Guess who was British Petroleum Company's largest recipient of campaign money in the 2008 election. It was the squeaky clean, environmentally green Barack O-buma. It's not too shocking. However, neither he nor his Congressional associates are returning the money. Betting on the favorite in a race is smart money. As Damon Runyon put it, the "race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that's the way to bet."
Now, Bo is calling for an investigation by the Department of the Interior, and offshore drilling proponents are disappearing like illegal aliens in Arizona. It may be bad timing to make this contention, but abandoning oil exploration and drilling in the Gulf of Mexico merely strengthens our enemies. We did not de-fund and dismantle NASA after the Challenger crash.
We continue to help our adversaries by allowing Mexico and other countries to export their unemployment to the US and onto the taxpayers' backs. We have enough unemployment already. Just as is the case with illegal drugs, there would be few illegal immigrants here if there were no demand. William F. Buckley pointed out many years ago that the drug trade is demand driven.
If Americans want to smoke pot, the government could grow, distribute, advertise, and sell it at so low a cost as to drive smugglers out of business much in the way that we dealt with bootlegging.
As we do with domestic drug lords, we can also do to those who import illegal labor. If we seize the assets that they acquire with the profits made from using illegally imported labor, fine them, and jail them if they are repeat offenders, we can significantly decrease the demand for illegal labor. Still, there are other steps that we can take to stem the tide of unlawful border crossings.
We can change the federal Constitution such that we do not automatically confer citizenship to children who are born to women who are in this country illegally. No more anchor babies means no more wholesale importation of taxpayer burdens from abroad. Requiring proof of citizenship as a requirement for staying in a homeless shelter or receiving medical care could help also. Nonetheless, we can do even more.
By identifying the industries and businesses that are most heavily invested in the use of illegals, we could apply a progressive tax based upon the number of violations that a company commits. Levying a progressive tax would reward businesses that abide by the law to avoid the tax altogether, to punish lawbreakers commensurately, and to offset some of the costs of immigration control.
On the good news front, Raul Castro is widening his embrace of capitalism. His decision to include foreign investment in the tourism industry will bring much needed cash into the country, but more important, greater numbers of Cubans will see firsthand how free trade and a free society go hand and hand. It would be a welcome change if the privilege of holding title to land were restored to the Cuban people. During his regime, Fidel recognized that one of the most effective ways to keep a people in servitude is to keep them landless.
May your gods be with you.