Transcript: 2013 Katz Award


Reporter exposed IRS payment of billions to illegal aliens

Table of Contents

View Bob Segall's Entire Award Winning Series
View the 2013 Katz Award Ceremony Video
View Past Katz Award Winners


Welcome:

John Wahala, Assistant Director, Center for Immigration Studies

Speakers:
Bob Segall, Investigative Reporter, WTHR;
Marguerite Telford, Director for Communications, CIS
Mickey Kaus, Blogger and Author

Transcript by Federal News Service Washington, D.C.


JOHN WAHALA: Good afternoon and welcome to the 2013 Eugene Katz Award. My name is John Wahala, and I’m assistant director of the center. And I’m a new face because I’m filling in for Mark Krikorian, our executive director, who could not be here today because he has been going from event to event since the Senate began their latest attempt to radically transform our immigration system. We barely see him in the office. Right now Mark is debating Grover Norquist at another event – (laughter) – so he could not be here today.

We began, as the center, presenting the Katz Award in 1997. The aim was to honor a recipient who demonstrated fair, neutral and informative reporting on the issue. Too often, as you all know, reporting focuses on anecdotes that are unrepresentative of the larger debate, and so as a consequence what happens is the public is given a distorted picture.

The namesake of our award is a native New Yorker who started his career, after graduating from Dartmouth and Oxford, at the Daily Oklahoman. In 1928 he joined his family business and worked as an advertising salesman for the Katz Agency. And in 1952 he became the president of Katz Communications, which was a billion-dollar – or half-a-billion-dollar, I should say – enterprise which dealt with radio and television advertising and managed a number of radio stations.

Mr. Katz was a board member of CIS and imparted a lot of wise counsel to our organization, so he was on the board until his 90th birthday in 1997. And he passed away in March of 2000. So that’s our namesake for this award.

Now, as prominent as immigration has become in the media, you would think that we have dozens upon dozens of worthy candidates to bestow this to, but unfortunately that’s just simply not the case. Most of the reporting remains formulaic and largely uninformative, but there are gems out there that are in the rough, if you’re willing to look hard, and fortunately this year we didn’t have to look too hard because we uncovered this year’s award winner for his exceptional series on systematic fraud and mismanagement, at all places, if you can imagine, the IRS. (Laughter.)

So it coincides very nicely with what’s going on today. And we are honored to give Bob Segall the award. He is from WTHR in Indiana. It’s a news radio – a news television station. And his series exposed policies within the IRS that allowed illegal aliens to receive billions of dollars of improper tax credits and refunds. For a decade, managers there within the agency encouraged tax examiners to proceed with this policy.

Mr. Segall’s 11-part series drew more than 9 million viewers and resulted in congressional actions to reform the system. So with that being said, we would like to play a clip, an introductory clip, of his long series for you all to watch. Bryan is going to put the whole series on our website and upload it for everyone to take a look at when we put the remarks of the Katz – and Mickey Kaus’ remarks as well.

View the complete award winning series

Now, before I let Mr. Segall speak, I wanted to just run down his short bio of awards, because he’s a very impressive – he’s got very impressive accomplishments. His work spans a variety of issues and has been honored with a national Emmy, more than two dozen regional Emmys, the Edward R. Murrow Award, and the DuPont Columbia Award, which is considered one of the highest honors in broadcast journalism. He is also a two-time recipient of the Peabody Award and several other honors. And now he can add the Eugene Katz Award to his long list of accomplishments. (Applause.)

Congratulations, Mr. Segall. And through technology I’m going to walk over as Mark instructed and present this to you.

BOB SEGALL: (From remote location.) Thank you. (Laughter.) Very nice. Thank you.

We really are very honored to be recognized with this award. This was a story when we first got the tip we were flabbergasted. We get tips all the time, some very legitimate, some from folks who just need a shoulder to cry on and you really don’t think there’s very much to the tip at all. We had trouble believing this tip when we got it, and once we realized that there was more to it than what we originally thought, we knew we had a story that would likely make national headlines, which it did.

I want to go back a little bit and point out that on the surface, while this is a story about mind-boggling abuse and fraud and incompetence at one of our nation’s largest government agencies, it’s really – when we step back and take a closer look at it, it’s about just the power of one person and what one individual can do, that one angry tax preparer here in the Indianapolis area who had the guts to come forward, share what seemed to be an absolutely unbelievable idea with us for a story.

