Thursday, April 29, 2010

My View



Random thoughts from a warped and fevered mind...

There is an amazing uproar that is occurring across the land over the new immigration law that has been passed by the State of Arizona. There are claims that it results in profiling peoples of certain races and that it is similar to what the Nazis did in Germany prior to and during World War II in requiring certain groups of people to show "papers" proving they are here legally and who they say they are. There are two salient points that are being ignored by the national media in the furor over the Arizona law. First, a law enforcement officer cannot just stroll up to someone and ask if they are here legally. Here is what the law actually says: "For any lawful contact made by a law enforcement official... where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person." The operative words are "lawful contact". This means that a police officer in Arizona is NOT going to arbitrarily walk up to someone and ask them to prove they are an U. S. citizen. It does mean that when, for example, a traffic stop occurs, the law enforcement officer can ask for proof of citizenship. Lawful contact simply means in the course of doing their job. No shaking down people on the street because they don't look like they belong here. The second point is that all of us are required to produce "papers" to prove we are here legally and are who we say we are. Ever tried to board an airplane without proper identification? Ever tried to vote without proper I.D.? (Well, excluding Chicago). There is much media hysteria focused on the recent enactment of this law in Arizona. Perhaps the media outrage should be directed toward the failed enforcement of the immigration laws currently on the books by the federal government.

My neighbors claimed that my dog chased someone on a bike. Stupid neighbors- my dog doesn't have a bike.

Remember the great fanfare when the $787 billion stimulus plan was passed by Congress? It was supposed to jump start the economy and the White House estimated that it would create or save 3.5 million jobs? Guess what? The latest quarterly survey of the National Association of Business Economists showed that the stimulus package has had no impact on the economy. 73% of those surveyed said that employment at their company is neither higher nor lower as a result of the stimulus. Imagine that. When you parse out the uses of the dollars allotted to the stimulus- at least those you can find- you see that much of the money was spent perpetuating state and federal government programs, not being used to spur job creation. I have said it before, but it bears repeating- government does NOT create jobs. Business does. This is a fact that government at all levels cannot seem to grasp. To add insult to injury, the NABE projects economic growth as measured by GDP at slightly more than 2%. That is anemic growth in the U.S. economy. And that does not bode well for a sustained economic recovery in this country.

My wife reminds me of an angel. She is always up in the air harping about something.

You may recall that once socialized medicine was passed by Congress, several major U.S. corporations announced they were taking significant write downs in earnings because of changes in the tax provisions of the bill and the necessity to account for those changes. There was an interesting response from the White House when the companies announced these changes, which were cumulatively in the billions of dollars. The White House accused these companies of "exaggerating" the effects of the tax changes. In fact, Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke said the companies were being "premature and irresponsible" in taking these charges. Dutifully following the White House lead, Representatives Bart Stupak (D) and Henry Waxman (D) initiated an investigation of the companies (Deere, AT&T, Caterpillar, and Verizon) and demanded these companies supply documents detailing their analysis of the tax effects and an explanation of their accounting methods. The hearings were canceled when Representatives Stupak and Waxman were informed by their staff that the elimination of the tax deduction these companies had enjoyed resulted in a corresponding tax expense that had to be properly accounted for under accounting rules.This was confirmed by the Financial Accounting Standards Board. The problem with this entire situation is that we have leaders in this country making laws without any hint of the real impact of these laws. This is both shameful and embarrassing.

If the world were really a logical place, men would ride horses sidesaddle.

And that, my friends, is my view.

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