Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Instate Tuition for Illegal Immigrants: Gazette Column 1

Within two weeks of being elected, Governor Patrick resurrected a proposal for instate tuition for illegal immigrants. With a taxpayer subsidy of $9,000 per year at current charges for in-state versus out-of-state tuition, and a recent estimate of 500 eligible students, this would amount to 18 million dollars of taxpayer dollars over four years at a time when both the state and UMass budgets are under tremendous pressure. Just last month UMass Amherst announced an 8% budget shortfall for the next fiscal year and is hoping for more out of state students to make up the difference. With a faltering economy, the taxpayers of Massachusetts are hurting. It is no surprise that Governor Patrick waited until after the election to bring up this idea. This proposal was killed in Massachusetts four years ago, but here it is again. Elections do have consequences.
Why offer this particular benefit for this group? Certainly, more basic entitlements that could be given to illegal immigrants are beyond the limits that are acceptable to taxpayers. We are not providing taxpayer supported housing. We are not providing healthcare insurance or food stamps, or subsidies for heating costs. As the parents of these students are illegally in this country and therefore are likely to have little reportable income, will we then be extending further financial aid beyond the in state tuition break to these families to help them afford four years of education? Where does it end?
Implicit in this proposal is that the children of illegal immigrants who reside in Massachusetts are more valued by the people of Massachusetts than the children of fellow American citizens who happen to reside outside the state. Geography trumps citizenship as the out of state American family is not offered this same taxpayer generosity of the lower tuition. If these children are to be the responsibility of the taxpayers of their state of origin who should bear this financial burden, then the same argument can be made for the children of illegal immigrants extending to their nation of origin. It is very possible that the American children from other states are also poor and are in need of access to affordable higher education as they may come from states without state university systems. We are all descended from immigrants, and it is not the fault of these children that they were brought here illegally. Given the enormous price of higher education in the U.S., it is not the fault of out of state American families that they are also looking for relief from the burden of the costs of educating their children. The taxpayers of Massachusetts are being positioned to extend our hand preferentially to the families that are here illegally.
We must consider the issue of fairness to the Massachusetts taxpaying family. The cost of educating their children is one of the greatest financial difficulties faced by most families. There are no tax breaks for families that must shoulder costs that now exceed 50,000$ each year for a private college education. As the money for the in-state tuition subsidy for children of illegal immigrants comes from taxpayer dollars, we should consider the need for relief of Massachusetts families as their tax dollars are subsidizing this new entitlement. Perhaps this proposal should be coupled with tax deductions for education costs for residents of Massachusetts, though I have no doubt that the Governor would scream that this loss of revenue is not affordable.
Offering entitlements to illegal immigrants incentivizes their setting up residence in Massachusetts, and the taxpayers of this state must recognize that there are costs associated with this. It costs taxpayer dollars for the public education of these children, and medical costs that are not reimbursed become a taxpayer liability. There is the loss of tax revenues by economic activity that is driven underground. The underground economy is even now a great problem in Massachusetts. In my recent Congressional campaign through Southern Massachusetts, I heard from builders and contractors throughout the region that they are losing income and are having their businesses threatened by illegal immigrants from Brazil who are living in Massachusetts and are working off the books. This shift of economic activity is hidden from taxes.
No one wants to seem inhospitable to immigrant families seeking a better life, but preferential treatment of foreign nationals that break our immigration laws over fellow American citizens is problematic. The pressures of a troubled economy and the difficulties of our taxpaying families should be first to get our attention.

Monday, July 5, 2010

What a Weekend!

Whew...this was one major weekend. 3 parades, 3 fireworks celebrations, and altogether 7 towns. Balloons, volunteers in attendance, great weather, and the 4th of July weekend was a great time to have fun and meet the voters. Thanks Bob for the T Bird, thanks to Carol, Mary, Rebecca, Mike, Dave, Matt, Johnny, Rick, Wendy, Tammy, Jeff, Jim, Don, Bill, Emily, Stuart, & Joe for coming along, all the help, and making the weekend so much fun. Mike, my college roommate, where did you ever come from and who would have ever expected you to be a Republican?