Just that one individual coming forward, the impact that that can make – again, you hear the inspector general say $4 billion a year is what this issue is costing American taxpayers – over the course of five years, $20-plus billion. That’s what’s potentially at stake here. And due to some reforms that are taking place on the IRS right now, that’s what one individual could have saved all of us just by simply having, you know, the moxy (ph) and the courage to come forward.

So I think that should be inspiring to all of us. Without whistleblowers like that, without individuals like those willing to come forward, you can see that probably very little would have been done. And I’ll talk about that a little bit more in a moment.

But at time when whistleblowers are needed more than ever, we find them more and more coming under pressure not to come forward. So, you know, I think in many ways this award is really celebrating the power of the individual and the whistleblower come forward in a society where we really do need them.

When I first went and tried to look this up on the Internet, it didn’t take too long for me to realize that what this tax preparer was telling me, not only was it legitimate but there was some pretty strong evidence to back up what he was talking about. And that was in the form of an inspector general report. And we’re all pretty familiar with Russell George right now because he’s been on the news just about every day as it pertains to, you know, all these issues with the tea party having extra scrutiny in their applications to the IRS.

When I first called the IRS they wouldn’t comment at all, but I quickly found my way over to the inspector general’s office, and the one moment of this entire investigation that will stand out in my mind more than any other is the response that I got from the communications director at the inspector general’s office. She said: Mr. Segall, I have to be honest with you. I’ve been waiting years for this phone call. I’ve been waiting years for a journalist to pick up the phone and call me about this, and you’re the first one.

And that really stunned me, because you have to remember – and if you have a chance to take a look at our broader series you’ll understand – we weren’t the first ones to report on this issue. The inspector general released an initial report in 2002, again in 2007, 2009, 2011, all reports that in one way or another discussed this very issue, some specifically about this issue. And they got a little bit of media play – usually, you know, about that much in a newspaper or a passing comment on a broadcast report. But it had never really picked up any national attention.

We realized that what we needed to do – because this issue is so complex and the numbers are so mind-boggling – is we needed to put a human face on it. So the hard part of the story was going out and trying to find individuals who were taking advantage of this loophole.

And when we say “loophole” I want you to understand it’s actually – a loophole to me is something that is really a breakdown of the system, and that’s what this is. What these individuals are doing, applying for tax refunds through the IRS, they are absolutely entitled to do that. It’s just that individuals who are applying for these tax credits, well, they’re supposed to have children who actually live here in the United States, children who are actually U.S. citizens, and in millions of cases we found that isn’t happening.

So when we tried to put a face on this loophole and go out and speak to individuals in the community of undocumented workers here in Indiana, it took a little bit of convincing. What benefit would they possibly have in talking with us? And through having some very talented coworkers and translators to go out with us, we were able to help them understand, this is not a story about you individually; it’s about the system and how and why you’ve applied for these tax credits.

And when we guaranteed them that we would not show their face, we would not show their identity, they felt a little more comfortable to talk with us. And to me it’s really being able to show individuals who were using the system in the way that it was set up and able to abuse the system because the IRS was turning a blind eye to what was going on.

I think it was really the ability of our series to show those individuals and put a face on this issue which is why, within a matter of months, we actually had 13 million individuals watching this story online at WTHR.com. So many individuals – you have to understand. For a local TV station, where we might have a few hundred-thousand people watching our newscast in an evening, to get 13 (million) or 14 million people from all over the country, through just really viral word of mouth about what we had uncovered in our stories, that’s a pretty big deal for a little station in Indianapolis. So we were pretty excited about that.

What happened next after our story aired was remarkable to me, and that is that one by one by one – you know, usually I’m not an excited guy when I get a phone call from anyone at the IRS, but – (laughter) – to be getting calls from insiders, whistleblowers at the IRS, people who work there who have so much pent-up frustration to say, Mr. Segall, we have been trying to convince our bosses for years to do something about this. Day after day after day we hold up application after application that we know is fraudulent and we’re told: Process it anyway. Get it out the door. That’s not our problem. Go ahead and process and get it done.

These people couldn’t wait for an opportunity to talk. So we flew all over the country talking to IRS insiders – actually the inspectors for the IRS who see this firsthand. And, you know, it’s really when they started talking to us as well – when we had folks at the ITIN processing center in Austin, Texas, who were willing to look right in the camera and take on their bosses in a very public forum – that got the attention of Congress; that got the attention of the IRS. They couldn’t deny this anymore.

