Amnesty – The Little Engine That Couldn’t

Posted on July 10, 2013

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This was the ’86 Government Industries ‘Simpson – Mazzoli’. From what we’ve seen, the new one won’t look any different. Maybe worse outside and in.

Editor’s Note:  Since we reviewed the Senate prototype of the 2013 Government Industries ‘Reformobile’, the car has been sent over to the House of Representatives and the reaction has been much the same as ours.  But there are a few that think that if they tinker with this and that, they can foist this dog on you.  Additionally, a large group of ‘Fleet purchasers’ (Businesses that benefit from cheap labor) are in Washington, telling Congress that they really like the car and if Congress will put it into production, they’ll line up to buy it.  The problem is that they won’t actually write the check for it – you’ll pick up the tab once again. Our conclusion here at Immigration Vehicle Trends has not changed.  If you think the way the Federal Government does Healthcare stinks, wait until you see this rattletrap out on the highway.

 

Immigration Vehicle Trends preview of the 2013 Government Industries ‘Reformobile’.

 

You’ve heard so many glowing reports about the 2013 Immigration Reformobile and the designers, a group of eight men in the Senate, who have coaxed 60 of their colleagues to invest in it.  Here at Immigration Vehicle Trends, we obtained some key details on the new model and are now able to provide you with an outline of the features.  There are no advantages or benefits, we’re sorry to report.  (Correction – one benefit is provided to illegal motorists, it is the feature known as the ‘Citizenship Path’, referred to by our team of experts as Amnesty).

First, the car looks interesting from the outside – the Obama Media Complex has given it high ratings for it’s stylish trim (appeal to liberals).  Curiously, it has no engine (quantified benefit to the economy), transmission (guarantees of assimilation and English language proficiency) or brakes (guaranteed border enforcement).  The Senators behind its development are selling the car without them, but promise to supply them later. Good luck.

The blueprints for the car (S744) were remarkably lengthy – 1,900 pages, for such a basic and obviously derivative engineering concept.  Let’s talk about the engineering philosophy behind this vehicle.  This car, the Reformobile, is conceived as basic transportation. It is purposed to transport millions more low / non-skilled migrants into America.  The design team, the ‘Gang of Eight’, as they are known in the Immigration ‘Reform’ industry, stridently claim that their wundercar, will not convey more unlicensed immigrants into the country, but we think, having examined the production plans, that they are being unnecessarily modest.

The fact is that, an independent industry review board, the Congressional Budget Office, opined in their report that illegal immigration, would at most, be reduced 25%.  We at Immigration Vehicle Trends, suspect, based on our own research of past performance of these vehicle designs, think that the CBO’s projection there might be very over generous.  We invited someone who saw the roll out of the 1986 model, into our review labs, to look at the current plans and opine on the ‘new’ proposed plans – Former Attorney General Edwin Meese III.  Especially interesting is his assessment of the similarities between the two:

“Advancement to citizenship was not automatic (in ’86). Immigrants had to satisfy various requirements along the way. They had to pay application fees, learn to speak English, understand American civics, pass a medical exam and register for military selective service. Those with convictions for a felony or three misdemeanors were ineligible.  Sound familiar? It’s pretty much the same “penalties and hurdles” set forth by the Gang of Eight. Today they call it a “roadmap to citizenship.” Ronald Reagan called it “amnesty.”

The ’86 reform bill also had supposedly “rigorous” border security and immigration law enforcement provisions. So how did that pan out? On the day Reagan signed “comprehensive” reform into law, only one thing changed: Millions of unlawful immigrants gained “legal” status. The promised crackdowns on security and enforcement never happened. Only amnesty prevailed. Since the ’86 amnesty, the number of illegal immigrants has quadrupled. That should teach Congress a very important lesson: Amnesty “bends” the rule of law. And bending the rule of law to reach a “comprehensive” deal winds up provoking wholesale breaking of the law. Ultimately, it encourages millions more to risk entering the country illegally in the hope that one day they, too, might receive amnesty.”

