They buy a new boat and don’t want to pay the tax to maintain the waterways for their recreation.
They buy a new house in posh suburbia but don’t want an increase in property tax to pay for police and fire protection or parks and open areas that will create added value to their middle-class mansions in their gated community.
They demand more schools and better teachers in their newly developed neighborhoods and are the first ones to complain about higher taxes to pay for their children’s education.
They complain about a deficit of trillions of dollars but they were the main cause of the debt because of their refusal to regulate and separate high-risk investment banks from lending to institutions that provide mortgage and small business loans.
They complain about the $10 billion we spend every month in Iraq. However, when they were in control of the White House, they didn’t force the Iraqi government to spend some of their $90 billion surplus to protect themselves.
Locally, they complain about fiscal political decisions made by the city council, but they never attend public meetings or hearings to voice their concerns or recommendations on the city budget and proposed expenditures. However, both parties are guilty of the same thing. It’s always been my thought that the local party chairman representing both the Democratic and Republican philosophies should attend council meetings pertaining to salaries, contracts and the budget.
Now they are complaining because there are no jobs, their homes are in foreclosure and they don’t have enough money to buy that boat or another Cadillac. Maybe they should start blaming themselves. Many building contractors are saying the Republican stance on bank regulation and illegal immigration contributed to our recession.
The Republican conservatives were the first to complain about illegal immigrants crossing the Mexican border, claiming they take jobs away from American workers. The Republicans won their argument. Because of new homeland security tactics, the flow of illegal immigrants slowed considerably starting in 2008 and many immigrants were caught and returned to Mexico at taxpayer expense. The millions of dollars in cost for patrolling our borders increased our deficit and now the Republicans are still complaining about that.
According to the Web site of Public Agenda, illegal immigration declined by about 11 percent, or 1.3 million, in 2008. The Pew Hispanic Center said another 500,000 immigrants returned home in 2009 but the decline in immigrants began during the Bush administration in 2006.
The construction industry lost 134,747 jobs between 2006 and 2007. Most of the losses were due to a slowdown in residential construction caused by a shortage of illegal immigrants in the workforce. It’s estimated that more than one-third of home construction workers were illegal immigrants and were sent back to their country of origin.
These are the same illegal immigrants who shopped at local department stores, purchased new cars, added to our gross domestic product and used their false documents to get a loan on a new home. The banks overlooked down payment requirements and turned their head away from negative credit reports. They made the “risky” loans to build their portfolio and sold the “bundle” of them to large, poorly regulated financial institutions. Now, instead of being sent back across the border, the immigrants are leaving on their own due to the recession caused by Republican banking and immigration policy.
Representatives of the housing industry say there may be a slow recovery ahead because of the shortage of illegal immigrants. One home builder said, “We haven’t been able to improve our cycle of building new homes” because of the lack of skilled workers from across the border.
Today, thanks to the previous Republican administration’s policy on Iraq, bank regulations and illegal immigration, 40 cents of every $1 spent by the federal government is borrowed money. We should all complain about that.
This year, things will start changing for the better. Newly elected Republican Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts already has set the tone for negotiation and his tenure in the Senate. He’s informed Republican leaders in the Senate that they should not always depend on him voting along party lines.
President Barack Obama has had enough of his own party’s politics, finger-pointing and the blame game. Together, maybe Brown and Obama can take the lead in meaningful, long-term bipartisan solutions. Then I can stop complaining about that strange political breed called “Conservative Republicans.”
David Farside is a Sparks resident and political activist. The polemics of his articles can be discussed at firstname.lastname@example.org. His Web site is www.thefarsidechronicles.com.