Immigration Bill: Obamacare Redux

Immigration Bill: Obamacare Redux

Just last week one of the key authors of the Affordable Care Act – Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) – denounced Obamacare as a “huge train wreck” and then promptly announced his retirement.

Why is Obamacare a train wreck?  Because it is a massive and consequential bill that grows government, costs too much, was cooked up behind closed doors, and then rushed through before our duly-elected Representatives could read it. 

The “Gang of Eight’s” so-called “Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill” is a train wreck for the very same reasons. 

Like Obamacare, the amnesty bill (S. 744) is a massive and consequential legislation that grows government, costs too much, was cooked up behind closed doors, and was thrust on lawmakers in order to get something passed quickly.

Before Washington, D.C. rams through its latest government train wreck, we are going to insist that our duly-elected Representatives at least read the bill, and perhaps even think about it, before they hoist it on us like they did with Obamacare.

This is not about amnesty. It is not about illegals. It is about how government has gone off the rails. Just like Obamacare that was negotiated behind closed doors, any legislation cooked up in a secretive gang-like attitude among D.C. politicians is not the kind of system the forefathers had in mind.

America is not a thugocracy run by gangsters. America is a republic of individuals who have inalienable rights, which are secured by our founding documents. The purpose of the government – the idea upon which this nation was built – is the revolutionary American idea that government is subservient to the people, not the other way around. The American people are not an afterthought. We are not a nuisance to be avoided by political elites who make sweeping decisions about our lives and our country in their secretive corridors of power.  

Nor did our founders ever envision a federal government that would be this massive and members of the U.S. Senate be calling for “comprehensive” policies to fix our nation’s problems. The bigger the bill, the more the bureaucracy, and the less likely it will be implemented in a way that actually benefits the people. Throwing an everything-at-once approach to something as complicated as our nation’s immigration problems is not the solution we need.

Why don’t we address security at the borders separately from the guest worker program? And why don’t we separate the policy for the 11 million people here illegally?

Bigness is not better.

That’s what the Tea Party movement is all about. Let’s start at the state and local level. The problems in Cochise County, Arizona are different than the problems facing El Paso County, Colorado. The situation in Watertown, Massachusetts is different than St. Charles, Missouri. 

The solutions to our nation’s problems don’t begin and end in Washington. The lobbyists and the big banks and the big government elites may have a different agenda than the majority of Americans.  

Our Founders recognized that power should rest with the people. That is a blessing, but it is also a responsibility. One of the challenges of our system is that it requires our “eternal vigilance.” As John Adams wrote in 1808, “Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives.”

We have a responsibility to our Founders who built this nation and to our children and grandchildren who will inherit this nation to stand up to our runaway government, whether it is massive immigration reform legislation or massive “train wreck” health care bills.

If our politicians betray their oaths to uphold the Constitution and band together in “Gangs” to build high-speed government train wrecks, then it’s up to us to put the brakes on, before it’s too late.

Jenny Beth Martin is co-founder and national coordinator of Tea Party Patriots, the nation’s largest Tea Party organization.

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