Another old hand at this, who actually approved the last start up of the ‘Reformobile’, Senator Charles Grassley, joined us in a conference call, to warn us about the dreadful performance of the 1986 vehicle:

“This committee is going down the same road that we did in 1986.  I was there.  I lived it.  We screwed up.  We shouldn’t do it again.”  He also pointed out to us that two members of the original design team back in 1986, that produced this monstrosity, have their fingerprints all over the plans for this one – Senator Charles ‘Chuck’ Schumer of New York and Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois.

Before the call ended, he recommended we get in touch with a few other colleagues that have done the research and have some inside knowledge of the prototype.  One was Senator David Vitter of Louisiana, who told us, as he had told another car buff, Laura Ingraham, “ This is the same old formula we’ve dealt with before, including when it passed in 1986, and that is a promise of enforcement and immediate amnesty. And of course, the promises of enforcement never materialize.  The amnesty happens immediately, the millisecond the bill is signed into law.”

Then Bill Beach, chief economist on the minority staff of the Senate Budget Committee stopped by to chat. He gave us some insight on the marketing plan and some of the nuances of the economic performance the Reformobile is touted to have:

“If I were selling a growth plan, I would lead with the growth chart. I wouldn’t just say that the car is bigger, I also would say it’s faster. Because if I have a bigger car and it goes slower than my old rattletrap, then I have not actually improved things at all. And one of the reasons why we have a slower economy [according to CBO’s report] is that amazingly—amazingly—we have slower wage growth. Average wages for the first 12 years are below current law projections.”

“When you increase the population,” Beach noted, “the economy grows—it’s bigger.”  But, Beach emphasized the dissimilarity between a bigger economy (higher gross national product [GNP]) and a better economy (higher GNP per capita).  “A bigger economy by itself, he explained, doesn’t mean that people are more prosperous; expanding the size of the economy by including more people doesn’t mean each person is better off.”

To us this translated to, the acceleration on this thing is going to suck, maybe worse than the last one.  Needless to say, we found his car analogy to be right down our alley.  The number crunchers on Capitol Hill, the Congressional Budget Office, looked at the technical specifications on how the car impacts wage performance.  According to the CBO, wages for both the lowest skilled workers and the highest skilled workers would decline for the first ten years after comprehensive immigration reform passed.  The average wage across the economy would decline for the first decade.  Worse yet, unemployment would initially rise – as if anything worse could happen to the unemployed American worker right about now.  The reason for both effects is relatively simple: the gasoline entering the intake manifold from the low skilled labor fuel pump floods the carburetor.  Yes, this car actually still has a carburetor, that is how low tech the whole thing is!

The proponents of the new vehicle tell us that the interior of this car is going to be luxuriously appointed.  We don’t see it.  There is no interior in this vehicle (enforcement)  We were looking on the bare boned instrument panel and there is no e-Verify module and no restraint system (interior enforcement).  There is pretty much nothing.  One of the flim-flams that was put over on Congress last time in the promotional marketing material for the 1986 Reformobile, was automatic employer sanctions.  We wondered what happened to those.

“During the debate in Congress, the bill’s sponsors ended up watering down the sanctions on employers to attract support from the business community”, explains Wayne Cornelius of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at U.C. San Diego.  “The end result was that they essentially gutted the employer sanctions.  We have found no evidence that the 1986 immigration law has shut off the flow of new undocumented migrants.”

No wonder the interior of this death-trap is so sparse. Roberto Suro, in a New York Times report in 1989, wrote:

“The 1986 law allowed 3.1 million previously illegal aliens to obtain legal status here.  Recent studies show that many thousands of people crossed the border surreptitiously to take advantage of the program, some of them with falsified documents and personal histories.  The mass of newly legalized immigrants is also acting as a magnet for illegal aliens who want to come to the United States to join friends and relatives.”

