The New Geography of Racism

Ever wonder why white opposition to darker-skinned immigrants seems to be centered in outer suburbs such as Prince William and Stafford counties? An analysis of new Census data provides the answer.

The reason, the American Community Survey reports, is that immigrants from Latin America and other places are flocking to small towns and outer suburbs rather than concentrating in the center of large cities, as had been the case for immigrants for the last two centuries.

According to a New York Times report, Los Angeles County, a traditional Hispanic draw, showed little immigrant growth while immigration exploded in suburban Newton County outside of Atlanta. Closer to home, Stafford County saw its immigrant population triple during the past decade. Other Virginia hot spots are Prince William and Loudoun counties.

The Times notes that many Hispanics are drawn to outer suburbs by lower living costs, as well as by once-plentiful construction jobs that went bust with the recession.

This helps to explain why Stafford County is proposing to get tough on illegal immigrants, and why Prince William County, led by board of supervisors chairman and rising state politician Corey A. Stewart, cracked down starting in 2007.

Prince William’s law prodded many Hispanics to leave the county, regardless of their immigration status or citizenship, because they felt they were being profiled by police. Stewart wants to take the Prince William experience statewide with his “Virginia Rule of Law” campaign.

The sad truth is that these settlement patterns are sparking racism that had seemed to be abating in America. Just 50 years ago, so-called “blockbusting” led African-Americans into tight, white, ethno-centric neighborhoods of big cities such as Chicago and New York.
The battleground has since shifted to the wide highways and big-box stores of outer suburbia. But the dynamics are the same. White Americans had felt safe in such places but somehow now feel threatened by new arrivals. The reason? It’s only skin deep.

Peter Galuszka

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42 responses to “The New Geography of Racism”

  1. James A. Bacon Avatar
    James A. Bacon

    Hey, Peter, what's your analysis of the anti-immigration backlash across Europe. Are Sweden, Denmark and Netherlands hotbeds of "racism," too?

  2. Well, I'll probably catch heck from Peter and Lord knows who else but here goes – Peter, it's not necessarily skin deep. I'm very white, very middle aged and presently living in a situation where there are many folks of many colors living all around me, more so than at any other time in my life. What I have learned is that it's not just skin deep, it's culture too. Many of the hispanics share many of the same values (or at least appear to) that I do. Many of those of Indian dissent (think India) share some of my values but have their own veiw on life (and they are certainly welcome to it). The blacks who surround me, for the most part, live with an entirely different set of values than I do. It does not mean that I treat any of them with any degree of disrespect and they in turn show me respect, but it does mean there are some cravasses when it comes to understanding where we (of different cultures) are coming from or relate to different situations.

    People find living around people who 'are like they are' is more comfortable. I'm hetrosexual, white, Catholic and that is the type of neighborhood I hope to move to soon. Liberals have tried to shove this "We're all the same" drivel down our throats but go into a lunch room at a place of work or a high school and for the most part people have segregated themselves off into groups of like people. Blacks here, hispanics there, Indian dissent here, whites over there. I really have no desire to watch and listen to people who's values are different than mine. I acknowledge they they exist, I acknowledge that they have every right to believe/live as they choose, as do I. I don't wish to dialog with someone who is gay and asserting that point of view, nor a Black who believes that whitie/the government OWES him something. Most of us are just more comfortable around those who are most like us; I believe it might be inherent.

  3. I think Accurate is right. It isn't color, it is just that people don't like things that are different. They don't like change and they want things to be the same.

    That is why we don't like development, even if it paid twice its wonw way, we still would not like it, because it represents change and something different.

    The natural condition of change is that it is change for the worse: entropy always increases. There is a built in natural reason why we do not like change and/or things that are different.

    When I was in Arizona I noticed that on an individual basis whites and latinos seemed to treat each other respectfully and conduct normal business togeather. This was different from what I saw many years ago when whites treated blacks with open individual hostility and disrespect.

    Yet, as groups, whites typically regarded Latinos as a problem. Arizona policies have resulted in more than 250,000 Latinos leaving the state.

    Do we think they have disappeared?

  4. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Yes, yes and yes. And if you want to take it to the next level, try Russia.
    On paratrooper's day, vets in cammies and sky blue berets go to the markets and beat up any dark-skinned person from Chechnya or Georgia they can find, sometimes to death.

