnesty in their marketing efforts.

    The Republicans have jumped on the Immigration Reform and there is little doubt that will get done – As It Should – BUT, very few are supporting amnesty with that overhaul. Senator McCain has pointed out the change in interest – not as what will be best for our country but what party members are seeing as a way of gaining more votes.

    We MUST get immigration reform – – – BUT – IT CAN IN NO WAY INCLUDE AMNESTY! We tried that before and see where it got us. A huge hoard of illegals slipping into our nation so they too can get amnesty. Amnesty now will send a message to the world that we will do not as our laws say but put politics above our best interests (as we have already done) sending them an invitation to join the other illegals , and it will tell the world we are not strong enough to stand and support our own laws!.

    1. James Jim Lucas January 31, 2013

      I am white. One of my great grandparents may have been With Out Papers. Two of my great-great grandparents may have also been Wih Out Papers. Our family members have served honorably and contributed to this country. Of course they were European, so no one bothered them. Unfair laws have been passed to bar people from south of the Border and make them criminal if they continued a practice, centuries old, of crossing the Rio Grande at will.

  7. joeham1 January 31, 2013

    Finally, secure the border, make them pay for being here illegally, and then create a path to citizenship for the one’s that are here. Proof once again that if congress works TOGETHER! good thing can get done!

    1. James Jim Lucas January 31, 2013

      joeham1, Pay with what? They work for minimum wages that do not even give them enough to live a normal life and eat decently. My prayer is that an immigration Reform bill will be passed and become law that does not have a lot of narrow-minded poison pills in it that make it impossible for those who work here to become citizens, because we have passed laws that have criminalized the activities that have been going on for centuries, i.e., the regular crossing of the Rio Grande without hinderance. What you are suggesting is not immigration reform. It is something that will not work for them and you know it.

      1. joeham1 January 31, 2013

        I realize, that LAWS and FAIRNESS may not mean anything to you. There are millions of people that have followed the law and are waiting to get in our country. It’s simply not fair to give citizenship for nothing to someone who broke the law! In this country that used to make sense to most everyone.

        The penalty won’t be stiff. The time won’t be long. But just giving it up would do more damage then good!

        A path to citizenship should be given. It shouldn’t be given for nothing. That would send a message to law abiding people that all you have to do is break the law and we will give in! Don’t you think there is enough of that going on?

  8. William January 31, 2013

    How stupid do the people in Washington think we are, every time you turn around they tell another bunch of lies about how they now feel, makes me sick. What I would like to know is how this new immigration bill will work any better than the one passed by Reagan? All that one did was create more illegal immigration!

  9. markS Stevano January 31, 2013

    How bout if we tax immigrant business owners likke we do domestic business owners.
    Immigrant business owners run their businesses tax free for seven years. Then they put the business in a cousin or brothers name sand get another seven years tax free…REALLY…we discriminate against U.S. born small business owners giving huge tax advantages to immigrants?

  10. markS Stevano January 31, 2013

    Who’s on first………Our congress of tea baggers and religious hypocrites is a abominable.
    They vote themselves raises and push right to work legislation so no middle class worker will ever make it out of industrial slavery. The GOP (greed oildrenched protestants) commonly referred to as the “church of England in 1773…is very alive and well in 2013.
    They don’t care about the republic, they don’t care about the poor, they don’t care about anyone but their own self and their own self interests…..did I mention they’re extremely racist?…

  11. bchrista January 31, 2013

    Fern, I am sorry my comments were directed to the wrong person they were meant in answer to a remark Mary K Pike posted defending lana Ward after a remark you posted to to Lana repeating her name backwards if you took it as a cheap shot at you I am sorry I have always been on the same side as you, I don’t give a rats ass about people like Lana, omg, cannistercook, or anyone of those assholes that are constantly putting down the Democrats and the President, those ungrateful bastards don’t belong to be here after all hes done to try to get the country back on it’s feet they should be set a drift on the way to some deserted Island where they can all be together and tell each other lies to their own content, maybe throw in a few others like McConnell, Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, and a few Democrats that are constantly bucking the President and voting against him. And we send those off we could set up a program whereby once a month send a few more maybe a boat load of teabaggers and before you know it we could have those 1% step inline start doing the right thing for the middle class and everyone else.

