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Parties Offer A Poor Solution to Immigration Reform

by Jeff Cox, published
Former Senator Rick Santorum // Credit:

Former Senator Rick Santorum // Credit:

In a shining example of how even a blind squirrel can occasionally stumble across ACORN, former Pennsylvania senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum offered a rather insightful critique of the unsuccessful 2012 presidential campaign of Mitt Romney. Santorum basically said that making Barack Obama’s (in)famous “You didn’t build that” comment the centerpiece of the campaign was, well, stupid.

Remembering the parade of business owners that spoke at the Republican Convention, Santorum told a room full of conservative activists,

“One after another, talked about the business they had built. But not a single—not a single —factory worker went out there […] Not a single janitor, waitress or person who worked in that company! We didn’t care about them. You know what? They built that company too! And we should have had them on that stage.”

Santorum continued, “When all you do is talk to people who are owners, talk to folks who are ‘Type As’ who want to succeed economically, we’re talking to a very small group of people,” he said. “No wonder they don’t think we care about them. No wonder they don’t think we understand them. Folks, if we’re going to win, you just need to think about who you talk to in your life.”

He’s not the only conservative picking up on this. At Ricochet, blogger Mollie Hemingway observed, “This makes so much sense to me that I am confused as to how the GOP and Romney messed it up so badly last year.”

It’s not confusing at all if you look at it as part of a pattern.

One of the issues that ran under the radar in the 2012 presidential campaign was unemployment insurance. With unemployment hovering just below 10 percent, Obama and congressional Democrats extended unemployment benefits for up to two years. Republicans protested vehemently that the extension just discourages the unemployed from getting jobs, either forgetting that the high unemployment rate suggested there were few jobs to be had or simply ignoring it because, don’cha know?, businesses have to pay unemployment, and we can’t have that, now can we?

That pattern has continued into this year, with the scam surrounding “bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform.”

Unlike most issues, in which there is usually a split between the left and the right, “bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform” has created a split between the political class in Washington and pretty much everyone else. While polls indicate majority support for “bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform,” the current version thereof does nothing the public wants (secure the border, deport illegal aliens who have committed crimes) and everything the public does not want (amnesty, tax refunds for illegal aliens, no hard requirement to learn English.) And, yes, it’s amnesty. When politicians have to twist themselves into Cirque du Soleil shapes to explain why it’s not amnesty, it’s amnesty.

In fairness, Congressional Republicans are not entirely alone in this, as with the “bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform” Congressional Democrats are just as bad. The current “comprehensive immigration reform” bill, S. 744, is Washington selfishness at its finest. The Latino vote remains critical for both parties. Further, business interests lie in keeping down the cost of labor as well. No one seems to be able to explain or even attempt to explain how “comprehensive immigration reform” will benefit the current citizens of the United States. And that is a major, major problem.

The basic law of supply and demand holds that  the more of something exists, the cheaper it is. The less of something exists, the more expensive it is. Unless you’re a Washington Democrat, you probably know this already.

So, when you dump 11 million new legal workers on the job market, wages are going to go down. A lot. The Congressional Budget Office (whose logo looks suspiciously like that of Omni Consumer Products) has already admitted as much. But it has also admitted that the returns for investors will go up. Now, which do you think our political class sympathizes with more: workers or investors? Santorum pretty much answered that question on behalf of Republicans.

As did Florida Senator Marco Rubio, one of the major backers of the S. 744 “comprehensive immigration reform” legislation. One of the senator’s aides in a quote not for attribution actually said this to a reporter:

“There are American workers who, for lack of a better term, can’t cut it. … There shouldn’t be a presumption that every American worker is a star performer. There are people who just can’t get it, can’t do it, don’t want to do it. And so you can’t obviously discuss that publicly.”

So, if you don’t have a job, it’s your own fault. Not the economy, not government regulation (always a GOP bugbear), not a hostile boss or work environment. Yours. According to Marco Rubio's aide, you’re just a loser, so we have to bring in cheap foreigners to replace you.

There, don’t you feel much better now? Doesn’t that make you wanna go out and support Marco Rubio and his “comprehensive immigration reform?”

Again, while the Democrats in office also bear some blame on the “comprehensive immigration reform” that can only hurt American workers, they do not have a pattern of denigrating American workers like their Republican colleagues do.

If you’re unemployed it’s your fault. You’re too lazy. You’re too stupid. You don’t deserve unemployment insurance. You want too much money, too many benefits, too few working hours. How do you expect your boss to survive when you want all that? You’re such a loser that we have to bring in cheap foreigners to replace you. That’s how the GOP line comes off to voters.

Rick Santorum complained that at the convention last year Republican presidential candidates gave the impression they don’t care about workers.

Maybe it’s because they don’t.

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