Fri
Apr 14 2017
04:39 pm

It has long been my argument that the term "fiscal conservative" is effectively a lie. More completely, it is an effort to get you to believe that anyone not claiming to be such is fine with profligate spending. In that linguistic deception it has the company of phrases like "anti abortion". They are both a variation on what science fiction writer Robert Heinlein called the best way to lie. He said that the best way to lie was to tell the truth so unconvincingly that no one believed you. So yes, they are anti abortion, fiscal conservatives who put their pants on one leg at a time. Which is to say, they are exactly like everyone else.

Except they are not. Yea, I just lied to you. The truth is if someone makes such a claim, they are typically trying to hide their support for something or a past action that they themselves undertook. If you dig around in the lives of the most strident anti abortionists you will find unwanted, and frequently, terminated pregnancies. The loudest fiscal conservatives are guaranteed to have their mouths firmly attached to the public teat or, at least a plan for feast thereon. It is ALWAYS an effort to distract and/or deceive when those claims are made. ALWAYS!

Government costs money. One of the reasons we form governments is to save money by group purchasing things that we all need. Take law enforcement as an example. Everyone can recognize the need for a law enforcement group that works the way Hollywood depicts them. Honest, friendly, forthright and helpful individuals who are willing to put themselves in harm's way to ensure the safety of a citizen, that is the ideal and what I am talking about unless I specify otherwise. (yes, I know that frequently they are something other than that.) Their cars and motorcycles and ballistic vests and other equipment costs money. Their training, both initial and continuing education, costs money. The offices and bureaucratic supplies costs money. Support staff must be paid. We pay our taxes with the idea that our law enforcement personnel (and fire, and codes, and engineering, and ...) will be properly equipped and supported.

We pay that. Local residents of a given municipality and/or county pay the money that provides for the local law enforcement organizations. As such, the organizations are typically under the executive control of the local mayors and legislative control of the councils and commissions.. They get to decide what the priorities are. They are hired (elected) specifically to determine how our money gets spent. They live in the municipality, they have to to be elected. We see them at the grocery store, at public events, at bars and parties. Sometimes they get an ear full but, that is the job they campaigned for.

Imagine my surprise, my shock and dismay, to find out that some of our most vocal fiscal conservatives were in favor of policies that were in direct contravention to those concepts. Imagine the idea that those who spout the loudest about taxes, are suddenly fine with ceding control of the priorities and procedures of our local law enforcement to very non-local authority. Will I ever be able to believe their claims of fiscal conservatism going forward? (Did I ever?)

I am a known Liberal. I am a Progressive that proudly wears the title "Berniecrat". I am also fundamentally opposed to unfunded federal mandates being handed down to our local Law Enforcement Organizations (LEOs). I cannot help but see that as the non-legislative tax that it is and it amazes me that anyone would be so stupid as to not see it. Immigration, and by extension immigration enforcement, is the domain and responsibility of the federal government. Those federal agencies responsible have no authority to re-purpose our local LEOs to do federal work without compensation to the local municipality.

My mayors, city and/or county, need not declare our local municipality a sanctuary city or county or region. They can if they want to but there is no need for them to. What they NEED to do is to make sure that their authority over the manner in which my local tax dollars are used is not usurped by out-of-control federal agencies. While we do need to have a serious and substantive conversation about immigration policy at the appropriate level, they cannot in the meantime, simply and arbitrarily levy a tax on the time, training, equipment and supplies of our local LEOs. We pay that tax and I am firmly against it.

This may well mean that a hardcore Liberal, an ardent supporter of a Democratic Socialist, is more of a fiscal conservative than any of the liars that run around claiming to be.

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R. Neal's picture

I agree. It appears that

I agree. It appears that Mayor Rogero and KPD Chief Rausch also agree. (link...)

traveler's picture

Government costs money. Yes.

Government costs money.

Yes. So it makes sense we should do our part. But all we have to do locally for immigration enforcement is notify ICE, a trivial thing. And we're likely to save money overall, in social benefit costs, and crime, for example.

One of the reasons we form governments is to save money by group purchasing things that we all need.

No. Government's not meant to organize group purchases! (And it's really terrible at that.) Government is to protect your property, your person, and your life (which are all very closely related--your life is your property, and getting your property required spending part of your life).

Imagine the idea that those who spout the loudest about taxes, are suddenly fine with ceding control of the priorities and procedures of our local law enforcement to very non-local authority.