    Peter Galuszka

  5. Well Accurate has it right. I'd rather hang out with Latinos, Blacks, Muslims, School teachers, Union members, homosexuals, and a few others rather than the unprincipled and unprincipled louts who claim to be conservatives now days.


  6. ….undisciplined and unprincipled….

    The Republicans even one-upped themselves…..

    they can't vote for the Start Treaty because if they do – it will be an insult to Christianity.

    That's right – if the Senators cannot get home to celebrate Christmas a week earlier than normal people – it's a religious insult…

    HEY – you guys that "love" the Republicans these days – are you paying attention?

    Do we know what's going on now?

    is there any doubt about what the Republicans are up to?

    These guys are "leaders"?

    uh huh….

  7. Anonymous Avatar

    Mr. Bacon said:

    “Hey, Peter, what's your analysis of the anti-immigration backlash across Europe. Are Sweden, Denmark and Netherlands hotbeds of "racism," too?”

    Unseemly Tossing Rocks at Empty Pigeon Holes, Mr. Bacon.

    Mr. Gooze added a note on Russia about which I have no direct experience but Eastern Europe and Western Europe, yes.

    It all starts in Germany and France. After the war they had lots of work that needed to be done and few who wanted to do it. Solution? Guest workers – Turkey and North Africa for the most part. That led to guest worker districts and, especially in Germany, guest worker and foreign student ‘planned new communities.’ The foreign students were from the US but also rich kids from the Middle East and Palestinians with chips on their shoulders.

    I lived in one. They were scary places. Very well policed to keep order. Little respect for diversity because the places were full of bad actors. An elevator ride was a scary experience. Mohamad Ata was a resident as I recall.

    Because of centuries of immigration from The Empire, Great Britain is a more complex situation – have Dr. Risse tell you about 9-11 in London some time.

    Now to Sweden, Denmark and the Low Countries. They were tolerant and while their empires were long gone they had a some diversity – enough to be very civil – sort of like the way Montanans treated Blacks in the 60s I am told.

    Those who had experienced the control and lack of respect in Germany and France could move to other EU Regions. They could become more aggressive, more free, in the more tolerant Regions.

    They overstepped their welcome and now there is a backlash. This is oversimplified but your get the idea. Stuff the snide remarks about racism because,

    Underlying all this is the most well articulated and well founded statement Accurate has made in these halls. He is absolutely right

    That is why Prof Risse asks:

    Will the genetic proclivities toward competition, acquisition, consumption and xenophobia that got Homo sapiens to this point in their evolution prevent the emergence of an Urban society with a sustainable trajectory?


  8. There is not going to be any urban society with a sustainable trajectory because urban spaces depend hugely on their support regions.

    Urban areas are highly organized and as such they need huge inputs of work and energy to keep them from deteriorating.

  9. Anonymous Avatar

    OK, I will make the point that Observer usually does:

    Enough of sticking your finger in the rotten absesses of contemporary society,

    What does Mr. Gooze propose to do about this??


  10. Anonymous Avatar

    I think Mr. Gooze favors open borders. What is wrong with enforcing the law? Obama has a different approach – audits of firms. But it seems to be working. Chipotle was audited in Minnesota and fired many employees who were illegal. Go after the jobs. Attrition works.


  11. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    What does Mr. Gooze propose to do about this?

    Once again the conversation has gone far beyond the points of my blog post, which is par for the course at Bacon's Rebellion. People start accusing you of saying things you never did.

    The information deals with immigrants, not illegal immigrants. Once again, CJC, you seem to be going into automatic profile mode. If from Mexico, must be illegal.

    I think the borders of the U.S. should be as open as possible as long as security is watched. Utah has an innovative program where the state draws up lists of jobs needed for foreign, in this case, Mexican labor. They negotiate with states in Mexico for the workers and they are sponsored on visas.
    As for the 11 million illegals, I think some kind of amnesty is acceptable followed by a complete revision of immigration laws.
    I keep wondering why so many others get here when mr Russian brother-in-law, a hard-working father with a job and a child and no criminal record can't get a visa to visit us. We'd have to meet him in Canada which would give him a visa. Why? Some 1952 federal law gives U.S. consular officers the right to make decisions on the spot with no explanation.


  12. Open borders increase the supply of people with limited education and skills. That increase in supply decreases the price (i.e. pay) for native born Americans with limited educations and skills.

    In a country where manufacturing jobs go offshore, lower paid service jobs get automated (e.g. travel agents, telephone operators), the intentional over-supply of people at the bottom of the education / skill hierarchy is almost a criminal act.

