Nov 21, 2010

A glimpse of Republican rule

We got a glimpse of what things will look like in Michigan and nationally for the next two years, at least, last week when extremist teabagger Republican Senator-elect Joe Hune, R-Hamburg, announced that the first thing he will do when he takes office next month is make something that’s already illegal illegal.

No one should be surprised at this from a man who thinks the United Nations is coming for U.S. handguns, but in his mad dash to the extreme right Hune told the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus that the first bill he will introduce will cut off the benefits to illegal immigrants in Michigan.

My fellow bloggers over at Michigan Liberal and Blogging for Michigan have done an excellent job of illustrating how insane this is, but it continues to amaze me how extreme Hune has become since he won the seats by two votes in 2002. It also illustrates how ill-equipped Republicans are to acutely govern.

The national economy is finally recovering from the Bush recession, the worst and longest since the Great Depression, with no help from the Republicans, but it’s still a fragile and slow recovery. Republicans have made it clear that they have no intention of working to improve the economy.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY., said recently that his top priority is not the economy, the job recovery or the budget, but to defeat President Obama.

We can expect a similar taxpayer financed witch-hunt that was launched against President Clinton that ground government to a near halt. We really couldn’t afford it then, but we can afford it even less now.

Hune claims that “there are more than 100,000 illegal aliens in Michigan, and that all are potentially collecting taxpayer-funded benefits, including health-care services and welfare.” I have no idea where he got that from, other than pulling it out of his ass, but if they are receiving benefits they are doing it illegally already.

Michigan has a very small illegal immigration population, but Hune thinks his bill will close the $1.6 billon structural budget deficit. The Michigan League for Human Services issued a report that stated only 1.4 percent of the state's total population are undocumented immigrants. League spokeswoman Judy Putnam said “Hune's proposal sounds like "a solution in search of a problem."

"As a matter of course, we already bar undocumented immigrants from receiving benefits, and the state's pretty strict about enforcing it. I don't think there's any savings to be had on this one," Putnam told the Press & Argus.

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