    1. Fern Woodfork February 1, 2013

      Thank You All Is Forgiven!!! :-)!!!

  12. bchrista January 31, 2013

    Everyone remember that Hagel actually fought in a war and John McCain crashed because he could never learn to pilot the craft he was in. And in answer as to the reason Republicans joined the Democrats on the immigration issue was because they knew they had a loser for sure if they let Obama state his points on the immigration issue before they did and chances are good the rest of the Republicans will go along with the Eight is because they don’t want Obama getting credit for any part of the immigration Bill and Obama doesn’t care so long as he get a Bill passed. And as to the remark that Joe Ham1 made concerning a bipartison agreement he’s not intelligent enough to figure out that the Republicans have finally started acknowledging that Obama won and if they don’t make an effort to get something done they will have proven to the public what has being going on, that they were sitting on their collective asses doing nothing and it took Obama’s reelection to get things moving and I feel once Obama gets the train moving forward he’s going to be hard to stop, he’s going to leave a lot of Republicans slobbering and blabbing in the dust don’t let his hands get untied or the Republicans are in for it.

  13. Gary Godfrey January 31, 2013

    The question is what do we do about the next 20,000,000 that are already lined up at the borders, cheered at the prospects of what looks to them like a free ride?

  14. bchrista January 31, 2013

    Hey Dominick and the rest of you progressive guys don’t quote me but I have tried to listen to everytime the President has given a speach and maybe Iam wrong but I swear that if you read between the lines of some of those speaches on immigration reform I have picked up hints that when it comes times he will do his thing to ease the transition from illegal to legal with no penalty for the children that were born here and the ones that came here as minors, and before taxes and penalties can be issued one must know the wage situtation and the amount of monies earned and the penalties and taxes to be imposed will have to be something they can afford and they will be provided a certain amount of time in which it must be paid, for example what a lot of people aren’t aware of is that these immigrants were only paid below minimum wages which started back when minimum wage was about 1.75 cents an hour now I think it’s about 7.00 dollars a hour, but ,however, the assholes they worked for were a Cuban family that controlled the Sugar Cane farms and some of the farms that produced the vegetables that you bought in the supermarkets and these families were protected by certain Represenatives in Tallahassee against any court actions that might be brought against them for their actions, and believe me there were many because of living conditions and the stores that were provided by the owners for the workers to buy their grocery and most things they needed and they were gouged heavily so that they were constantly broke and had to run tabs, it took a lot of sueing by the United States Government before they finally corrected some of the abuse these people had to endure in order to keep a job, if you ever saw the sheds they had to live in, you wouldn’t let a dog live in them, they were known as the Bellgrade hell homes. These shed reminded me of a time when I used to travel from Miami to New york and I drove at night because the traffic is lighter when I got to Kentucky I see some homes that the siding in some of those homes you could see a one half inch wide gap between the boards and catch images of people inside the homes and some only had fuel oil lamps well the people in those sheds lived just like that. I guess there’s been a great change because now they use machines to harvest the sugar cane and load it on the trucks, but I’m talking about times before the 1990s, so now the Congress has to come up with a tax and penalties that meet the standard of fairness based on the amount of monies those poor souls earned during those years because they didn’t earn say the same amount as bed makers, waiters,lawn cutters,dishwashers, the ones that lived in town usually got together and rented a house and you might find four or five families living together in one house and everybody eating from the same pot and sleeping where ever the could find space. One of these times I will tell you about my experiences with these peoples.

    1. Punal B February 2, 2013

      Why don’t you just adopt the whole world…

  15. bchrista January 31, 2013

    People I had written a post explaining something that people do not know about Mexican immigrants and some how I erased it so later I will try to rewrite it later because I will tell you something that should make you very angry about the treatment some of these people have had to endure at the hands of some supposedly good Americans that have used the people when they needed them and when they didn’t called them wetbacks and all other kinds of names besides immigrants. My next post I will tell you a true story, I am tired and it’s late so after I get some rest I’ll rewrite my first post concerning the Mexican immigrant.

  16. Jack Wormer February 1, 2013

    It must be nice to be Hispanic, with both political parties trying to get in bed with you….

