Worst of 4 Worlds!

Mickey Kaus Columnist
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Why shouldn’t GM get a waiver too? Washington Examiner suspects the Obama administration has quietly let General Motors off the hook for meeting a commitment, given in exchange for its federal bailout, to produce a certain number of cars in the U.S–targets the Examiner says the company is failing to reach:

 “[I]n February, GM announced in its annual report to shareholders that Treasury had agreed to “irrevocably waive certain of its rights” regarding the federal loan. These included “certain manufacturing volume requirements.”

But which “volume requirements”? Isn’t that something the public (including taxpayers who footed the bill) should know? …  See GM non-denial and Treasury half-denial here. … Note: Yes, this fits a recurring Obama pattern–Pass a law with certain requirements; quietly waive those requirements later, when they aren’t going to be met. Another inauspicious precedent for “comprehensive” immigration reform. …

P.S.: The unconvincing part of the Examiner‘s editorial is its implication that GM’s production would have moved to China any slower if Mitt Romney’s bankruptcy approach had been adopted.


State of Play on immigration : My colleague Neil Munro outlines the last-ditch, lowest-common denominator amnesty plan business lobbyists hope to sell to a Hastert-Ruleable majority of House Republicans: Legalization for 11 million illegals, but stopping short of citizenship, plus millions of new visas for additional legal workers from abroad. In theory, Republican Congressmen are happy (non-citizens can’t vote); business is happy (cheap labor), GOP strategists are happy (immigration is “off the table”).  It’s the “natural Republican position that is emerging,” claims longtime amnesty advocate Tamar Jacoby.

Just a reminder that this clever position isn’t, as some have charged, the Worst of Both Worlds for Republicans. It’s the Worst of Four Worlds. They are: 1) Vitiates the border: By legalizing those who crossed illegally before finishing the job of securing the borders, it virtually guarantees that job won’t be finished (as it wasn’t after the 1986 amnesty). Will immigrants who make it across in future years be denied another amnesty? No. We’ll be locked into serial amnesties; 2) Issue so not off table: It will be weeks, not years, before Republicans are again tarred as disrespectful of hard-working Latinos. After all, why else would they relegate the newly legalized illegals to second-class, non-citizenship (“Juan Crow”)  status? Winning full, equal citizenship for these new legal residents could become a winning Democratic cause for decades. 3) Low wages: There’d be more competition, especially for unskilled Americans (and legal immigrants) from a) legalized illegals freed to move into new occupations, b) new illegals attracted by the near-certain prospect of Amnesty III, and c) the millions of new low (and high) skilled legal immigrants created by a rough doubling of visas. Tight labor markets boost wages. This is the opposite4) Long term Republican decline: Eventually those legalized will be given the vote. Result: By 2036, 17 million potential new voters for Republicans to lose 60-40.  That doesn’t even count their children. Why would a majority of the GOP majority go for this quadruple disaster? Corporate lobbying money. Don’t answer that.


Ezra Klein tweets, regarding the Obamacare rollout:

One problem I keep hearing about: The best people at HHS do not work in IT. …

But the people at HHS working on ways to undermine welfare reform’s work requirements are really, really smart. (Trust me. I know them.) …


Mickey Kaus