On Saturday Newsmax.com reported on Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) continuing attempts to revive interest in the House to consider the immigration bill the Senate just passed. He thinks that with a little tweaking the House can come to terms that the Senate would approve, and all will be well once again: our borders will be secure, amnesty will be avoided, and the economy will benefit from all those new taxpayers helping to fund our deficits.
He's wrong on all three counts.
In the article precious little ink is spent on just how the borders will be protected. Even less is said about whether Ryan's plan includes promises instead of action. Nothing is said at all about tying the “path to citizenship” to provable security. It sounds awfully much like amnesty first, security later (if ever).
But Ryan really falls off the track when he buys into the CBO study that amnesty is going to be good for the country, both economically and financially. The CBO study says that all those new taxpayers will help reduce the deficit, but I have seriously questioned that conclusion here. Ryan doesn't want to talk about the Heritage study that shows that amnesty would cost taxpayers $6 trillion because of our present welfare state benefits. This is the dagger in the heart of any discussion about free markets and immigration reform from a libertarian perspective. I support free markets. My family background shows immigrants from England and Germany. But that was long before fdr began setting up the welfare state. To link Ryan's Irish background and the potato famine to present day immigration issues is pure political pandering by the representative from Wisconsin.
No, this is about politics. The article makes much of his “conservative voice” to which doubters will harken when he speaks. Republican strategist Whit Ayres calls Ryan “one of the most effective messengers the Republican Party has in the House. If Paul Ryan speaks, the House Republicans will listen.”
They shouldn't. He is no conservative.
I put great store in the Freedom Index put out by the John Birch Society and published every six months by The New American magazine. The first index on the new congress comes out, appropriately, on Thursday, July 4th. Looking at the last index reveals that Ryan adheres to the Constitution just two-thirds of the time. He has a rating of just 67 out of 100. To me this is a big deal. If he, as an alleged conservative, only votes to support the Constitution two times out of three, how can he be trusted?
Newsmax quotes Alex Nowrasteh of the Cato Institute as saying that Ryan could give “political cover” to wafflers in the House who want to go along with the Senate but don't want to face pushback at home: “Nobody is going to question the conservative credentials of Paul Ryan.”
Well, I am. Ryan is much more politician than conservative. He got a taste of the rich political life as VP candidate under Romney. He no doubt liked it, and wants more. He's running for president in 2016 and he's riding the immigration train to take him there.