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Our Feckless Ruling Class
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August 27, 2006, 02:13 AM
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With apologies for being dilatory on this: The nation`s governors demonstrated some of the silliness that seems inherent to our ruling class (perhaps better described as "the particular set of white-collar criminals who happen to be in power") at their national meeting about two weeks ago("Govs` anger with feds boils over," 8/8/06).

Reporter Eric Kelderman described the guvs` frustration with the feds` nonfeasance on immigration enforcement:

Congress` inability to reform the nation`s legal and illegal immigration policies also was criticized by governors. More than half of states have passed laws to try to deal with illegal aliens, including denying non-emergency services and imposing sanctions for companies that employ undocumented workers. But border enforcement is a federal job. "As a border state, this has been a problem that has festered far too long, and ultimately can only be solved by Congress," said Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano (D), who along with Gov. Bill Richardson (D) declared a state of emergency over illegal immigration in 2005.

But Kelderman also noted the guvs` unhappiness when the feds actually awake to the problem:

The governors` remarks over the weekend are the latest round of complaints about federal incursions into state business. Governors and state legislators have railed about the 2005 federal REAL ID act, which would preempt how states issue driver`s licenses and make state motor vehicle departments verify the citizenship status of drivers. The National Conference of State Legislatures has estimated the changes will cost states an additional $500 million to $700 million by 2010.

So the feds are damned when they (mostly) don`t, but also damned when they (occasionally) do. Evidently our governors have attention spans too short to suffer from the cognitive dissonance that their tantrum provokes in us mere citizens.

And think about those dollar amounts for a minute: Assume there are 150 million licensed drivers in our population of about 300 million. Then we`re talking about a maximum of $5 per driver, spread over four years. Yessir, that`ll be enough to disrupt delicately-balanced state budgets ...