It's in the Constitution. The FEDERAL government has control over immigration, because it's recognized in our Constitution as being the legitimate place for promulgating NATIONAL policy. States and cities setting their own citizenship and immigration standards would be chaos.

cafkia's picture

But all we have to do locally

But all we have to do locally for immigration enforcement is notify ICE, a trivial thing

Fine, then YOU do it. You notify ICE to your heart's content. However, if my local LEOs are to be ordered to do something, it needs to be me or my local elected representative that does the ordering. NOT a federal agency. And to my representatives I say, HELL NO! You are not to use my tax dollars to burnish the reputation of a federal employee, elected - appointed - or civil service.

Government's not meant to organize group purchases!

Really? Exactly how many roads, parks, militaries and regulatory agencies have you purchased recently? How many have you used?

The FEDERAL government has control over immigration ...

I said initially that it was a federal issue. The thing is, government has to prioritize and they have to budget, otherwise, that government will fail sooner rather than later. So only a traitor or an idiot would agree to be complicit in hiding the true cost of governmental programs because as I pointed out, that is detrimental to the continued existence of that government and by extension, the entity it controls. When they know the true costs, they can budget accordingly. So which are you?

traveler's picture

"Fine, then YOU do it. You

"Fine, then YOU do it. You notify ICE to your heart's content."

Of course I'd call law enforcement, like any civic-minded citizen would, to help enforce the laws. If I see a bank robber or a kidnapper, or catch someone embezzling, I'll call that in too. I don't worry about the few-sheckels' taxpayer-cost; this is what we have law enforcement for. By doing my part I'm helping *reduce* the cost of keeping an orderly, law-abiding society. The cost of ignoring crime is much higher.

"Really? Exactly how many roads, parks, militaries and regulatory agencies have you purchased recently? How many have you used?"

I was responding to your statement "One of the reasons we form governments is to save money by group purchasing things that we all need."

The federal government is not a shopping club to save us money on diapers! They're horrendously inefficient, and, saving money is not the purpose.

The purpose of the federal government is to organize a) certain essential functions b) that cannot be done within individual states. Interstate roads (but not intrastate) and national defense are included in that description. Immigration, too.

"...government has to prioritize and they have to budget, otherwise, that government will fail sooner rather than later."

We agree on that. But making it nigh impossible for the feds to perform their essential immigration enforcement duties doesn't make sense. Making their task more difficult *increases* the cost of federal government, and it increases the cost of illegal immigration to society.

Sure, we could turn off the electricity at KPD and save a few dollars in power costs. But it would be a phony savings, since the officers wouldn't be able to do their jobs.

cafkia's picture

Of course I'd call law

Of course I'd call law enforcement, like any civic-minded citizen would, to help enforce the laws.

Will you call the correct agency? They are not all the same you know.

I don't worry about the few-sheckels' taxpayer-cost ...

See, told you I was more of a fiscal conservative.

The purpose of the federal government is to organize a) certain essential ...

So, If I had said "organize" instead of purchase (as in pay for) you would have been alright with it? Have you ever heard to phrase "distinction without a difference"? You should have someone explain it to you.

But making it nigh impossible for the feds to perform their essential immigration enforcement duties doesn't make sense.

I see how you did not quote anything I said before this drivel. That is because I never said anything about actively seeking to make the feds job more difficult. I did say and do believe that my local tax dollars should not be spent doing the fed's jobs for them or even helping them. I also agree with the KPD in that their jobs are made infinitely more difficult when they do not have the trust of the populace, all of the populace. You are saying that it is ok to make the locals jobs more difficult or impossible to do as long as it makes the fed's jobs easier. My estimate of your intelligence and intent just dropped by more than half.

traveler's picture

So, If I had said "organize"

So, If I had said "organize" instead of purchase (as in pay for) you would have been alright with it? Have you ever heard to phrase "distinction without a difference"? You should have someone explain it to you.

I originally wrote:

The purpose of the federal government is to organize a) certain essential functions b) that cannot be done within individual states. Interstate roads (but not intrastate) and national defense are included in that description. Immigration, too.

That seems clear enough.

The principal responsibility of the federal government is protecting the populace. Controlling who enters the country is a critical part of that, the federal government's most essential function.

cafkia's picture

Alright, I'll play your silly

Alright, I'll play your silly game.