That’s not a Right Wing blog, that’s simply a rare example of the Times reporting without a filter on.

At first we thought there might be some promise on savings at the tax pump.  Our pulse quickened when we read the CBO’s optimistic predictions on revenue increases based on legalization of 12 million presently unlicensed drivers, who with the release of this automobile, would be legally permitted to drive.  Then we actually read the report in more detail.  It does not explain how workers who are at the bottom of the wage scale now, are suddenly going to be owing taxes to the government.  It just repeats the unwarranted assumption of the language in the bill.  When we ran a program of the tax premise on our conception simulator, we scratched our heads trying to figure out how the CBO could have possibly come up with such absurd conclusions.

This is not complex, but rather a function of a simple equation.  Low income earners – typical of illegal immigrant households, if they were to theoretically file taxes, would not owe any Federal Income Taxes.  Not only would they not owe any taxes, they would be eligible for tax rebates in the form of the Earned Income Tax Credit and in a majority of the households, the Child Care Tax Credit.  So now, instead of the fictitious $197 billion increase in revenue from the Reformobile, we actually have a car that is an extremely high maintenance vehicle.  Consider some sample numbers from our program simulation:

Assuming only 10 million recipients claiming only one qualifying child, the annual burden would be $31.69 Billion per year (10,000,000 X 3,169).

Assuming only 10 million recipients claiming two qualifying children, the annual burden would be $52.66 Billion per year (10,000,000 X 5,236).

Assuming only 10 million recipients claiming three or more qualifying children, the annual burden would be $58.91 Billion per year (10,000,000 X 5,891).

Still puzzled by the nonsensical claim of a tax windfall, we wanted to find out if there was anything we missed about the promise of ‘no maintenance’ for this car.  Our fellow car enthusiasts at NumbersUSA, called our attention to this item in the design plans:

Page 68 of S.744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, defines the tax requirements for illegal aliens that are eligible for amnesty under the bill.  The tax clause states:
An alien may not file an application for registered provisional immigrant status under paragraph (1) unless the applicant has satisfied any applicable Federal tax liability.  The bill then defines the term “applicable Federal tax liability.”  The term ‘applicable Federal tax liability’ means all Federal income taxes assessed in accordance with section 6203 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

There it is –  ‘Applicable Federal tax liability’.  ‘Applicable’.  That’s the key.  As we said before, there are no applicable Federal Tax liabilities for those gifted with legal residency and citizenship.  But wait, supporters say, “what about local sales taxes?”.  Uh-huh, what about them?  Everyone pays them, underground economy or not.

But since you brought the subject up, let’s look at the mechanics of property tax, the taxes that maintain schools and community infrastructure like fire, police and health services.  The typical illegal immigrant family lives in one rental dwelling with one or more additional families or several members of the extended family.  The property tax model, created before the mass influx of illegal immigration, was based on the notion of one residence (home or apartment / townhouse / condo) = 3 to 5 people.  That model still is operational only now the equation has changed.  Now the taxes from the landlord to the county / state government don’t cover the number of residents and you have an unfunded mandate from the Federal government’s unwillingness to deal with uncontrolled immigration.  Will Amnesty change that equation?  Do dogs enjoy fleas?

To see more of the atrocious specifications on the tax performance of this dog (S744), please hop over and see the details outlined by our friends at Heritage.org, here.

Next, we checked out the ‘sound system’.  The design team, touts that the vehicle will produce English sounds through an English proficiency requirement.  We however, looked at the wiring for the system and the power supply – there isn’t any.  The only stations that the radio will produce will be Spanish language.  That’s another red flag of poor performance in a world economy continuing to adopt English as the Gold Standard second language.

Ah, but the car does have one feature we expected to see. Air Bags.  These are the windy and flatulent, lying politicians that sound and act like the car lot salesmen from Hell.  The Gang of 8 designers and their co-investors are doing their utmost to promote the initial stock offer, by claiming that the car will be wildly popular with a segment of the government policy market that has supposedly been under served by all the product that has come out of Washington until now – the Latino / Hispanic market.