Dan, you really outdid yourself.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day 2010

Our eternal gratefulness to those who protected liberty for us throughout our history.

This includes my father. I grew up with the history of WWII all around me. My father was in the invasion of Okinawa, and on the boat for the invasion of Japan when Truman dropped the bombs. Without that decision, my father would likely not have survived, I and my children would never have existed. My father told funny stories about his time in Okinawa, but would avoid saying much about his combat experience. When he died at the age of eighty, a contingent from the army was there and presented the family with a flag, which I have and remains precious.
Contrary to others in my generation, I always felt that the Viet Nam War was a necessary battle, as in that time we were in a life and death struggle with Communism on the march, and for a while it looked like we were losing a large part of the world. Historians are now thinking that the Viet Nam War did stop the spread of Communism in Asia, and allowed countires like S. Korea, Japan, the Philiipines, and Thailand to develope into free, captialist states, and ultimately led to the exhaustion of the Communists during the cold war.

Thanks to the Vets from all of our wars, including WWII, Korea, Viet Nam, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Monday, May 24, 2010


There were times we never thought we would make it. We had two and one half months to get 2000 certified signatures. We started off immediately, thinking that we would get this behind us quickly. Wrong. After the first month, we had 400 certified, and were beginning to believe it was never going to happen. The volunteers then began to show up, and by the end we had over 100 people from across the entire district working on nomination papers. Through them, we filed 3871, weeks ahead of schedule. By the end of the day, well over 4000.

Thank you folks, thank you. Now on to doing our local part towards recovering Congress for the U.S.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Tax Day 2010

Yes, I know that this is out of order..2,000 people were out on Tax Day in Worcester. Just like at the convention, folks know what's at stake coming up, and they are not going to let their fellow Americans forget what America is about. Here is my colleague Kate, at Tax Day with me, though Mary Lou, and Joe are not in the photo.

Convention 2010

It's been a long time since I've blogged, I know and apologize. We have been flat out campaigning. I have to take a moment to talk about the amazing energy and good vibe of the convention. Folks are juiced, they know what's at stake coming in November, and they are ready to take the state and our nation back. Mary Lou and my fabulous volunteers Joe and Dave from Northampton were amazing. This is a pic of Tammy from Leicester, working the convention floor with me.

Friday, January 22, 2010


The awful spectacle of our government running amok, with the worst of the big government impulses being unchecked, is over, or more accurately on pause. The Scott Brown election showed the stubborn independent streak that had Massachusetts give birth to the American Revolution is still alive. Massachusetts delivered again.

This doesn't change my approach to this campaign at all, as good and often simple approaches to American problems can be found with common sense, the judicious use of the precious dollars Americans give to the government in taxes, and a dedication to our basic freedoms. The government needs to step back and let the peoples ingenuity and hard work allow the economy to recover, and put our people back to work. Stop burying those who come next in a debt that will be a weight around their necks for decades.

Congratulations to Scott Brown, the people of Massachusetts, and our fellow Americans. BUT, this was only Chapter 1. Take a deep breath. The next chapter is to be written in November, 2010.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Back for More

Sorry folks, but I have been so busy campaigning that it has been hard to blog. We have been in towns all over the district, at a large variety of events. Fundraising like crazy, and continuing to meet just great people. Folks are just not happy about the continuing craziness in Washington, and people keep coming up to me and telling me that they heard me speak or heard me on the radio, and that they agree with what I'm saying even though they are Democrats. I have never in my life seen the break from reality demonstrated by our current government, and it has to stop before too much economic, security, and social disruption occurs.

Scott Brown's election is one week away...Mary Lou and I have been working his phone bank in Holyoke. There is the hope that if he wins, his presence will slow them down in D.C. until reinforcements get there in November.