This and that- Births, revenue

Saturday, June 10, 2006

"Anchors" away: In 1970, 6 percent of all births in the United States were to illegal aliens. In 2002, that figure was 23 percent. In 1994, 36 percent of the births paid for by Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid, were to illegals. That figure has doubtless increased in the intervening 12 years as the rate of illegal immigration has risen.

Any child born in the U.S. automatically becomes a U.S. citizen. He or she is instantly eligible for a panoply of social services, food stamps and other forms of aid. When the child reaches the age of 21, he can petition to have his parents and siblings declared permanent residents.

The so-called "anchor baby" phenomenon is a hidden trap door beneath any guest worker program, because a significant number of guest workers will have babies while in the United States and will thus elude any effort to send them home.

There are other problems with guest worker schemes: the difficulty of enforcement, the creation of permanently alienated subgroups such as Europe has created of its Muslim immigrants, and the problem of uprooting even the non-citizen children of guest workers who have spent years in the U.S.

Here are some reforms that go beyond what Congress is currently considering.

Eliminate the "anchor baby" problem by changing the citizenship law. Britain changed its law in 1981.

The United States absorbed proportionately more immigrants at the start of the 20th century than it is attempting to digest now. But our grandparents had one huge advantage: they believed in "Americanization." Years of multicultural claptrap, bilingual education, political correctness and interest group politics have dulled our capacity to assimilate. And our lack of national self-confidence has in turn filtered down to the immigrants themselves, who see nothing odd about marching in the streets for their "rights" instead of asking politely for our indulgence. If we cannot recapture the will to insist upon Americanization, immigration will be our undoing instead of what it has always been, a great strength.

-- Excerpt from column by Mona Charen

State revenue growth continues: State revenue growth has exceeded initial expectations, according to a report released by the state Office of Administration.

Net revenue in May was 20.4 percent higher than the same month a year ago, climbing from $516.5 million in May 2005 to $621.7 million last month. In the first 11 months of the fiscal year that ends June 30, total revenue has increased by 9.3 percent to $6.6 billion over the same period in 2005.

Those increases are higher than the expected 4.9 percent growth rate used by budget writers to craft the state's $21 billion budget, the report said.

Sales tax collections were 12 percent higher than in May 2005, though they're only up 2.2 percent for the year.

Administration commissioner Mike Keathley said the higher-than-expected returns show Gov. Matt Blunt and the Republican-led legislature have turned the state's economy around. -- The Associated Press

Oldies but still funny: These are from a book called "Disorder in the American Courts," and are things people have said in court, word for word, taken down by court reporters who had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were taking place.

Attorney: What is your date of birth? Witness: July 18th.

Attorney: What year? Witness: Every year.

Attorney: How old is your son, the one living with you? Witness: Thirty-eight or 35. I can't remember which.

Attorney: How long has he lived with you? Witness: Forty-five years.

Attorney: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning? Witness: Did you actually pass the bar exam?

Attorney: The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he? Witness: Uh, he's 21.

Attorney: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney? Witness: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.

Attorney: All your responses must be oral, OK? What school did you go to? Witness: Oral.

Attorney: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse? Witness: No.

Attorney: Did you check for blood pressure? Witness: No.

Attorney: Did you check for breathing? Witness: No.

Attorney: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy? Witness: No.

Attorney: How can you be so sure, Doctor? Witness: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.

Attorney: But could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless? Witness: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law. -- From the Internet

Gary Rust is chairman of Rust Communications.

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