The authors of the Senate immigration bill have promised that their bill will dramatically reduce illegal immigration. Without that promise, the whole "comprehensive" package would fall apart.
Fred Bauer | All Articles
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Fred Bauer is a writer from New England. He blogs at A Certain Enthusiasm, and his work has been featured in numerous publications.
One of the central issues confronting Republicans after 2012 is how to reinvent the GOP to make it a more viable national political force. This need for a GOP reinvention or at least restoration is in the background of the contemporary debate over comprehensive immigration reform, including the recent Senate "Gang of 8" proposal. Republican advocates of "comprehensive immigration reform" often argue that such reform would be a necessary step toward political modernization. However, there are also many reasons to believe that a poorly designed immigration bill could actually get in the way of Republican renewal. There is an increasing awareness on the part of many analysts that the hollowing out of the economic middle is deeply connected to the current long-term stagnation, and a growing segment on the right has found that middle-class restoration could be key to restoring the vitality of both the Republican Party and conservatism. It seems hard for Republicans to be the party both of middle-class renewal and of unlimited (and government-subsidized) cheap labor. The GOP has perhaps far more long-term viability in advocating the former position, but a flawed immigration bill could easily lead to the latter scenario.
We're all familiar with the depressing statistics. Over three years with unemployment above 8%. A dropping labor-force participation rate. Persistently large and growing trade deficits. A collapse in family net-worth and family incomes. A lack of opportunity for America's young people. Year after year after year of trillion-plus deficits. Social Security and Medicare going bankrupt even faster than expected.
In the first debate between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor asserted that regulations are necessary for a free market to function: "You can’t have a free market work if you don’t have regulation. As a business person, I had to have --- I needed to know the regulations. I needed them there ... you have to have regulations so that you can have an economy work."
There are many reasons why Mitt Romney was almost universally hailed as the victor in last week’s presidential debate. President Barack Obama was sluggish, seemingly disengaged, and, at times, a little rhetorically punch-drunk. Romney came armed with a barrage of facts, an assertive rhetorical stance, and a willingness to go into the details of his policy positions. He criticized the president’s troubled economic record and presented his own vision. The contrast between Romney's energetic, focused comments and Obama's wandering and half-hearted ones was enough for many pundits on both the left and the right to declare Romney the winner.
In the life of almost all civilizations, a time comes where, as Yeats put it, "things fall apart." The internal principles and assumptions that used to seem to work begin to break down. If the engines of growth have not ground to a halt, they certainly could use some fresh oil: stagnation replaces new opportunities. Everything that used to work suddenly doesn't. What would have been an easy projection of power settles into a stalemate.