By Calvin Palmer
Civil liberties could take a downturn in Texas. Flushed with the success in last week’s elections, the Republicans plan to introduce a series of bills aimed at illegal immigrants.
The provisions include:
Allow law enforcement to question the citizenship of those involved in police matters.
Allow the arrest of those here illegally under a new trespassing law.
Make students at public schools show proof of citizenship, so the state can account for education funding spent on noncitizens.
Mandate that all documents printed at taxpayers’ expense be in English only.
Other bills The Republicans have their hearts set on include thwarting implementation of the new federal health care law, allowing guns to be carried in more places and further restricting abortion.
The Republican gains last week leaves them just short of holding two-thirds of the seats in the state’s House and Senate.
In simple terms, the mathematics favor the Republicans being able to pass anything they wish to pass.
But the most pressing problem Texas faces is a budget deficit of $25 billion. Yes, you read correctly — $25 billion, despite Rick Perry being governor since 2000. Here is a man who is currently peddling his book, Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America From Washington, on talk shows across the nation, and yet he seems incapable of putting his own house in order and running Texas in a fiscally responsible manner.
Indeed, many a GOP candidate in the recent elections campaigned on measures to reduce the nation’s budget deficit. So how come a dyed-in-the-wool Republican state such as Texas has managed to run up a $25 billion deficit and under Perry’s watch and before him George W. Bush.
Perry will probably blame it all on his predecessor.
Perry has stated that two of Bush’s signature presidential achievements – the Medicare drug benefit for seniors and the No Child Left Behind education law – are classic examples of burdensome, unaffordable policy.
Perry also rejects George W. Bush’s idea of “compassionate conservatism” and criticizes the bailouts he initiated two years ago to staunch the economic crisis.
Just imagine what Texas’s budget deficit and economy would have been like had President Bush not taken such action. I assume Perry would have organized soup kitchens. Silly me, the man has not an ounce of compassion. In Perry’s world the poor starve. Actually, they are more likely to turn to crime, hence the Republicans seeking legislation to enable people to carry guns in the street.
You couldn’t make this up, could you?
But a more frightening aspect is that voters in Texas and elsewhere keep electing people to office who hold these crazy views and whose record in office is poor when it comes to addressing the real problems the state faces.
One shudders to think what kind of society the likes of Perry, Sarah Palin and their Tea Party supporters want to preside over.
With ID cards and police given extended powers, it smacks of a sort of totalitarian society, underpinned by state and federal government, which is what these people claim to be against.
Even on the abortion issue, should not that be a matter for a woman to choose? And yet the Tea Party apologists and supporters would use government to deny that choice to a woman. But isn’t that government interfering with ordinary people’s lives, the issue the Tea Party rails against ad nauseum? Go figure.
And the reason why the ultra conservatives focus on these social issues and illegal immigrants is because they have no clue whatsoever how to get out of an economic mess. Their motto may well be “Don’t tread on me!” but Texas looks all set to become a downtrodden state as far as its ordinary citizens are concerned.
[Based on a report in The Dallas Morning News.]