A BuzzFlash Reader Commentary
Back At The Ranch
March 18, 2002
by Margie Burns
* Remember how back in 1979, Senator Howard Baker of Tennessee, campaigning for the presidency of the United States of America, went around talking about "getting the government off our backs"?
* Remember how Baker dealt with his main competitor for the nomination? Polls showed that Reagan could beat either Baker or Carter; but "Ronald Reagan . . . is Ronald Reagan" (i.e. old): "The big thing Reagan has going for him now is momentum. And that's left over really from 1976, and it's name recognition left over from 1976."
* Remember how candidate Ronald Reagan in 1980, campaigning for the presidency of the United States of America, adopted Baker's line and shouted, "let's get government off the backs of the people"?
* Remember how some people surmised that Reagan mainly meant getting regulatory government off the backs of energy and oil companies (pollution), bankers (auditing standards), landlords (rent controls), automakers (emissions, fuel standards), and employers (OSHA, wages/benefits, illegal aliens)?
* Remember how oil Republicans celebrated Reagan's inauguration, January 21, 1981, in Midland, Texas -- "long a Republican oasis in a Democratic state," according to the Washington Post? A cardboard cutout of the Capitol Dome, surrounded by nachos, deviled eggs and barbecue, had one word on it: "OURS."
* Remember how Congress passed a landmark immigration law in 1986, and had to battle the Reagan administration for money to fund it?
* Remember how in June 1989 Reagan's head of Immigration & Naturalization, Alan C. Nelson, resigned, after spending $1500 for an oil portrait of himself? An audit by his Justice Department criticized his management, accounting and administrative practices; one local INS office lost 23,000 citizenship certificates.
* Remember how, under former President George H. W. Bush, the INS was chronically underfunded, understaffed, and under attack?
* Remember how in January 1991, one of the first illegal aliens deported under a law signed by President Bush was the Honduran maid of Florida Governor Jeb Bush and his wife?
* Remember how in 1992, Atty Gen William Barr finally said he would hire 1200 new immigration agents and border patrol officers, to curb illegal immigration and to speed up processing citizenship applications?
* Remember in 1992 how presidential candidate Ross Perot mentioned "fraud, waste and abuse" in the federal system on the campaign trail, recommended computer upgrades, and was written up in the press as "Inspector Perot"?
* Remember in 1995 how the Clinton administration promised to restore the "credibility" of the immigration system?
* Remember how in 1996 Congress passed legislation calling for new inspectors in the INS, but without funding to pay them?
* Remember how, throughout the Clinton years, the INS was chronically understaffed, underfunded, and under assault by waves of illegal immigrants, legitimate refugees, and future terrorists?
* Remember in 2000 how presidential candidate George W. Bush campaigned on "eight years of neglect"?
* Remember George W. Bush's "tax cut," in 2001, diminishing resources for government agencies and giving back billions to corporations?
Remember President Bush doing anything for the Immigration & Naturalization
Service? Anything at all?
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