So eventually they implemented some steps to address this problem. Is it fixed? Absolutely not. You know, there’s certainly a lot more that needs to be done. But we’re grateful for the role that we were able to play in bringing this issue to the attention of the IRS. I do think it is a national issue. It’s one we didn’t stumble on. It’s one we didn’t find. It’s not one that we uncovered. We were lucky enough to be able to tell the story in a way that resonated with the public.

So we’re very pleased we were able to do that. We’re very appreciative of this award and the recognition that we’ve gotten from your organization. And again, thank you for having us be a part of your presentation here today. (Applause.)

MR. WAHALA: Mr. Segall, we’re not going to take questions. We’re going to let you go. But some of us wanted to know if you had gotten audited after your series. (Laughter.)

MR. SEGALL: We were actually in New York last week accepting a Peabody Award for this, and actually that was my – you know, we decided we’ve got a pretty good feeling that we may be audited as a result of all of this. It hasn’t happened yet but we’re certainly prepared in case that does happen.

I think right now the IRS probably has enough other issues on its plate to be worrying about – (laughter) – so we’re hoping that might – it might be later as opposed to sooner anyway.

MR. WAHALA: Well, stay tough. And again, congratulations –

MR. SEGALL: Thank you.

MR. WAHALA: – from all of us. And keep up the good work.

MR. SEGALL: Thank you. We appreciate it. (Applause.)

MARGUERITE TELFORD: Good afternoon. It’s really my pleasure this afternoon to introduce our keynote speaker. I met him for the first time several weeks ago when he was here participating in a CIS panel discussion on the ideological bias of the media in regard to immigration policy. And while he was on the panel he commented on the mainstream media’s quasi-monopoly of opinion, and I think that same – those same words could have been written by him in the 1990s when he became one of the first political bloggers.

And he started in 1997 with Slate blogging with “Chatterbox,” and then in 1999 started – which became quite famous. Most of you have probably heard of the Kausfiles, Kausfiles.com, a private blog, which if you now go to Kausfiles.com it will take you to the Daily Caller, and you can read his blog.

He also ran in the Democratic nomination against Barbara Boxer, and – well, he wasn’t successful but it did provide him as – I think he called it “the commonsense Democrat” – allowed him to showbox some of his key issues that he cares about, some of them being labor unions and the educational system. And one of them certainly is illegal immigration.

So help me welcome Mickey Kaus. (Applause.)

MICKEY KAUS: Thank you. I plan to put off talking about my Senate campaign for as long as possible. (Laughter.)

I’m going to go until Matthew Boyle over there looks bored. Actually he looks bored already. (Laughter.) Well, we’ll see. I’ll go until the majority of you look bored.

It’s not easy writing a piece that confounds or even complicates the dominant, airtight pro-immigrant, pro-immigration media narrative, not – I’m reminded of the debate over the guaranteed income in the 1968 – the Nixon administration. Not since then has the establishment come together, both parties, to firmly grasp one horn of a dilemma. The dilemma on welfare is what David Ellwood called the “helping conundrum,” which is you want to help poor single mothers, but if you give them cash, you encourage more people to become poor single mothers, or to make the decisions that put them in that position. So that’s a conundrum. What do you do?

In the late ‘60s there was a universal consensus, led by Milton Friedman on the right and Pat Moynihan, wherever he was, and a lot of Democrats, that we should just give people cash, a guaranteed income. It was very similar to what is happening now in the Senate. There were said to be majorities of both parties who were in favor of it. There was only one weird voice out in California, a guy named Ronald Reagan, who said it was a “mega-dole,” and somehow the people didn’t like it and they rose up and it was eventually defeated in a very close vote in Congress and it basically went away and we got a much more sensible welfare reform about 16 years later under Bill Clinton.

Likewise, there’s a conundrum with immigration. We’re moved by stories of undocumented poor foreign workers who are living here illegally. All other things being equal, it would be great to help them. But we know that if we give them amnesty or reward them, that will be a powerful encouragement for other people to come and do what they did.

Yet still the establishment has, for some reason, decided to grasp one horn of this dilemma and just say, well, we have to – there’s no alternative except to give citizenship to the undocumented but, you know, let’s include a lot of head fakes about enforcement to con enough conservatives into going along with our bill. So that’s the Schumer-Rubio bill. And we are still looking for our Ronald Reagan.

