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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Taxing math

The Indianapolis Star's Dan Carpenter tries to push about every guilt button there is to make us understand what bad people we are for resenting illegal immigration (based, he says, "less on a purist reverence for the rule of law than on peculiarities of the people breaking it" -- so take that, all you racist nativists):

A left-leaning friend called the other day to pose the pointed question, "Since when did 'amnesty' become a four-letter word?"

Certainly not when the state of Indiana extended it to delinquent taxpayers a while back as a (pretty successful) means of collecting revenue that otherwise would have come with a lot of trouble or not at all.

When applied, however, to occupants of American soil who failed to go through proper channels to get here, but would have if they could have and stand ready to do so now, amnesty is anathema.
There are plenty of differences between amnesty for illegal immigrants and tax dodgers (and Vietnam-era draft dodgers, which Carpenter also brings up), but let's just take the big one of consequences. As Carpenter acknowledges, tax amnesty was successful in its goal of a cash infusion for the state, with no downside in encouraging future lawbreaking. The amnesty had a stick as well as the carrot, in the form of dramatically higher interest and penalties for those not taking advantage of the amnesty.
We already know the consequences of immigration amnesty, because we've done that before, too. Slightly fewer than 3 million illegal immigrants were given amnesty in 1986, and now we have 10 or 12 million. Do the math of giving amnesty to 10 or 12 million. We will have a de facto open border, and that will change this country fundamentally, in ways we are already beginning to see.


Mon, 05/07/2007 - 8:43am

deport all illegal aliens, and jail all businessmen who break the Laws. This create 12 million jobs for Legal, law-abiding Native borne Americans .
America is a so-called nation of laws.(ha!).
If we allow the government to pick and choose which laws to police and enforce, then we are on the slippery slope to tyranny, and totalitarianism.
Its not a race thing, its a law thing.
Turn in any company you think may be breaking the laws- lawn/landscapers, restaurants. anyone. Bring the rule of law back to america, starting with the illegal business man near you.

Tue, 05/08/2007 - 5:37am

I'm not sure I follow the reasoning about tax amnesty not having a downside in encouraging future lawbreaking?

Despite what the state government says now about enhanced penalties for future scofflaws, they've shown their willing to give in when they need tax money badly enough.

New Americans
Tue, 05/08/2007 - 8:19am

Amnesty? Hum? Pay substantial fines, pass criminal background checks, pay current and back taxes, learn English, get in the back of the line, obtain temporary status, prove oneself, then after a long wait obtain permanent status, and then maybe apply for citizenship after another five years. This does not sound like amnesty to me. Sounds like a path for someone who really wants to be an American.