    Yet the liberals do not really care about poor Americans and have never really cared about poor Americans. They care about political power and are willing to sell out the most vulnerable Americans by flinging open the borders in the hope that those who immigrate will vote for their candidates.

    Meanwhile, generations of Americans live in squalor and poverty as wages are held artificially low through the selfish and self-serving actions of the limousine liberal elite.


  13. re: " Yet the liberals do not really care about poor Americans and have never really cared about poor Americans."

    oh you mean those to the right of the limo liberals do care?

    ha ha ha

  14. Anonymous Avatar

    Mr. Gooze:

    Perhaps you should read more carefully what you write.

    In this case you said:

    “The sad truth is that these settlement patterns are sparking racism that had seemed to be abating in America.”

    Sounds like you are talking about racism.

    That was what Mr. Bacon responded to, all be it in an overly snide way.

    That is the rotten abscess I was talking about. (There is no spell checker on comments.)

    So what is Mr. Gooze’s suggestion about the growing prevalence of racism based on the emerging settlement patterns that the study you cited documents?

    Lets get some suggestions on the table.

    If you want to write about your brother-in-law not being able to get a visa, that is fine but what do YOU propose to do about it? I will sign up to revoke a 1952 law that is not working but stick to the topic and suggest a solution.

    And Groveton:

    Please stop tossing rocks at empty pigeon holes. It is not ‘liberals’ that are the problem, it is uninformed humans. It is citizens not understanding their own best interest. What do YOU suggest be done about it?


  15. "What do YOU suggest be done about it?".

    I suggest that we enforce our existing immigration laws. I suggest that we put employers who employ illegal aliens in jail (by mandating eVerify). I suggest that we expedite the process of legal residence / citizenship for people who are already in the process. I suggest we deport those who are here illegally and have not even attempted to gain legal status. They can apply again through the expedited process from outside the United States. I suggest that all Americans be better able to organize into work unions so that achieving a living wage becomes more possible for those at the bottom of the wage / skill scale. I suggest that parents be held liable for their children's education to the point of being fined or forced to perform community service when their children are truant or misbehave at school.

  16. Anonymous Avatar


    Those ALL sound like great ideas.

    How do we get them implemented?

    Will No Labels do it?

    I do not think so.

    Along with Prof Risse, I suspect it will take AntiPartisanism.


  17. gawd… has Groveton gone all wobbly?

  18. Why is a poor person struggling to make a living in Mexico ok but a poor American struggling to make a living not? Why is it preferable to adopt an American orphan at $30k than three African children at $10k?

  19. Utah can import help in droves by getting group visas. They had to do something after the airport fiasco.

    All I know from my experience trying to sponsor someone temporarily, with my personal guarantee of return, the legal system is broken. The result is many illegals here permanently, who would gladly go home, if they thought they could come back.

    The higher the price gradient the more pressure there will be, and the heavier and more expensive the pressure walls need to be. More, better, and different law enforcement will treat SOME of the symptoms, but cannot cure the disease.

    Throwing open the borders would immediately relieve the pressure, but as groveton notes, the cost is then shifted from the wealthy who apparently pay the most for government law to the poor who get more competition for work.

    Logically, rich conservatives have more to gain from opening or loosening the borders, which has been the de facto situation for years. Conservatives like it for cheap labor, and liberals like it for soothing their bleeding hearts.

    Both sides blame the other for something they have no intention and no ability to prevent.

    This is about poverty, not borders or laws.

  20. "Why is a poor person struggling to make a living in Mexico ok but a poor American struggling to make a living not?".

    Because I am an American. I hope Mexico fixes their problems but that's what it is … their problem.

    "Logically, rich conservatives have more to gain from opening or loosening the borders, which has been the de facto situation for years. ".

    On first blush, perhaps this seems true. However, a large underclass of unemeployed and enemployable Americans is bad for everybody. Between confiscatory taxes on the wealthy to violence in the streets – armies of poor Americans is bad for America. Send the illegal immigrants back home and then work on a minimum wage that is twice what a person can make in unemployment benefits … or, around $15 per hour. Yes, things will cost more. But better to pay a bit more for food or home services than to have the restaraunts and homes destroyed in rioting.