Now, I don’t have to tell you the pressures that will come to bear on somebody like Mr. Segall if you decide to buck this self-righteous bipartisanship. You will not receive a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. (Laughter.) The business side of your TV station or your paper will maybe let you know that you’re disrupting their new plan to expand the market penetration of the Latino community. If you’re a candidate you’ll lose big-money backers. As far as I can see there are no big-money backers on the anti-amnesty side of the question.

Above all, your friends will look at you funny. It’s not that they will assume you’re a xenophobic bigot. Although in my neighborhood they will assume you’re a xenophobic bigot – (laughter) – but I live in Venice, California where we don’t like the Prius because there’s a corporate conspiracy to bombard us with electromagnetic radiation. (Laughter.)

So that’s how left we are. But generally in the country there will a question that proceeds the assumption that you’re a xenophobic bigot, which is why do you care so much, or why are you so excited? What’s in it for you? So there’s a bit of, you know, abuse of the food stamp program or the earned income credit. If there’s no other reason for you to get so excited, well, then maybe xenophobic bigotry is the explanation.

I’ve run into that question myself. I’ve seen people looking at me funny. I’ve looked at me funny. Why am I boring my readers by blogging and tweeting constantly about how important this immigration bill is and how it can – you know, how we have to wake up to it? I’ve done it so much that one of the people I admire most, Kurt Andersen, one of the founding editors of Spy and an editor of New York, recently tweeted me saying: “Dude, nonstop monomaniacal anti-amnesty tweets? About to unfollow.” (Laughter.)

So to try to explain it to people like Kurt and to dispel the funny looks, I should explain why I’m so excited about, and angry and upset and alarmed, about this issue. It’s not because I worry that immigration reform, the reform now being considered, will further bloat the welfare state. Of course it will, but if it were the right thing to do it would be worth the cost.

It’s not because I worry that immigration amnesty will bring in millions and millions of what Jay Leno calls “undocumented Democrats” – (laughter) – and that it will doom Republicans to a California-like status in the not-so-long term. Of course it will, but I’m a Democrat; I don’t care. (Laughter.) That’s the Republicans’ problem. I am quite happy to have the debates we need over the size of government, over unionism, over taxes, over race preferences, over school choice within the Democratic Party. But, you know, if you’re a Republican, maybe you should care about that.

And it’s not because I think immigration overall will be a drag on the economy as, as some argue, the third generation of immigrants sinks into single parenthood and dependence. That might happen, but I assume for the purposes of this argument that, overall, immigrations bring a drive and a work ethic that will boost overall gross national product, dynamic scoring. Unfortunately, gross national product isn’t everything. It also matters how it’s distributed, at least and certainly at the bottom of the income distribution.

And this is the beginning of the problem, the first big problem with amnesty, because it’s very hard to believe that uncontrolled unskilled immigration won’t hurt the very people who have been screwed the most over the past three decades. That is unskilled workers, especially young people, especially high school dropouts, and especially men. They are the people who have been hurt the most by the outsourcing trend as unskilled jobs have moved abroad. Now we’re saying those unskilled jobs that have to be performed here, you don’t get those either because we’re importing people from abroad to do them.

We can debate the fine points of all the studies – the complementarity of skills, the elasticity of demand – but even if workers benefit overall but some people – let’s say, you know, some people who used to be drywall installers making $18 a hour will now become – open up a shop and employ, you know, four immigrants making $9 a hour and they’ll become entrepreneurs and make more money. Even if unskilled workers as a whole benefit overall, there will be a distinct group of unskilled workers who take big losses.

When I called Professor Lawrence Katz of Harvard to find out about all these studies, he said, well, it’s a little like what happened after welfare reform. After welfare reform in ’96 about two-thirds of poor single mothers did really well. They caught the boom of the late ‘90s. They moved up in income, maybe moved into higher income quintiles, but there was a significant minority that didn’t do well, that did worse, that fell deeper into poverty.

That was a tolerable outcome with welfare because the whole point of welfare reform was to impose a work test, to require work. And of course people who failed the work test, who didn’t work, were going to do worse. That was sort of the whole point. There is an argument for having that kind of outcome with welfare reform, but it’s not a tolerable outcome for people who work hard every day, as Jesse Jackson would put it.