  17. bchrista February 1, 2013

    Hey, OMG you can spout all the figures you want, but the main ones that count is that, Social Security can count among it’s finances a total of 2.7 T to the good thats enough to last until 2032 without adding another cent and I’m pretty sure that there will be several billions added to that amount by 2032 and if the people put back all the money taken out of the fund and take back their IOUs I’m sure that SS will be solvent for a lot longer and one of these days all of these accountants will stop using SS as a part of the National Debt, we didn’t create it because we didn’t dip into the budget funds to pay the SS recipiants that came out of a different account. also you and those Republicans asssholes are constantly bitching about the Government, well sport tell me what would you guys do with the country if the goverment went away altogether, when the Republicans needs the government it’s the greatest thing in the world otherwise it just gets in the way, well thank God for the Government someone has mto watch those sticky fingers in the Congress or they would probably have already sold the whole country to the Chinese by now. Take idiots like Lana Ward and others that hate the President keep stating that Obama has been giving billions to foreign countries and obviously they don’t that Obama can’t give nothing away unless he gets approval from Congress, so if any funds are missing check the Congress’s pocket they control the purse strings.

  18. bchrista February 1, 2013

    The law against immigrants crosing the Rio Grande has been waived without anybody saying it because they come over to do the dirty work that Americans won’t do but they rather bitch that there is no work, as for the Mexicans that come do so because the Border Patrol looks the other way or there wouldn’t be enough people to do the jobs that need to get done.

  19. bchrista February 1, 2013

    In answer to Gary Godfery and Joe Ham1 apparently you don’t keep up with the latest news since Fox news skews the news to fit their patterns of misreporting the truth, so I will clue you in since Obama got reelected there has been a steady flow of reverse immigration, over a million Mexicans have returned back to their own country because of the work situation here and the fact that the situation in Mexico has improved and the border is more secure than it’s ever been under all the past presidents together, thanks to President Obama so you guys can put that in your pipe and smoke it.

    1. Eleanor February 2, 2013

      SURE, but what about all the millions still here illegally draining our system with their welfare support, housing, food, medicaid and nmedicare as well as drawing S.S. checks for their seniors and so called disabled? I guess that is okay???The illegals live better, eat better and drive better vehicles, have better healthcare, and free education than our families who came from legal immigrants, work our arses off and pay all the taxes that pay them to come here??? Guess that is okay too????You people supporting illegal citizenry are absolutely crazy. Try to immigrate to their country and see how their rulse the reverse way works. Stupid is as stupid does, I guess. Brainwashed idiots never learn til they are on the losing end and then hear them cry.

    2. Punal B February 2, 2013

      So since Obama was elected the economy in the US is down, and Mexico’s is up, obviously, I would not crow about that as positive for Obama. Maybe it’s all the “free” weapons Obama sent to Mexico under the “Fast and Furious” program. Huge help for the drug gangs that are a large part of Mexico’s economy. The million or so Mexicans that went “home”, are just on holidays, you can expect them, and their relatives, back once the “amnesty” is concluded. How’s that pipe now?

  20. bchrista February 1, 2013

    People the post I thought I had erased showed up here it explains about the immigrants that used to harvest the sugar cane read that one for some factual information, I got this information from laborer that worked for me on a construction job, at first I couldn’t believe what I was hearing that things were going on in this day and age but I saw one of his pay stub and his bill at the company grocery and I drove him home one day because his brother was still working harvesting sugar cane, and he lived with him.

    1. Punal B February 2, 2013

      ??? WTF does that have to do with immigration? Sound more like a labor law issue.

  21. Michael Ross February 1, 2013

    Ten years from now, they’ll all be harping about how much they loved Obama and were willing to work with him on immigration reform, no different from the way they all decided Bill Clinton was the best friend they ever had in 2012.

    This is how the G.O.P. does things now: First they obstruct it, then they take full credit for it.

  22. dalnb February 1, 2013

    Every country has laws that are quite similar in their themes and intent and established thru the values social, economic, and political conditions of the governed society. . These are the rules of conduct meant to enforce justice, duty and obligation .
    America is no different than other counties; they all enact laws establishing standards of conduct for the “Law Abiding” people to follow. The people are expected to dutifully conform to the laws/standards obeying or keeping the law; obedient to law: entrusted with the integrity, loyalty and spirit of the nation the laws govern.