  21. " Because I am an American. I hope Mexico fixes their problems but that's what it is … their problem."

    so… how come it's OUR PROBLEM in Iraq and Afghanistan and Haiti and dozens of other countries that we send "help" – and these days financed by the Chinese?

    We're a country of hypocrites.

    We spend billions of dollars to bribe people in Iraq and Afghanistan to see things our way and then say that Mexico – even if Mexico's "problems" affect us – it's THEIR PROBLEM.

    H Y P O C R I T E S.

  22. "We're a country of hypocrites.".

    People operating within Afghanistan attacked the United States on Sept 11, 2001. Maybe you've forgotten about that.

    We're getting out of Iraq. Good. Couldn't have happened soon enough.

    The aid in Haiti was temporary and in reaction to a natural disaster. It was not a prolonged effort to make permanent welfare payments to a corrupt and broken state (like Mexico).

    Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, LarryG.

    Mexico is a modern, industrialized state with plentiful natural resources. The government there is corrupt and chooses to export their over-supply of uneducated people rather than educating them.

    Deport the illegals.
    Raise the minimum wage for those here legally.

    This is not all that hard.

  23. re: " People operating within Afghanistan attacked the United States on Sept 11, 2001. Maybe you've forgotten about that."

    And those people number about 100 and move from country to country.

    We don't need to invade a country and try to bribe them with billions of dollars we don't have and add to our deficit to go after the bad guys …

    …but we do…

    who is being "foolishly inconsistent" again?

  24. If you REALLY want to fix the illegal problem – all you need is one law and that law says that if you employ an illegal – you forfeit your business and receive a felony conviction and jail time.

    end of problem

    are we REALLY SERIOUS about the problem are is it a proxy for racism and blue collar red meat from the Republicans?

    we can fix this problem if we want to.

  25. Wow has this posting grown a life of it's own.

    Observer – "Underlying all this is the most well articulated and well founded statement Accurate has made in these halls." At first blush, I took that as a compliment. But then what are you really saying regarding any of my other posting? Hmmmm.

    EMR – I took a look at the video, entertaining and naive. Beyond that, the video itself points something out (near the beginning) and then blissfully ignores it. When the coal tunnels flooded, there was a need. Someone stepped up and filled that need/problem. If you look at WWII, Germany ended up having many raw materials cut off from it; out of that need, many synthetic substitutes were developed and or new ways to do something without having to use the 'original' raw materials. Bottom line, one of mankind's strengths is that when push comes to shove, we figure a way around it, over it, under it or how to do it another way. We, the USA and the World at large, do not see the future in the bleak terms that you see it in. The video shows that the Soviet style of 'planning' failed (as we all know) yet the more you speak, the more I see THAT (or something very similar) as the solution that is being suggested. I know you will disagree, but to an uninformed, ignorant hick like me (and millions out there like me) that is EXACTLY what it translates to. We don't see/believe there is the crisis that you proclaim, when it hits, we will step up to the plate and take care of it. Besides, my question to you was regarding the chances of a congressional congress and what you thought would be accomplished in the end by such a body. Not what you WANT but what you really think/give chances of.

    Groveton – Raising the minimum wage is/was and continues to be one of the worst ideas that EVER hit the USA. As one manager once said to one of his employees, "I'd like to pay you what you're worth but we have minimum wage laws." $15 bucks an hour to be a clerk in a 7/11, I don't think so. All it does is to fuel inflation, the low paid never get ahead because the 'raise' they got gets eaten up by the increase in prices that everything suddenly has to cost to pay for those inflated wages. It also serves as a dis-incentive to better one's self; and don't get me started on unions, blah, they had a purpose once, it's long gone, out lived and merely turned into one more layer of corruption where they look to take your money.

    Just saying.

  26. $7.25 is the minimum wage Accurate.

    that's 2080 x 7.25 = $15K annually

    re: "soviet style" planning

    agreed. and it also goes for the right wing zealots who would rule this country instead of govern it.

  27. Larry –
    I know what the minimum wage is (and in some states they make it higher than the federal standard – Oregon is one of those rather stupid states), but Groveton had made the suggestion that minimum wage be raised to $15 an hour.

    You said,"…it also goes for the right wing zealots who would rule this country instead of govern it." Do you hold that true also of liberal loons who don't do what the voters want but rather pass 2000 page bills without reading them ("We have to pass the bill so you can find out what's in it.")? Or do you reserve that viewpoint strictly for conservatives that you dislike?

  28. re: 2000 page bills that have not been read….