So the feds just organize certain essential functions. Once they are organized, who pays for the organizing and actual doing of the things organized?

bizgrrl's picture

From a 2014 Catholic Legal

From a 2014 Catholic Legal Immigration Network report, "The Cost of State & Local Involvement in Immigration Enforcement"

This document is a couple of years old. But, it does indicate, at the time, that all but one (Secure Communities (S-Comm)) of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) programs are voluntary.

The ICE web site for "Delegation of Immigration Authority Section 287(g) Immigration and Nationality Act" indicates that no law enforcement agencies in Tennessee are participants.

As an example, the document states the California (not so fiscally conservative) spends over $65 million a year detaining individuals for ICE and they are not reimbursed by the federal government. Another example indicates Prince William County, Virginia, spent $6.4 million participating in the 287(g) Program and that it
"would cost $26 million over five years." " The county had to raise property taxes and draw from its "rainy day" fund in order to make up the costs." You have to wonder why these local/state governments elected to implement these programs at such a high cost to the taxpayers.

traveler's picture

It's my layman's

It's my layman's understanding that Catholic Charities is correct--under the "anti-commandeering" doctrine, the feds can't force a state to do anything that requires money, unless the feds supply the money.

That said, those costs sound quite minimal, a large savings compared to the cost of citizens not helping to enforce the laws.

For example, about half the babies in Los Angeles county hospitals are born at tax-payer expense, substantially to mothers who are not legally in the United States. Besides their medical care, the babies are then citizens entitled to local education (about $14,000 per year per child, K-12, in CA), housing, and all sorts of social benefit programs for life, using monies taken from the communities.

Page 3 of this report gives one a feel for the matter: Live births in LA County, 2013

This LA Times article from 2007 reports

"Such births and associated expenses account for more than $400 million of the nearly $1 billion that the program spends each year on healthcare for illegal immigrants in California, documents and reports show."

cafkia's picture

Let me tell you about this

Let me tell you about this place where I live. I like to call it NOT FREAKIN' L.A.

traveler's picture

Not LA, yet you're proposing

Not LA, yet you're proposing emulating LA's policies, and ignoring that the same principles apply.

Namely, the cost of not helping enforce the law (about a billion dollars in California's example) is considerably higher than the cost you're complaining about to assist enforcing the law (sixty-odd million in California).

Your proposal isn't fiscally conservative. Nor prudent.

cafkia's picture

At your job, the place you go

At your job, the place you go for money, are you allowed to farm the work required of you out to people who are not employed there so as to make your job easier? If yes, please provide details about your place of employ so that I/we can verify your claims.

If your answer is no then why the hell do you think that the federal government ought to be able to do that?

Did you know they drink water and eat food in L.A.? Are you emulating L.A. when you drink water and eat food?

Somebody's picture

the big con

First, those babies are citizens, and thus entitled to everything that comes with being a citizen. They will grow up contributing to and receiving from their communities the same as anyone else.

Second, even when undocumented, their parents pay taxes while here, sometimes even more than others, because they won't file for refunds from any taxes withheld. They pay for housing and thus pay property taxes, either directly, or through their rent. They buy things in stores and pay sales taxes. For the many who work in agriculture, they subsidize the cheap cost of your food, by accepting substandard wages that would be illegal to pay to documented workers, and working in conditions that would violate labor and safety standards that documented workers could demand. Every time you pick up something from the produce section, chances are your purchase is subsidized by risks taken and wages earned by but unpaid to undocumented workers. The same is true for a lot of other things as well.

So the costs that you reference represent a gross mischaracterization, because they account for only one side of the legder.

The truth is, the primary beneficiaries of undocumented immigration are the US businesses that profit from not only the cheap labor described above, but the downward tug that its availability places on wages for US-born workers. This is why the Republican policy for decades has been to block meaningful immigration reform in order to keep the system broken. This has the dual effect of providing business with cheap labor while also having a ready supply of 'brown people' to use as diversionary scapegoats while making empty promises about building walls and such. All that delivers a solid bottom line along with easily scammed voters like you, citing bullsh*t statistics while voting for the same Republicans who have no intention of fixing anything.

cafkia's picture

+1^∞

+1^∞

fischbobber's picture

Yo dude.

I'm proud of you. What you said.

bizgrrl's picture

Tennessee could have the

Tennessee could have the first 287(g) applicant, Knox County. Sheriff Jones has applied

Tamara Shepherd's picture

*

So does that mean he expects to lose his mayoral bid or win it and expand the duties of his new office???

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