Mexico`s Rich Don`t Like To Pay Taxes – They Think You Should

by Brenda Walker

“Poor Mexico, so far from
God, so close to the United States"
is an

early example
of the now-familiar annoying
whine, first voiced by Mexican

President Porfirio Diaz

, mooch, social basket case, criminal narco-state:
these are Americans` mental pictures of Mexico.

But more than any other, the

is one of staggering poverty. Anyone who has
been to a Mexican border town is immediately overwhelmed
by the Third World – the oppressive dirt, decay, too
many underfed children.

However, the truth is that Mexico
is a

very wealthy country
. It is blessed with

abundant natural resources
and a fortunate location.
Mexico is the richest nation in Latin America when
measured by GDP, and by a wide margin: in 2001,

Mexico`s GDP
was the highest in Latin America, a
substantial 22.5 percent more than runner-up Brazil.
When GDP per capita is the gauge,

Mexico is second
only behind Argentina.

Half of all

Latin American billionaires
, 11 out of 22, are

Mexico is the quintessential banana
republic—a corrupt oligarchy of

arrogant rich
, a tiny middle class and millions of
poor people, around

of whom live in poverty.

But Mexico is not poor overall. It
has the resources to improve itself.

Economist Gary Hufbauer of the

Institute for International Economics
recently noted
that Mexico has

tax collections
that amount to only 14 percent of
the country`s gross domestic profit, compared with the
U.S. level of 25 to 28 percent.

Hubauer`s conclusion: "Basically

wealthy classes
do not want to tax themselves,

Hufbauer further remarked:

social services and infrastructure are awfully lean for
a country that wants to move ahead. While I`m not
usually an advocate for larger government, Mexico is a
country where public investment, done wisely, could pay
huge dividends."

Arguably, with adequate taxation of
its freeloader rich, Mexico could follow the example of
the Asian tiger nations and invest its way into economic
progress by building industrial infrastructure and
educating its workforce. The recent

 loss of Mexican jobs to China
was partially due to
the lack of capital spending on education, ports, roads
and industrial parks.

But investment would cost money.
And Mexico refuses to take responsibility for the social
needs of its population. It`s so much easier to

the Americans care for Mexico`s poor.

Indeed, the Mexican

propaganda war
to convince Americans of the need to
support poor Mexico has been largely successful.

Washington`s current degree of
solicitude for the

well being of Mexicans
is quite astonishing,
particularly at a time when

are suffering the highest unemployment in
nine years. Congress and the President are considering
various welfare packages for Mexico; such as Sen.

"guest worker"
plan (where the

"guests" never leave

On July 10, the Senate passed a
bill to provide $100 million in microloans for the
poorest regions of Mexico. It`s stunning that Congress
would vote to provide financial aid to wealthy Mexico
when 47 U.S. states have severe budget deficits and
federal red ink is the highest ever.

Central to Mexican strategy is
maintaining the billions of dollars in

remittance money
flowing south, thereby keeping a
lid on social unrest among the masses. In that way, the
oligarchy preserves its enormous power and riches.

The immigration scam is very
successful: the rulers export their unemployment to the
United States and get back billions in remittance cash
annually— 2003 is on track to rack up a record $11

Talk about easy money: the worse
the oligarchy run the country, the more people leave and
send back money.

Furthermore, every social service
for illegal aliens and legal immigrants financed by the
American taxpayer—medical


college tuition breaks

housing vouchers and food stamps
—frees up more money
for remittances.

Recent surveys show half of Latino
immigrants send money home, with a monthly average
amount of $250.

Mexico`s propaganda effort is
helped enormously by the

annual carnage
of unprepared walkers who die in the
desert as they illegally cross into the U.S.
Predictably, the May

of 19 people in an
unventilated truck
in Texas incited

anti-borders extremists
to pile blame on American
immigration law.

Mexico would prefer that all
its excess workers could cross an

border to keep remittance dollars

Washington is currently focused on

building democracy in Iraq
at a

cost of $4 billion per month.
But should this effort

be at the top of our national priorities?

A much

smaller investment
could bring our

southern border
under control and would lower the

of terrorists entering there. The expanding
power of lawless elements in Mexican society, e.g. narco-traffickers,
must be recognized as a security threat – particularly
with recent reports of


Mexican drug cartels
and terrorists, including

al Qaeda.
Border control is now

to national security.

There`s no reason why Mexico cannot
evolve from being a parasite state into an adult nation.
Washington was

when opposition party candidate Vicente
Fox won the presidency.

But the Fox administration has only
displayed more of the same tiresome dependence.

Apparently the current system is
just too easy and profitable for the insatiable ruling

Tough immigration enforcement from
the United States is the only way to force Mexico to get
its act together.

If Mr. Bush

thinks of Vicente Fox as his good friend, the
President will help wean his pal from the distasteful
immigration addiction that keeps Mexico mired in the
Third World.

Tough love – border and

interior enforcement
– is the true expression of

Faced with the unavoidable
necessity of fixing their country, Mexicans would have
to insist that the country be run for the

benefit of all
– not for the

gluttonous few.

Walker [email
her] is a writer living in California. She publishes two

She recently advanced the

remittances be taxed in order to pay for

illegal immigrant healthcare costs

borne by border