    Medicare Part D?

    Patriot Act?

    In general I agree with you – no matter who is legislating but where were you when the Republicans were doing this kind of thing?

    What did you "suddenly" get religion on this issue?

    I'm not justifying it – only pointing out that for a number of years the same practices were …. well.. they were practices…

    Newt and Tom Delay played that same game , no?

  29. Accurate: did you read the bill that extended the tax cuts ?

    How about the Food Safety bill?

    The Start Treaty?

    Don't ask, don't tell?

    Do you routinely try to read the bills or only when FAUX News and the right wing gets their rump in a swivet?

    Anyone I know who has actually tried to directly read legislation with any real understanding is a better man than I.

    Even the folks who promulgate the regulations that arise from the legislation have to get help.

    so pardon me if I find that complaint a bit of a stretch even though..yes.. the right wing world has massive supposed heartburn about it.

    but I'm betting the same folks who raise holy heck about ObamaCare have not even bothered to read the bill extending the tax cuts, eh?

    tsk task.. I've become such a cynic… my apologies.

  30. Anonymous Avatar

    If there is a minimum wage, it should be lower for teenagers. It is, IMO, very important for them to get work experience – showing up on time, wearing appropriate attire, working with others, dealing with difficult people, etc. Yet, very few teens have the skills and experience to justify much in terms of wages. A high minimum wage hurts youth workers and society as a whole.


  31. Larry – Come on, you aren't going to fall into THAT trap are you? Gee, Larry, did you read all the specs including the blueprints that put your car together? Do you know all the specifics for laying concrete on a runway (yet you fly in planes that use them)? Do you know if the panels of concrete in the runway have smooth or deformed dowels? And why would you/should you use one over the other? Of course you don't, BUT you assume that a person (me) who does know these things has been hired and done their job so that you DON'T have worry about stuff that you really don't know about. Stuff that you really don't have time to learn about. Same with legislatures – I don't have time to read through every line, that is why we hire/vote them into office, that is THEIR job, not mine. Their job is also to be able to tell me what is in a bill and why they did or did not vote for it and how it will affect me if they did vote for it. When President Pookie gives them less than 48hrs to vote on a 2000 page bill, guess who's at fault? Both the legislators, who should jump up and down and REFUSE to vote on the bill till it's been debated on and gone over AND President Pookie for making such a stupid demand. Legislators from both parties are to blame but the democrats seem to have taken the attitude that if you thought the republicans were doing a bad job of legislating, you ain't seen nothing yet. The number of huge bills that have been jammed down congresses throats with NO TIME given to debate them seems to have increased exponentially. Republicans are not the end-all-be-all (as you seem to think that President Pookie is) but all the democrats have done is given more credence to the fact that we have to vote the stupid democrats out.

    BTW – did I mention Barrack Obama is the worst president EVER!

  32. Accurate – are you familiar with how Medicare Part D was "legislated"?

    me think you have a bit of a double standard here…

    where was your outrage when the Republicans were pulling the same maneuvers?

    besides – the Republicans did not want to actually READ the bill – they were looking for procedural road blocks – like they have in other legislation – like the Start Treaty, the food safety law, don't ask, don't tell, etc, etc.

    If you want to make changes to things like this – start with your own folks first.

    That way you can't be accused of mere partisan belly-aching..

    which is really the complain here.

    Remember the original Bush Tax cuts ? passed by reconciliation? eh?

    Remember the 1993 Health Security ACT? A REPUBLICAN legislative proposal for Universal health care with a individual mandate – co-sponsored by the likes of Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey?

    Medicare Part D – votes were taken back after the vote was tallied.. as one of your heroes Tom Delay threatened retribution on his own party members if they did not do as they were told – and at 3 a.m. in the morning he had bullied enough of his own folks to reverse the earlier vote.

    Is that the kind of legislating that you prefer to the process undertaken with Obama_Care?

    ha ha ha

    these are the guys you want back in charge?

    and they will show us how to do it "right"?

    ha ha ha.. and you prefer this to "soviet style" governance?


  33. " The number of huge bills that have been jammed down congresses throats with NO TIME given to debate them seems to have increased exponentially."

    only in the pea brains of the partisan blather butts unless you can provide a credible cite….

    and no.. Hannity does not count as a credible source….

  34. Anonymous Avatar

    We need one set of rules that apply irrespective of which party controls Congress, one house of Congress, or the White House.


