Conservatism is nothing if not the recognition that actions have consequences.
Let's talk about consequences. Conservatism is nothing if not the recognition that actions have consequences. That policies have costs.
In an appearance on Fox News Sunday, conservative columnist George Will had some harsh words for those who insist that the waves of migrant children crossing the border from non-contiguous nations in search of asylum.
“We ought to say to these children, ‘Welcome to American, you’re going to go to school and get a job and become Americans,’” Will insisted.
He seemed to suggest that those who advocate for the deportation of South and Central American minors underestimate America’s power to assimilate foreign-born populations.
“We have 3,141 counties in this country. That would be 20 per county,” he added.
Of course they're not going to go 20 per county. But suppose they do. What is the cost to a county of suddenly having to implement Spanish language translations and translators or providing a new raft of social and legal services?
That cost will come out of property taxes. And the county will ask for help from the State and Federal governments. And they'll provide it.
Now George Will is advocating a perfectly commonplace liberal position here. The problem is that he's also advocating conservative fiscal positions and the two don't go together.
You can't have liberal social welfare policies and conservative fiscal policies. This one is really a no brainer. It's the ultimate no brainer.
We're not even talking about the absurdity of some libertarians who want open borders and no welfare state. George Will is essentially advocating for open borders, a welfare state and fiscal conservatism.
Let's set aside the political demographics. The basic thing is that you're not going to be able to settle tens of thousands of teenagers (they aren't 8-year-olds with teddy bears) without spending a lot of whole taxpayer money.
So let's be honest about that.
There's lots of talk about having religious organizations do it. Religious organizations are already largely handling refugee resettlement. And the costs get passed down to taxpayers anyway. The "religious organization" is not going to educate those teens. It's not going to pay the judges and the social workers. It's going to come down to the taxpayer.
And if you support that, then you don't support fiscal conservatism.
You support a welfare state.