I spent a lot of time – I drove up from Florida these past few days. I spent a lot of time listening to country music, both good and bad, and the theme of about half the songs, I’d say, the ones that aren’t about true love or cheating on your true love, the theme is something like this: I may not be very sophisticated, I may drive a truck, but I go to work every day and I feed my family, and it’s not easy, and there’s a dignity in that and that makes me a hero just as much as you, buddy.

That’s basically a lot of what – the sentiment that those songs appeal to, and it’s a good sentiment. The idea is that a full-time job enables a life of dignity even if it’s not an affluent life. And that assurance is what uncontrolled immigration would erode. Even if some people make the most it – even if a lot of people make the most of it – even if some waiters can make more money in tips because they have busboys filling the water glasses, they can serve more tables; even if some drywall installers open up a drywall-installing shop and employ people making $9 an hour, lots of people won’t do better.

They’ll work hard and find increasingly that they can’t make ends meet. They’re the people at the bottom. They’re the people we should care about. And either they won’t make ends meet or they’ll rely on charity and government transfers – food banks and food stamps. Neither outcome is conducive to dignity. So what’s at stake isn’t only economic equality but social equality, whether people who work every day for 40 hours can lead a dignified life.

As Ronald Reagan said in probably my favorite Reagan line – and I’m not a big fan of Reagan: We’re all equal in the eyes of God, but as Americans that’s not enough. We must be equal in the eyes of each other. President Obama said something similar in his second inaugural, which I also commend to you.

So that’s problem No. 1. Workers at the bottom get screwed. Social equality becomes harder to sustain. The second problem is related, which is America’s greatest social problem – the existence of so-called ghetto poverty, or an underclass, by which I mean a mostly minority group characterized by single-parent families, high unemployment, long-term poverty.

When we reformed welfare in ’96, we made an explicit promise to those people. We made a promise to people who might be tempted to have an out-of-wedlock child, who might be tempted to deal drugs instead of going to work at some lousy low-wage job. And we said, if you go to work, you will make – we will see to it that work pays. You will make enough money to raise your family in dignity.

And the hope was that that would encourage more people to start two-parent families, and more men in particular to decide to become breadwinners. And again, that’s a problem that unchecked immigration brutally undercuts. It’s one thing if an African-American or a Latino or a white high school dropout can look forward to a construction job paying $14 an hour. It’s another if the only jobs he or she can find pay the minimum wage or are typically filled with immigrants.

Doing the right thing used to be characterized as working for chump change. That’s what you heard when you went into an impoverished area: Why should I take that job? It’s chump change. Well, now it looks like even more chump change. It looks like more of a sucker move. And getting the quick payoff of crime and whatever – dealing drugs, selling weed, whatever – seems to look, like, better than this lousy prospect of a minimum-wage job.

And remember, it’s specifically women who welfare reform pushed into the workforce. Welfare doesn’t have much of a purchase on men. We are hoping that the jobs available to men, which would be unskilled physical jobs at the bottom, would pay enough to encourage them to take that route. And again, that’s what unchecked immigration undermines.

So the goal of ending ghetto poverty, of welfare reform, is basically hopeless if there’s continued unchecked immigration. And it’s useful to contrast two approaches to this problem. One is – and they’re both interventions in the market. I noticed Jennifer Rubin was saying, oh, well, it’s unprincipled of conservatives to actually want a border, because, you know, the free market says people should be able to cross the border at will. So they’re intervening in free choice.

Well, yes they are, but the alternative preferred by the people at the Kato Institute who are backing amnesty is let the market proceed, let unchecked immigration drive down wages; but hey, that’s OK because we’ll provide transfer payments to the losers. And I think Mr. Segall may have – you know, we’ll provide the earned income tax credit. We’ll provide food stamps. And I think Mr. Segall may have thrown a monkey wrench into this plan by stopping the flow of unearned earned income tax credit benefits to people who are at the bottom.

But look at what a job offers. A job offers pride of family breadwinning, the socializing force of going to work and having to deal with colleagues and being able to benefit from being with colleagues, and it offers money. The transfer payment strategy gives none of those things except money. And it probably creates some justified stigma and self-doubt among its recipients: Everybody else is working; why am I a charity case?