  35. well we sort of have one set of rules – that was my point – we just don't like them.

    the rules, unfortunately for both sides as often as not, involves scummy, unethical behavior and other unsavory shenanigans – not a new thing – been going on for decades.

    The two parties are locked in a political cage fight right now and us voters are little more than the cleaning crew who get to wipe up the blood spatter at the end of the match.

    As long as we have a two-party system and unlimited anonymous campaign money – used to fund mis-information campaigns – that actually work because many of us are just too damn lazy to look beyond the sound bites – we'll get the government that we deserve.

    Probably not one American in 10 can tell you the difference between deficit and debt much less the numbers.

    But with respect to health care.

    The Democrats have never made a secret about their views about health care.

    They have never tried to fool Americans on their health care agenda.

    They supported Medicare, MedicAid, EMTALA, SCHIPS, Hillary_Care and Obama_Care and never made a secret about it and always intended to pass as much of it as they good – the way that most legislation passes including the legislation that Republicans pursue on their dime.

    The Republicans have never made a secret of their opposition to all the health care programs that have passed since Medicare either – until now.

    they have pretty much been always opposed to govt-sanctioned health care – from the very first days of Medicare where Ronald Reagan himself railed against it.

    …. continued

  36. part II:

    The problem I have TODAY is that the Republicans say they support health care – and they really don't.

    If the Republicans admitted that they oppose healthcare – if Eric Cantor would come out and honestly support the true Republican feelings about health care – he'd get smashed to smithereens at the next election- and he knows it.

    so the Republicans – rather than stand forthrightly for their long-standing principles – basically lie and then attack the Democrats over really dumb things like multi-page legislation pushed through the legislative process .. something both sides do fairly routinely if they can.

    So the Republicans won't stand for what the believe – nope – they attack the process – the same process they also use when they push legislation.

    No debate on HC on the merits.

    And the reason why is pretty simple.

    It's not what the majority of American citizens support.

    But.. the Republicans simply do not want to represent the view of the majority – they want to pursue a distinctly minority agenda that does not have the support of the country – but they won't admit it and their tactics are disinformation and attacking the legislative process – to the point of obstructing it if they can.

    That's why I am derisive of the Republicans these days.

    It used to be – that the Republicans had a fiscally-conservative wing who were social moderates and that wing would compromise.

    That wing even sponsored health care legislation in the past.

    But the Republican Party today has no such scruples.

    They've run the moderates out of the party as they embrace a distinctly tea party mentality.

    They have become essentially guerrilla vandals… who ..engage in a slash and burn political tactics – rather than work for compromise.

    they're just plain pitiful.

    Standing up and arguing that Democrats are opposed to Christmas in the midst of the Start Treaty shows just how low some of them have sunk.

    John McCain flip flopping on everything from immigration to don't ask – don't tell…

    The Republicans had ample opportunity since the time they shredded Hillary_Care to put implement their vision of health care – and the truth be known – they did exactly that – because at their core – they oppose the govt's involvement in health care anyhow – they just won't be honest enough to admit it.

    I they admitted it – they'd be relegated to pretty much permanent minority status.

    but the idea of the Republicans whining at the Dems using the same legislative tactics that the Republicans use – is laughable.

    we already have one set of rules – in basketball -they call it elbowing your opponents on the way to stuffing the basket.

    I doubt that we every outlaw it but if we did – you can bet the Republicans would squeal something fierce.

  37. Anonymous Avatar

    Larry, back up the truck. Obama told the American people that the sums a person who refuses to purchase health care insurance were not taxes, but a penalty. The U.S. Justice Department has been arguing to courts that the sums are taxes. That is not right and plain dishonest. Both parties want power. That doesn't mean every Democrat and every Republican is so inclined. But Washington, D.C. is such a filthy sewer of lobbyists practicing in the dark that few can remain uncorrupted.


  38. the issue over taxes or penalties is semantics.

    If you don't pay your FICA … TAXES – you WILL BE SUBJECT to PENALTIES.

    Obama does not what to admit it i a tax – so what?

    How many other politicians don't like to use the word tax and say "user fees" or even "read my lips" ..or "deficits don't matter".

    This is bean counting for bean counting sake here.

    All politicians – at least all that I've ever seen engage in semantics.

    Again – I don't excuse it – but to say that Obama is the only one who has done it is just patently ridiculous.

    You don't like Obama_Care.


    but these word games are silly.