A huge concern to us is that the engineering details of the proposed new vehicle are nearly identical to the 1986 model, that is considered a failure by all observers, except the beneficiaries of the Amnesty feature and the Dealership network of the Democrat and Republican parties.  Oh, we should mention, that the Reformobile will have two different model brands – one to appeal to the national business groups and industry associations that hire a lot of illegal labor, like the United States Chamber of Commerce, Hospitality, Construction, Agriculture, Landscaping; and another to constituencies of the Democratic Party, La Raza, MALDEF, Labor Unions, etc.

What will this car finally cost when it goes on the market?  Its developers are throwing out estimates, but are being evasive about the actual sticker price.  There is a tentative price tag on citizenship – a fine.  $185 was the fine assessed in 1986.  We all looked at each other and marveled at how the incomparable privilege of citizenship could be devalued and debased by putting it up for sale to someone who has already disrespected it.  That was enough to irreparably taint this car, in our eyes.   A rebate in the form of back taxes is promised.  We don’t think that the people that are financing this (American citizens), will ever actually see any dividends in the form of a rebate.  The vast majority of the recipients of the permit and title to this amnesty feature, don’t owe taxes now and based on the structure of our tax system, will not in the future.  As a matter of fact, the recipients of the amnesty feature, will be net tax consumers, not net tax contributors.

How do we think the thing will road test?  Again, we wanted an outside opinion, because we can’t reconcile the fact that all of us on the panel think this thing is a death-trap, when so many in DC think it’s the best thing since sliced bread.  “Nobody knows the future, but if the past is any guide, the farmworkers who get legalized, many of them will leave agriculture pretty quickly,” said Philip Martin, professor of agricultural and resource economics at University of California, Davis.  He showed us research that illustrated that after the corresponding drop in the number of farmworkers in illegal status, the federal data showed that farmers failed to retain their legalized workers and turned again to hiring employees from the groups of people entering the U.S. illegally.  That’s exactly what we predict will happen again, despite all the seductive rhetoric of ‘guest worker programs’.

The last model (the Simpson Mazzoli), of the Reformobile that was manufactured in Washington in 1986, absolutely was a failure in terms of promised performance.  The reform specs released in advance of production, indicated that the problems with the ‘seals’ on the border manifold were fixed and based on all new technology.  The car actually developed border leaks that were worse than before – to the extent that we now have more visa overstay and illegal border crossing fluids that have poured from the vehicle, than we had with the previous engine.  The President of Government Industries at that time, a normally very sensible Chief Executive Officer named Reagan, received extremely bad advice from his staff and yielded his discretion under pressure. The car was a disaster in every respect.  Incidentally, we’ve seen an alternative design blueprint that actually has a lot going for it.  That is the Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement (SAFE) Act.  And then at MadisonProject.com, Daniel Horowitz has sent us over a great list of redlines and engineering improvements.

To sum up our review, we think this car will be one of the worst, if not the worst vehicles the government has ever put into production and that’s saying a lot.  We’d unanimously decline to road test it anywhere, much less a mountain road with steep cliffs bordering the pavement.  We don’t see any necessity for amnesty in this vehicle at all.  In fact, we think it was the amnesty included in the last version that caused it to be the Lemon we never were able to trade in.  Of course, if you prefer to put your faith in the carney barkers, hucksters and snake oil salesmen on Capitol Hill, just remember they are the same one’s that got you to buy the War on Poverty, the War on Terror, the War on Drugs, the Patriot Act, Obamacare and the ‘Debt Reduction’ bill.  Good luck with the 2013 ‘Reformobile’.   I hear they are thinking of changing the tentative name to the 2013 ‘Bueno’.

Hey, a stinker by any other name is still a stinker.

2103 – Blasted Fools.com

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