August 31, 2011 2:28 pm ET - by Walid Zafar
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) appeared on Frank Gaffney's radio program yesterday to discuss the ongoing conflict in Libya and the recent announcement by the Obama administration that it would prioritize deportation proceedings by focusing on criminals. Gohmert, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, told Gaffney that the change in policy is part of a larger push by the administration to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants in order to secure more voters for the president's reelection campaign, adding that "immigration is now one more thing where he is making us like a Third World, corrupt country, where the rule of law is tossed aside and it's not equal application of the law, it's who you know that gets you by."
Gohmert offered several examples to back up his claims of favoritism: General Motors, the largest corporation in the country, is not paying its fair share in taxes; BP, the oil company responsible for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, was allowed to drill despite its spotty safety record; and the Obama administration is giving waivers to states unable to meet the onerous provisions of No Child Left Behind. In each of these cases, Gohmert charged, the administration is involved in crony capitalism.
GOHMERT: This is crony capitalism. He had pushed for higher taxes and yet for cronies like General Electric, he sets it up where they don't have to pay taxes. Where there were laws and regulations requiring certain safety performance in the Gulf of Mexico, they allowed British Petroleum, with over 800 violations, to just keep operating until they nearly destroyed the gulf. When it comes to education, he vilified Bush, and I think properly because of No Child Left Behind, and that it was too much federal and then he comes in and establishes even more federal control and gives waivers to his cronies on education. So immigration is one more thing where he is making us like a Third World corrupt country where the rule of law is tossed aside and it's not equal enforcement of the law but who you know that gets you by.
Gohmert is being dishonest, not just in misrepresenting the administration's policies but also by not acknowledging how his own ideology contributed to or created the problems he decries.
Conservative free-marketers like Gohmert want to reduce the corporate tax rate significantly or eliminate it entirely. Earlier this year, Gohmert was asked to comment on news that corporations, such as GE, pay little to nothing in corporate taxes. "What I'd rather do is get rid of corporate income tax so that we can bring back all those manufacturing, steel, rubber, all these things that have gone to other countries because of a 35% corporate income tax," Gohmert told the reporter.
In the case of BP, Gohmert has been one of the strongest proponents of offshoring drilling. In the days and weeks after the spill, the conservative media defended BP, with some voices characterizing an investigation into the company as a "witch hunt." For his part, Gohmert took to the House floor last June and read approvingly from an op-ed comparing the administration's efforts to hold BP liable to the policies of Adolf Hitler.
Lastly, the Department of Education recently announced that it would grant waivers to testing standards under No Child Left Behind. All states are being encouraged to apply for the waiver, but the New York Times reported that "only states the administration believed were carrying out ambitious school improvement initiatives would get them." The "cronies" that Gohmert is talking about, then, are states seeking relief from the unrealistic provision of a federal law that Gohmert himself concedes is flawed.
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