Thursday, February 02, 2006

Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act

Today, the AJC reports on Georgia State Sen. Chip Rogers' (R-Woodstock) proposal to be filed next week. Immigration, and the state's response to the Federal failure to stem the flow of illegals will be a big item on the state's agenda this year.

Estimates on the number of illegal immigrants in Georgia vary from 250,000 to 800,000, and their impact on the state is also vigorously disputed. Critics say they sap vital resources from legal residents and state programs. Supporters argue they provide needed labor to major state industries.

Both statements about illegal immigrants in Georgia are correct in my opinion. But we could resolve part of the problem of illegals being a drain on state resources (aka money to fund social programs). How?

Get rid of the state income tax. Illegals don't pay it. Therefore they don't contribute to the state's resources to fund roads, rec centers, trauma hospitals, numerous social servies, etc... Dump the income tax and switch to a consumption tax. A state sales tax. All those illegals working to get Georgia's crops to market, working in our building industry and getting paid in cash, would then pay taxes on anything they buy in the state of Georgia. They'd be paying their fair share.

And guess what? If the state collects a surplus? ONLY Georgia citizens would get a refund.

The state of Georgia would suffer immensely if all illegals were booted out of the state tomorrow. Granted, you'd have less strain on the government's resources, but the cost of labor for farm workres, construction workers and what not would rise dramatically. And that get's passed on to you and me.

Not to mention, the costs of Georgia goods and services would be higher than our competitor's (other states and even countries). We'd be able to sell less due to our higher prices.

I really hope that we'll have meaningful, valuable conversation and exchange of viewpoints this legislative session. But I'm not holding my breath. Likely to be "Kick the bums out and man the borders!" vs. "You inhumane, racist pigs!" Politics as usual. Which mean the only winners are the politicians.