The Forgotten Issues: Social Security and Immigration

Posted: November 23, 2008 by April Watkins in Immigration, Issues, Our Government, Politics, Social Security Reform
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Throughout the hoopla of the campaigns, we heard endless descriptions of what each candidate would do if he were elected to the Presidency.  We listened and learned about the pros and cons of energy, which included wind, solar, geo-thermal, native oil reserves, nuclear power, clean-coal, hydro-electric, etc.   “Drill Baby Drill” was the conservative mantra for months.  A bit later, each candidate expounded on his solution to the enormous economic crisis, which seemed to change from day to day in response to revelations of the cause of the collapse.  Then, of course, we heard the Obama vision of foreign policy and the McCain vision of foreign policy.  Each candidate touched on his theory of defense and what constituted a real threat. 

Sharing Your Hard-Earned Wealth?

Sharing Your Hard-Earned Wealth?

Finally, we ended the campaigns with a short phrase, “share the wealth.”  This unintentional utterance, (and I might say, surreptitious revelation), from Sen. Obama created massive debates from the right and the left, and created a star out of Joe the Plumber.  Meanwhile, Sen. McCain’s “attack ads” on Obama seemed to have little to no positive influence in gathering more votes.  Your humble correspondent didn’t see these as attack ads but as informational ads about a man with a sketchy background of which we knew little about…and still know very little about.  (Thanks to the lack of integrity of the main stream media (CBS, NBC, ABC)!)

What neither candidate touched were two of the most important issues facing our country:  1) Out-of- control immigration; and 2) Plans for saving Social Security.  Both men decided not to touch these with a ten foot pole, as it might lose votes from immigrants, Border States, and the elderly.  Maybe strategic in a political sense – but certainly not statesmanlike.Let’s look at Social Security.  Everyone knows that we are facing an unprecedented predicament in maintaining Social Security for future generations.  Unfortunately, our Government has continually decided to push off this mounting problem on the next Administration and Congress for decades.  This is NOT a new problem.  Economists have been predicting this crisis for years.  Now, rather than looking into this very important issue, our Congress is overwhelmed with the collapse of the housing markets and its ripple effect through the financial markets. [Thanks to Barney Frank and company]  Without a firm and thoughtful plan to lift us out of this abyss, our nation, as well as the world, could be faced with an enormous depression. 

According to the Cato Institution’s Michael Tanner, “It was former President Bill Clinton who several years ago set out the limited options for Social Security reform: [either] cut benefits, invest privately, or raise taxes.” Successively, President Bush has attempted to pass some form of adjustment to the Social Security system with savings accounts, but was defeated by a Democratic-led Congress.  Both Presidents knew that this old system needed reform, but could not gather enough Statesmen to do the right thing.  Thus…we are back to square one and the time is ticking. 

Knowing this, why did neither Obama nor McCain address this in detail?  They seem to mention it in passing and had prepared statements available on their web sites and for the press.  To me this means that Social Security is not a pressing issue for either man.

Next, we have the gaping omission of dealing with the Immigration Crisis.  Personally, this is one of my pet peeves because it can so easily be fixed.  Having worked closely with NumbersUSA who inform citizens and lobby Congress to reduce immigration rates and enforce the current laws, I am appalled at the lack of attention this issue gets.  It is only when we face a critical vote, that Americans stand up and say NO WAY!  That is largely due to conservative radio that has helped ignite the fires in the public realm.  Thank you Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham, and others for making America aware of the inane and behemoth legislation that was on its way to a vote.  The CIRA act would have changed our country forever.  However, the fight is not over…watch out for CIRA to raise its ugly head again under the guidance of Pelosi and Reid. 

There are truths on both sides of the immigration debate.  Yes, it is true that we need workers to pick fruits and help with harvests.  Yes, we need labor for maintenance and cleaning in hotels and convention centers throughout the country (especially in New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California – no wonder those respective Senators and Representatives were hesitant to vote against a measure that would adversely affect some of their biggest constituents!)  It is also true that we can have documented temporary workers to do these jobs. 

Illegals in action

Illegals in action

What is killing our cities and states is the illegal alien population – and I don’t mean “undocumented guests or whatever the extreme left has renamed it.  Anyone, regardless of their country of origin must go through the process of proper immigration to become “legal.”   These illegal people are draining our hospitals with unpaid bills in ERs, maternity wards, ORs, etc.  They have been allowed to sign on to our welfare rolls and receive government paid benefits, and they have been qualified for guaranteed government-paid health insurance because of their poverty level.  All of these wonderful government give-a-ways on behalf of “soft hearted,” liberal bureaucrats who either don’t care about their job, or their oath of allegiance to this country; or possibly they are extremist liberals whose goal is the destruction of the United States.  At this point…who knows?

Anyway you frame it; you and I, who are American citizens, are not freely provided with benefits and handouts.  Ironically when we need assistance, we go through a myriad of government-paid employees who are never available, and reams of forms and paperwork which takes a PhD to understand.  We are the ones treated like criminals.  Speaking of which – illegal aliens, no matter how nice, needy or sweet the individuals, are still criminals because they have chosen to break our laws for entry into this country.  I could go on for a long time on this issue, but space is limited. 

It strikes me as odd that neither candidate touched these subjects with any intensity, as it will be one of the first items on the agenda of a Democratic-led Congress.  Granted, our immigration system needs to be adjusted to fit the times and numbers of people coming to America.  Where Lady Liberty touts “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses…” we must recognize evolutionary changes.  America, like any other country, has a limit to how many people we can support with good jobs.  Moreover, we certainly have a limit as to how many immigrants we can support on our welfare programs without their collapse. 

So my question is this, why have these issues been put on the back-burner?  Are they less important?  Less glamorous?  We need to know.  And that is…Why It Matters?



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