The Kennedys have for the past 60 years been one of the most idolized families in America. Joseph Kennedy converted his ill-gotten gains from bootlegging into a legal fortune. He then unleashed his sons into the political world. This is when his son John changed America in one way and then his younger brother Teddy in another way. We are still paying the price for both today.
President John Kennedy won his election by slightly more than 100,000 votes nationally. The election was particularly close in Illinois. With the help of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley who delivered for Kennedy with heavy turnout by union membership. That may have been a harbinger for what happened once Kennedy became president.
In 1958, Mayor Robert Wagner made New York City the first significant government to legalize public employee unions. The state of Wisconsin followed in 1959. The real floodgate happened when, on January 17, 1962, JFK signed an executive order allowing for unionization of federal employees. Since that time, 75% of the states have legalized collective bargaining for public employees. In 2009, public employees surpassed the private sector in the number of members they have in unions.
Along with this union membership came the fact that many governments make it near impossible to fire employees, no matter their actions. You cannot find out about the results of complaints against employees. What’s worse is in many governments the unions (which provide huge campaign donations to elected officials) have negotiated excessive and unsustainable pension and health benefits. Public employees in many areas make far greater compensation than the residents who pay the taxes in those areas. This has manifested itself in the need for revenues generated by ridiculous fees, parking ticket costs and prohibitive traffic fines. The dispute over additional COVID funding is largely about funding the excessive cost of public union employees who maintained their positions during the pandemic while others suffered.
The granddaddy of tax limitations once again was challenged in California. The challenge to 1978’s famous Proposition 13 that limited increases in the state’s property taxes and started a national revolution against soaring taxes failed. It was arguably the most important issue on the ballot in California as interest in the presidential election garnered less action because of the skewed registration for Democrats in California.
Who funded the opposition to this proposition? Principally building owners. They were branded as “wealthy people” or “rich” corporations. Who should have funded the opposition? Every one of us. Every office building lease has a clause that allows for the pass through to the tenants of these significant tax increases. The building owners will pay next to nothing.
Who was the principal funding source in favor? You guessed it – public employee unions. The funds would have gone in their pockets. The estimated annual tax increase was $8-12 billion. This is the biggest symbol of the fact our so-called “public servants” are at war with our bank accounts. They want your money in their bank accounts.
This is what John F. Kennedy brought to America – a war between our citizens and our employees and we can’t even fire them.
Let’s now look at what Senator Ted Kennedy did to radically alter another part of America.
In 1962, Edward Kennedy won election to fill the seat that his brother, the President, once held. Though he was a rookie senator, his brothers were president and attorney general respectively of the country. By 1965, Senator Kennedy had tragically lost his older brother but gained the chairmanship of the Senate Immigration subcommittee. Though not an author of the 1965 Immigration Bill, Kennedy and his AG brother worked hard to pass a bill which they pitched as something their deceased sibling would have wanted.
The promised law — while restructuring the origin of our immigrants – would supposedly keep control over the number of legal immigrants entering the country. Yet in the first 30 years of the law, the number of immigrants increased by three-fold compared to the previous 30 years. That amounts to 18 million people. Just last year 843,000 people became American citizens.
More importantly, it changed the basis of deciding who would enter the country. Family reunification became the centerpiece of our immigration law. The law established eight criteria for selection. Four of the top five criteria were family related with #3 being professionals and scientists along with artists of exceptional ability.
Thus, not only did a flood of new immigrants come into the country, but they were also not of our choosing. The newly minted U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien did. These newcomers needn’t have skills nor be able to support themselves. Once here and gaining citizenship or permanent resident alien status, they could then bring in their relatives creating a string of family members stemming from the entrance of one person.
This law has been in place for 55 years with little chance of major alteration. We do have certain programs allowing for skills-based entrance, but still the most significant number of immigrants are decided by the immigrants themselves. We now have 47 million immigrants here legally and we have very little say on capping this amount each year. This isn’t about race or heritage. This is about deciding who becomes part of our country. Senator Kennedy told us back in 1965 this would not happen.
That in no way means most legal immigrants do not add to our country. Rather it is to say there sure are a lot – the most in our history. We don’t get to say whether they must have skills or are self-supporting. We are lied to that they don’t receive government benefits. Maybe they did not 55 years ago, but they now receive multiple forms of government paid resources.
The interesting part of this is the two populations have begun to cross over. Nothing like moving half-way across the world to go to work for the government. Immigrants used to come here to start and build businesses. Now many go to work for the government.
When a tax auditor contacts me, I often cannot understand the person because of a heavy accent. My clients are in jeopardy If I cannot clearly understand the auditor. This makes no sense except in the world of certain people who think this somehow benefits Americans.
We hear about the great sacrifices the Kennedys made for this country. Many generations later they still don’t appear to have a need for a real job so they continue to run for public office.
The most significant legacy of these Kennedy brothers are these major alterations to our way of life. No one wants to focus on the ramifications of what they have done. After all, they are Kennedys.