Here`s my unsolicited, heartfelt advice to you.
For your own good, don`t have a panic attack whenever a Treason Lobbyist appears on cable news television to insist that an immigration revamping is moving smartly along and that we can expect to see new legislation pass by [insert here any date that is four months away from the present one].
I`m referring to the angst generated among our friends when Homeland Defense Secretary Janet Napolitano recently urged Congress to "overhaul" immigration by early next year. [Immigrant Bill Is Back on Table, by Melanie Trottman, Wall Street Journal, November 14, 2009]
None of this all-too-familiar garbage changes by one iota the facts on the ground.
To reiterate what I have written more times than I can count: it doesn`t matter a fig what Napolitano, Axelrod or any of their kindred spirits say or do.
Napolitano can give the same canned speech on every American street corner from today until the cows come home. Axelrod can be interviewed on television 24-hours a day, seven days a week from now until eternity.
After all, do you expect them to speak the truth, i.e., that all their well-laid Comprehensive Immigration Reform plans are down the drain?
Neither Napolitano, Axelrod nor all the ethnic identity lobbyists who will inevitably spout off the same tedious propaganda over the coming months can change three inescapable facts:
Congress does not have the votes to pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform. If you don`t believe me, then maybe you will trust Rahm Emanuel who said this summer that: "...if the votes were there...you could go to a roll call."
Every day that passes is another day closer to Election, 2010, thereby reducing to almost zero the already slim prospects for amnesty. [The 2010 Agenda Shifts, The Hill, November 17, 2009]
Whether the Democrats win or lose on Obamacare, Congress will have no appetite to enter into another ferocious debate over the even more contentious immigration battle. Consider the stir that health care legislation created, even though most Americans are said to favor it. Imagine then the Congressional chaos if amnesty, something most Americans oppose, reached the floor.
I also know that the White House isn`t pushing for enforcement, just as it has not (save for the waning Michael Chertoff days) since Dwight David Eisenhower left office in 1961.
Still, a plea to my friends: let`s dwell on the positive, especially since there is so much of it!
By my calculations, there`s at least a 75 percent chance we could by November 2010 be rid of Harry Reid, a resolute amnesty champion since he took over the Senate as majority leader.
Axelrod and Napolitano are nobodies.
Reid, on the other hand, occupies a position of enormous power and influence. And he`s teetering on the brink.
Here are the challenges that Reid faces as he begins his bid to represent Nevada until 2016.
Nevada is an economic disaster.
The state`s unemployment rate is 13.3 percent, second highest in the nation behind Michigan. In 2009, Nevada foreclosures exceeded new home construction for the second consecutive year.
Because of the nationwide recession, Nevada`s gaming-based economy is at a historic low. Since Nevada relies heavily (60 percent of its income) on gambling and sales tax revenues, the two year decline in tourism with further fall offs projected, has gutted services statewide.
The consequences of less tourism have rippled through Nevada`s gambling-dependent economy. Construction of houses, casinos, shops, restaurants and offices has come to a standstill.
A common solution to closing budget gaps, $3 billion in Nevada`s case, is to raise taxes.
That`s not an option for Nevada, however, because unlike most states, it has written some of its tax laws into the state constitution. So increasing the sales tax or adding an income tax would be nearly impossible given today`s economy because it would require voters to amend the constitution against their best interests. [Pew Center for The States, Nevada]
Massive immigration-driven population growth
Nevada`s population mushroomed 30 percent between 2000 and 2008, compared with 8 percent growth nationwide.
The most adversely affected by rampant growth are the Nevada schools, now ranked as America`s next to last in quality of education.
In 1960, Nevada spent $430 per pupil—roughly $2,800 in 2005 dollars. By 2008 the state`s per pupil outlay reflected an inflation-adjusted increase of 153 percent. When one includes capital outlays and school debt per pupil, spending has more than tripled since 1960. [Why Nevada`s Education System Is Failing, by Patrick Gibbons, Las Vegas Review-Journal, February 9, 2009]
Nevada`s Hispanic population is nearly 25 percent. Many are non-English speakers whose children require special attention that includes costly English as a second language instruction.
As grim as Nevada`s education system is, the awful reality is that the children in school are the lucky ones.
The number of homeless children in the Las Vegas school district rose 42 percent between June 2008 and June 2009 to 4,700 displaced students.
Nevada leads the nation in numbers of uninsured children. Food bank demand went up 68 percent during the last two years. State officials predict that over the next two years, 43,000 more residents will be added to Medicaid, the state-federal program that provides health care for low-income people. How will Nevada pay for it?
New Republican faces on the Nevada political scene
If "change" is the buzzword in Obama`s world, that spells trouble for Reid, a fixture in Nevada politics for four decades.
Since 1970, Reid has served as Lt. Governor, Chairman of the Gaming Commission, two terms in the House of Representatives and, since 1987, U.S. Senator.
In 1975, Reid was defeated in his bid for Las Vegas mayor. He won his 1992 Senate seat by less than 500 votes.
The Nevada Republican 2010 primary is set for June. Whoever emerges will give Reid all kinds of headaches.
The leading GOP candidates are Sue Lawden, Republican party chair, a former State Senator, one time Miss New Jersey, a runner-up Miss America and who in her earlier life was teacher holding a Master`s Degree in education.
Also in the hunt is Danny Tarkanian, listed as a real estate executive but better known for being the son of famous (infamous?) former University of Nevada at Las Vegas basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian.
More than half of Nevadans view Reid unfavorably as opposed to 38 percent who approve. Current polling projects Lowden a 49 to 38 percent winner over Reid. Tarkanian`s projected margin of victory is five percent.
Added bonus for the anti-Reid faction: his son Rory is running a distant third among three Democratic gubernatorial candidates.
For Lawden or Tarkanian, their platform should be short and sweet.
Hammer Reid on his vote for the stimulus package, his consistent support of non-immigrant work visas and his endorsement of amnesty.
Lowden and Tarkanian have spoken out against illegal immigration.
Reid`s positions on those three—stimulus, foreign-born workers, and low wage earning immigrants—have all put a big time hurt on Nevadans.
You`ll also be hearing about Reid`s $25 million war chest. As one analyst suggested, it`s a shame the Nevada economy isn`t doing as well as Reid`s fund raising efforts. [Reid`s Huge War Chest May Deter Foes, by Molly Ball, Las Vegas Review-Journal, July 15, 2009]
Boiled down to the bare bones, although many Nevadans will support Reid out of force of bad habit, most will be hard pressed to vote for him given the abominable conditions in their state. Why reward failure?
Play it often and mellow out.
Joe Guzzardi [email him] is a California native who recently fled the state because of over-immigration, over-population and a rapidly deteriorating quality of life. He has moved to Pittsburgh, PA where the air is clean and the growth rate stable. A long-time instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, Guzzardi has been writing a weekly column since 1988. It currently appears in the Lodi News-Sentinel.