    There was/is no question about the INTENT of the policy – to REQUIRE people to have insurance or pay a tax/penalty.

    FICA is a TAX but FICA is ALSO a Premium FEE and if you fail to pay it – you will get a penalty.

    It's okay to disagree on the merits – don't like the government charging for health care – fine – oppose it – on that basis…

    but to call this President any more or less of a "liar" on taxes is just totally off target IMHO.

    Mr. McDonnell said he wasn't go to raise taxes – what did he do?

    Mr. Bush I – said "no more taxes" – what did he do?

    Ronald Reagan said the Govt is the problem – what did he do? He raised taxes.

    Bush II did not raise taxes – nope – but he did what McDonnell is doing – shifting those costs to debt – which is future taxes.

    If you're going to condemn politicians for not sticking to every "promise" they made – get ready to give the same treatment to all of them – not …engage in double standards on the issue.

    that's my 2 cents + …

  39. Anonymous Avatar

    Larry, under the American system of law, words have meanings. There is a big difference between taxes, fees, and penalties. Some of these items may have the same economic impact, but they do have meanings.

    The attempt to permit the North Virginia Transportation Authority to levy taxes was struck down by the Virginia Supreme Court because only the General Assembly or elected local bodies can levy taxes.

    The FCC can impose civil penalties and charge fees (both regulatory and service), but cannot levy taxes. So it makes a big difference what something is. The FCC could impose an obligation on carriers to pay universal service fees because a federal court determined Congress did not intend them to be taxes.


  40. I'm not in 100% disagreement with your view ..there is SOME distinction but in my view for all practical purposes the govt is charging you money to pay for insurance it will provide if you don't yourself.

    The basic difference between Medicare and Obama_Care is that with Medicare – you have no choice.

    You MUST pay the FICA "tax" which is basically a premium fee – just like you'd pay if you had a lifelong dental or eye glasses plan (which Medicare does not cover).

    My view is that we could easily call the FICA TAX a "fee" and it would not change the essential meaning of what it is for or the fact that it is imposed by the govt as opposed to letting you go out and buy your own insurance for your medical care after retirement.

    Here's what is inevitable for virtually everyone.

    We all need Medical Care.

    and here is what causes the problem.

    Right now – if you don't buy health insurance – we (the taxpayers) will treat you for free. (EMTALA).

    If that law was not in place, then I might actually agree with those who opposed govt-imposed health insurance.

    But as long as the govt – REQUIRES You and me to pay for medical care for others – then we should do it the most cost-effectively way possible – and the worst of the options is treatment at an ER.

    I see Obama_Care the same way as I do FICA – a forced savings plan – to protect other taxpayers from those who will not purchase their own insurance.

    Obama_Care is very similar to Homeowners Insurance.

    If you want a loan – then they "force" you to buy homeowners insurance – to PROTECT THEM – to protect others from having to pay higher rates because the mortgage on your home that burnt down is now worthless and everyone will have to pay more for their mortgages to make up the difference.

    When someone does not buy health insurance – they are imposing an unfunded liability on other taxpayers – because at some point – they will need medical care – and they'll expect others to pay for it.

    This is the same exact logic behind Social Security and Medicare.

    It would be nice if people set aside enough money – over the lifetimes to pay for their retirement – but we know many will not – and because they won't – the rest of us will get the bill.

    so the govt deals with the issue proactively by requiring people to pay into a plan.

    They call it a FICA TAX but it's also a forced health and pension insurance premium.

    It's INSURANCE rather than a FUND because – you get your benefits no matter how long you live – even if you outstrip the money you paid into it over your lifetime – and at the same time – if you die early before getting any benefits – your heirs get nothing.

    FICA and ObamaCare are Insurance PREMIUMS – no matter whether we call them taxes or fees or penalties.

    I think ultimately the courts will not focus on the words but rather the concept of whether or not the Federal Govt has the authority to make you pay for insurance – as a proactive protection for other taxpayers who would end up paying if the govt did not force savings.

  41. This is a long way from over. Conservatives really have no basis for complaint, since they proposed this in 1993.

    Besides, health care is now such a huge part of the economy, it is hard to see how the commerce clause would not apply.

  42. We have established that Groveton, and maybe some others value American lives more than foreign lives.

    If we can now decide how much more, then we can put an cost effective imit on how much we should spend for border protection, and all of international diplomacy and foreign aid as well.

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