Sunday, January 11, 2004

At the hotel I stayed at during this conference, I had cable, so for a change I watched a little C-SPAN. I saw Bush's speech on immigration reform and it sounded great, until I thought about it. If we could actually enforce a guest worker system it would be great, but we can't. I also found it incredibly disenchanting for Bush to say he opposes amnesty and then grant amnesty for a small fee. Amnesty encourages more illegal immigration, period.

I love the man's foreign policy and his tax cuts, but he's managing to sell out the conservatives on just about every other issue. He campaigned on prescription drug coverage for Medicare and more federal involvement in education, the first terrible and the second dubious, but Bush kept his word. On the other hand, this amnesty proposal is like campaign finance reform, an unexpected betrayal. Of course the amnesty proposal didn't sting me much, despite its arguably more significant potential consequences, as I've now gotten used to it. I just wonder how Bush is going to embrace the center next. The leakers say a mission to Mars.

Your grandmother's medicine is not a public good. (Nor is anything beyond basic emergency care.) Manned space flight is a lousy public good; all it does is make some people feel better at enormous expense. Illegal immigration is not much of public good compared to legal immigration.

(This entry was posted from the Pittsburgh airport, which also has free wireless.)

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