Reforms Should Be Fair to All Concerned

Proposed or actual legislative reforms fail a basic test of, ‘Is it fair to all concerned?’ That’s a fair standard  for reforms, right?

Two current reforms, immigration reform in Congress and recent tax reform in North Carolina don’t pass that test.

Senate immigration reform is heralded as better than existing policies for employers, labor, immigrant families and human rights organizations which have pleaded for reforms for decades.

To be fair, immigrant advocates believe the legislation needs better access to medical coverage and fewer restrictions that split up families. But the existing legislation should be fairer since we universally agree the current policies have failed.

But House Republicans insist Congress must enact a border security act and implement it.

That demand fails the test of fair to all concerned.

The Migration Policy Institute (MRI) points out border-security-first demands have stalled Congressional reform for years: “The federal government has met nearly every ‘metric’ for border security that appeared in the 2006, 2007 and 2010 immigration reform bills in the Senate, yet new metrics are continually created to replace old ones, and the finish line keeps moving farther away.”

For example, the U.S. had 10,717 border patrol agents in 2003 and now has more than twenty thousand, more than ever demanded. The Senate compromise demands exactly 38,405 be deployed first despite tighter security and reduced border crossings.

Border-security-first obstructionism is indifference to injustice for all concerned.

In North Carolina, Republicans with veto-proof legislative majorities and a Republican governor, Pat McCrory, passed tax reform that is not fair to all concerned.

Despite projections the state will lose over $500 million from a flat tax that lowers corporate and personal taxes, Governor Pat McCrory said, “This historic tax reform package is a win-win for our state and the working families who live here.”

He left out the people who will lose.

“To call it tax reform would be an optimistic claim,” said Cedric Johnson, public policy director of the Budget and Tax Center at the progressive N.C. Justice Center. “The middle class and the state’s poorest residents will pay more. The wealthy will benefit the most.”

A non-profit Institute on Taxation and Economic policy study said the bottom twenty percent of taxpayers will pay more of their income in taxes and the top 1% will pay less.

The tax reform is designed to attract more employers and reduce a high unemployment rate, currently fifth in the nation.

But they’re making it harder for children and their parents to raise their incomes. The state refused to match Medicaid federal dollars to 900,000 uninsured citizens. The state cut credits that helped underwrite the cost for child care and cut public education funding from prekindergarten to universities in favor of vouchers for private education and charter schools.

Opponents forecast the decrease in services will require more local and property taxes.

“That’s what happened in every other Southern state that has personal and corporate income taxes that can’t keep up with growing public needs,” said Alexandra Sirota, director of the Budget Tax Center and board trustee at the University of North Carolina.

John Hood, president of the conservative John Locke Foundation says it’s fair to all concerned, even those needing services.

“The tax reform bill will make North Carolina more attractive to job creation and new business,” said Hood. “Most states with lower income and corporate rates grow faster than those with higher rates. A better economy means decreased Medicaid spending, which is the state’s biggest expense.”

It feels like legislators are telling middle to low-income citizens, “You’re going to lose now and admittedly, we’ve made it harder on you to get medical coverage, child care and training, but hang on until the economy improves and you can get a better job.”

Those left out could ask, “Is this fair? The wealthy are getting more now and you’re making it worse for my kids and me now. All I get is a distant hope things will better in the future.”

That’s not fair to all concerned.

Let’s start demanding reform that’s fair to all concerned.

About Russellsclearskies

Writing to poke fun at a retired klutz like me who's curiously exploring the absurdities and complexities of the good life. .
This entry was posted in JuaticeMercyHumility, Politics and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Reforms Should Be Fair to All Concerned

  1. Gary says:

    It all depends on one’s definition of “fair”.

  2. Ken/Jess Mills says:

    Thanks for putting us on your list of recipients.

    Sent from my iPhone

  3. Elaine Johnson says:

    I have to say, Jim, you tackle broad and complex topics with courage and good sense. And the range of your articles is always an impressive surprise. Elaine

    On 8/11/13 4:45 PM, “James S Russell’s Clear Skies” wrote:

    > Russellsclearskies posted: “Proposed or actual legislative reforms fail a > basic test of, Is it fair to all concerned? Thats a fair standard for > reforms, right? Two current reforms, immigration reform in Congress and recent > tax reform in North Carolina dont pass that test. ” >

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