What does 'Taxation Without Representation' mean when spoken by an illegal alien?
One of the standing gripes I have with Republican politics is the extent to which it's all carrot and that carrot is tax abatement. Current Republican appeals to patriotism are shallow when they rely primarily on the morality of the Religious Right, which is often in conflict with the constitutional bright line between Church and State. The saving grace of the GOP is its nationalism. The lack of patriotic nationalism is the primary reason why libertarianism is 'cyber selfish', an intellectual conceit of the working rich. I cannot abide the lack of nationalism in Libertarian politics, and so while I consider myself a strong civil libertarian, I remain a Republican.
Got all that?
One of the questions on the subject of illegal immigration strikes at the heart of this particularly overhyped appeal of the Republican Party. That question is the legitimacy of illegal immigrants based upon their payment of taxes. Republicans claim to be patriotic but do everything they can to avoid payment of taxes and consider that avoidance their solemn right. How hypocritical is it to fight immigration on the basis of overburdended public services? If some Republicans had their way, they would defund public services to the bone. So does anyone really care if public schools go broke? Sure. Democrats do, and they are willing to make the patriotic sacrifice of paying taxes in order to make that happen. Which strategy goes further to secure domestic tranquility?
Fiscal Conservatives all over, especially Newt Gingrich, are pitching a bitch over GW's spending binge. I don't see anyone in Congress pitching War Bonds. We're on the verge of voodoo economics all over again. So what do we let break in support of Bush's political appeal to the GOP Base? My vote says don't mess with my economy. If you need to increase revenues, then do it. Just like the dropping of interest rates to stimulate the economy, there are limits. You cannot ride the tax abatement horse forever. The reality of Republican nationalism is that we're more than willing to spend more money on defense and the right mix of government services. Entitlements and the Welfare State are not breaking the bank, they're breaking conservative spirit. "The full faith and credit of the United States of America" is not in jeopardy because if Congress decided (and they will) to raise tax revenues, they have plenty of room to do so. America will groan, but we will comply. What are we going to do, take our money and businesses to France? I do take Walter Williams' argument seriously. I still want government spending as a percentage of GDP to be low. But I probably differ with most fiscal conservatives on the question of nation-building. We'll see what Fukyama says, now wiser. Either way, the Federal budget should be balanced and we ought to be all about that.
The Republican party is not situated on the proper nationalist ground to stand firm against illegal immigration. That is because rhetorically we have situated our strongest political sentiments with the right to be left alone by government. Isn't that all illegal aliens want? We are selling our citizenship cheap, and George W. Bush is leading that charge in the wrong direction with his guest worker programs and amnesty. We have got to show how we are invested in America, or else.
Understand that the appropriate nationalism is not about blood & soil. It's about defense of liberty and our inalienable rights, the rule of law and the market system we have thus far so nobly advanced. It is about real civility and sacrifice for God and Country. It is about our cultural heritage from Dodger Stadium to Lincoln Center to Yellowstone to the Underground Railroad. That sounds like public service to me. It's what we ought to expect from each other, and everyone who comes here to live, and it cannot be based primarily on the act of paying taxes or not paying taxes.
You can't just buy your way into America.