On economic grounds, the two look identical. You know, they both provide the same dollar figure to people on the bottom. On sociological grounds, the transfer strategy is a disaster because no breadwinner is going to feel pride in getting an earned income – unearned or earned – earned income tax credit check, even if it takes a good deal of guile to get it. So that’s the second point: It undermines welfare reform.

The third point is – I’m assuming in the first two points that the border security provisions of the Schumer-Rubio bill will fail. That’s a high-probability guess. Ever since the ’96 immigration reform failed because there was amnesty first and enforcement promises later, supporters of enforcement have insisted on a deal, which has always been on the table, which is secure the borders first; make sure that this wave of undocumented immigrants we’re giving amnesty to is the last one.

And then, once we see that it is the last wave, sure, then we can talk about amnesty, knowing that the border is secure enough to prevent another wave lured by the knowledge that the previous wave got in; they won. You know, if Mr. Segall’s story is right, maybe people will not only be lured by the prospect of the next amnesty, they’ll be lured by the possibility of fraudulently applying for the amnesty that already happened.

To put it another way, the prerequisite has been for Latino groups and other ethnic interest groups to abandon whatever dreams they might have had of an unending stream of border crossers, because the border is somehow irrelevant. It’s a 19th century relic, this idea of national sovereignty. And we can just look – there’s no way to stop it. As Chuck Schumer said in a recent hearing, they’re coming anyway. And the idea was to force them to bite the bullet and realize that, no, that dream is dead. You get amnesty for those that are here but from now on we have a border.

And it’s those dreams that are pointedly not abandoned in the Schumer-Rubio legislation. We can expect that whatever promises of enforcement the bill contains – and if you read it closely, there really aren’t many promises of enforcement. I mean, most of the promises are fraudulent. I can go into how the – you know, the English language requirement is you just have to go to class. The back taxes requirement is that you only have to pay your taxes if there’s already an assessment. In fact, paying your taxes might mean getting a check from the government, so maybe – (laughter) – maybe people will comply with that. There’s a lot of talk about the 90 percent requirement of enforcement along the border. Well, if you fail to reach the 90 percent, all that triggers is a toothless commission that makes recommendations then goes out of business.

So there aren’t many enforcement promises. What there are we can assume will be undermined. For example, the bill says it only applies to people who came here in 2011 and earlier. In fact, Marco Rubio is running around the country saying we’re going to deport people who came after 2012 – you know, I mean business. Is he really going to deport the millions of people that came after 2011? I don’t think so. Is he really going to deport people who fail to meet the bill’s requirement that they make 125 percent of poverty? I don’t think so. Wouldn’t that offend Latino voters just as much as not granting the DREAM Act or not granting the previous amnesty?

It would be one thing if we’d created amnesty out of pure moral concern, but it’s another – as even George W. Bush noted yesterday – if we pass amnesty in what is a bold attempt to placate a particular voting bloc. And here I have to mention my quixotic Senate run.

The one thing I learned in that – or one of the things I learned – is the whole amnesty bit in California is not about improving the economy; it’s not about bringing people out of the shadows; it’s not about tracking people. It is a crude attempt to buy Latino votes. It’s like the sex drive of the amnesty debate. Everything else – (laughter) – everything else is window dressing, OK? It’s really about getting Latino votes.

Will Latino voters be less powerful after amnesty? No, they’ll be just as powerful. Actually they’ll be more powerful because there will be more of them. They’ll need to be placated after Schumer Rubio just as before. So the idea that there’s going to be mass deportations of people that don’t qualify for Schumer-Rubio is insane. In fact, the amnesty provisions will be undermined.

So the dream of the unending flow is still alive. Why should anyone give it up? This current amnesty will be followed by demands for a succeeding amnesty and a succeeding amnesty, each of them attracting another wave of illegal immigration. By this bill we’re locking ourselves into a cycle of amnesty after amnesty. It was one thing to do it once. It’s another thing to do it twice.

So that’s why I get so excited. Schumer-Rubio is not like a tax law or even a welfare reform law that can be repealed or, in Obama’s case, waived. It promises to change America irrevocably and for the worse. It promises to make America an uglier place. We stand to lose what has made us Americans; namely our sense of social equality. In exchange we get a higher gross national product, more servants for the affluent, more transfer payments, and more Democrats. That’s not a good bargain and I hope it goes the way of the guaranteed annual income.

And please stop looking at me funny. (Laughter.) Thank you. (Applause.)

(END)