    When laws are ignored a nation can quickly and easily face anarchy. Anytime a standard violated and ignored a new standard is set. When a routine of ignoring laws and standards become commonplace Anarchy is just around the corner. When those mandated by position and authority decide to establish their won rules ignoring what standards law established we no longer have the trusted organization of established law.

    What ever drove the illegal into our country in violation of our law is irrelevant; the fact they are here is a violation of our law. When law enforcement officer elect to apply the law as they desire ignoring the intent and standard of the law they become criminals and their acts are punishable in court. If eleven million men and women entrusted with the responsibility to ensure compliance with our laws decide to just do as they want rather than do as the law states we would soon have no enforceable laws.

    When ANY person illegally enters our nation or remains here beyond their legal visit they have violated our laws. To allow millions to continue to do so sets new unenforceable standards that demand prosecution. As a nation of laws we can not accept violation of laws in our society.

    America is the most liberal country in the world in their immigration laws. With that we accept Legal Migration. We encouraged it preceding our immigration laws and we established our immigration policies in a manner that encourages a “Legal Path Way to Citizenship”. That has been done based on our constitution and in acceptance by every civilized country in the world.

    We do have some valued talent in the men and women who have come here illegally. In spite of that they remain illegal and have no right to remain here. Arguments favoring their remaining in the United States are invalid; not only as an exception to our law but in the very reason our laws were written. We accept all men as being created equal and extend that embracing the concept as long as they remain loyal to our laws. Our citizens who choose to ignore or violate our laws are punished; there is no reason why we should not also punish those who have come here and remain here illegally!

    1. Eleanor February 2, 2013

      AND we also need to punish thoste government officials who make our law enorcement ignore them. As a 74 year old woman from great grandparents coming to the “new” land the legal way, I greatly resent those who remain here with the blessings of our so called leaders.

      1. dalnb February 2, 2013

        . Whether it is a state, community, organization or individual, ANYONE who aids and abets through illegal entry, sanction whether it is a state, community, organization or individual, ANYONE who aids and abets through illegal entry, sanction, and/or unlawful employment needs to face hard, positive and quick fines. State and municipal governments that sanction illegals should loose all federal support moneys, business’ caught knowingly employing illegals should be fined no less that $5000.00 per illegal on their first prosecution and 2nd and subsequent violations, in addition to the $5,000.00 fine, they should loose all profits earned during the period the illegals were employed. The America citizen and tax payer is paying the costs for immigration – the persons causing these costs should be charged the cost created by their violation.

        . Congress and the Senate will soon be taking this issue to hearing attempting to obtain sufficient votes to give 11 million illegal aliens amnesty. Many representatives from both parties are taking a stand against amnesty but the massive Sales efforts paid for by Hispanic and Mexican Special Interest are trying hard to convince Americans we need these illegals. Many Senators and Congressmen were elected or reelected in part through huge financing of their campaigns by these special interest groups.

        I. t Is Important We All Contact Our Senators and Congressmen And Make Them Aware – WE DO NOT SUPPORT AMNESTY IN ANY WAY UNDER AND TERM OR BY ANY DEFINITION!!

        . Do it today – contact your Senator and Congressmen – stop amnesty before it is too late!

  23. Punal B February 2, 2013

    In any other country in the world, the proposal to allow large numbers of people unlawfully at large in the country to become citizens ahead of others legally awaiting their turn to immigrate, would lead to impeachment of the politicians advocating such a huge injustice. The implications are enormous, trumpeting to the world that the gates are down, and the floodgates are open. The possible 10+ million will undoubtedly sponsor family members to join them, and if the process is still too slow, will just follow the example of their sponsors. The “arab spring” will be another component to this dubious scenario, with huge numbers of “refugees”, unable or unwilling to relocate back to their fundamentally changed homelands, to look towards going to a reluctant Europe, and then North America. With Canada having a more resilient immigration apparatus, they will most likely decide on “settling” on America as a destination, legally or not. Within a relatively short period of time, the face of the population might engender a new political party, if this new demographic decides their desires cannot be met through the two existing political parties. The USA will be fundamentally changed, whether for better or worse will depend on who, politically are the winners. The polarized political landscape present in America today will become moot.


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