Remittances Abet Mexican Officials’ Irresponsible Behavior

George W. Grayson, Center for Immigration Studies, September 2013

Introduction

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From 1997 to 2012, an executive-legislative deadlock impeded decision-making by Mexico’s national government. Like nature, politics abhors a vacuum. Several groups filled the political void: Televisa, TV Azteca, and other media networks, multinational corporations, drug cartels, and venal boss-ridden labor organizations such as the Oil Workers Union (STPRM), the National Syndicate of Educational Workers (SNTE), and the radical National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE), which invaded Mexico City in September with 20,000 firebrands. Until the late-20th century, the nation’s 31 governors, the mayor of Mexico City, and many of the 2,435 municipal presidents typically played second fiddle to the president, finance and government secretaries, and key legislators. The stalemate, which began in 1997, transformed them from vassals to barons of their fiefdoms. Analyst Luis Rubio astutely observed that “Mexico is the only country that has evolved from a monarchy to feudalism.”

State executives may argue over abortion laws, the pros and cons of DF (Mexico City) statehood, and the legalization of marijuana in their bailiwicks. However, they agree completely on the importance of a generous immigration reform by U.S. decision-makers. At a meeting of Mexico’s National Commission of Governors (CONAGO), Eruviel Ávila Villegas, Mexico State’s chief executive and the group’s foreign affairs spokesman, emphasized the importance of the pending legislation. He stressed that “we must directly strengthen our international cooperation with governments and social organizations” in concert with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE). At the same time, the state leaders agree with Chihuahua’s free-spending Governor César Duarte Jáquez that the construction of a new wall between Mexico and the United States would be an “aberration”, even as his own country gropes for an effective deterrent to Central Americans and other foreigners crossing Mexico through Guatemala and Belize.

This Backgrounder (1) analyzes the windfall that state and local officials receive from remittances of Mexicans living abroad; (2) illustrates the irresponsible and illegal actions of state executives who receive 90 percent of their budgets from the federal government, even as they spurn using the taxing powers at their disposal; and (3) highlights the formal and informal powers exercised by the new viceroys.

I. Windfall from Remittances

During the first six months of 2013, the influx of dollars from abroad dropped 10.77 percent, which reflected sluggish growth in both Mexico and the United States. Nonetheless, the $10.7 billion influx from abroad allowed states to reduce outlays on education, health care, housing, nutrition, roads, bridges, environmental protection, and public safety for their citizens, many of whom live in hardscrabble poverty. Needless to say, they do not assess property and irrigated fields at the market value, and nine times out of 10 do not collect these taxes in order to ingratiate themselves with powerful and affluent supporters. Table 1 indicates the remittances received in the first halves of 2012 and 2013.

Remittances

 

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Conclusion

The debate over immigration reform has focused on its relevance for the United States and the illegal aliens who live within its borders. The discussion has failed to illuminate how the $21 billion in remittances helps corrupt, spendthrift governors and mayors divert public funds that could be used to address critical needs of their poorest citizens. Nor has attention zeroed in on the ubiquitous waste of resources on white elephants, unbid pharaonic projects beset by cost overruns and shoddy workmanship, outlays to friends and family members, and the sybaritic lifestyle, if not criminal actions, of elected officials. For example, the state government acted so slowly during the September 2013 deadly Hurricaine Ingrid that the notorious Gulf Cartel provided milk, juices, water, corn, and other foodstuffs to victims in Aldama and other municipalities in southern Tamaulipas state, which lies below Texas.

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  • Erasmus

    Guess what? Our nation’s “leaders” want to help them.

    By aiding and abetting the hostile take-over of this country, our nation’s “leaders” are now the only threat greater to the well-being of this country’s citizens than the illegal aliens themselves.

  • WmarkW

    Mexico has achieved the politician’s dream articulated by Monty Python:
    “I would tax foreigners living abroad.”

  • Spartacus

    “Mexico is the only country that has evolved from a monarchy to feudalism.”

    ———————————————————————————————————————

    That’s because they’re a very special kind of stupid .

  • Extropico

    We pay foreign government officials to encourage their people to invade America. Nothing could possibly go wrong there. I hope Texas goes blue while Dubya is alive to see it.

    • Luca

      I hope they secede and clean house.

      • Extropico

        Ha. Texans are dangerous people because the free oil money gives them the false bravado of a Middle Eastern emir. That oil money has made many very soft while presenting a fierce front of independence.

  • Puggg

    The discussion has failed to illuminate how the $21 billion in
    remittances helps corrupt, spendthrift governors and mayors divert
    public funds that could be used to address critical needs of their
    poorest citizens.

    They don’t talk about the other kind of remittances that mass immigration brings about, one that studies show is a $300 billion to $450 billion a year remittance from the not rich to the rich.

  • Rick Brooks

    The elites in Mexico have decided that the easiest and cheapest way of alleviating poverty in their own country is to simply export to ours.
    And when you start to compare the racial background of these elites with the peasants who end up migrating, things couldn’t be more stark. Most of the former happen to be whites and castizos (mostly white mestizos), while virtually all of the latter are indigenous Indians and mestizos. It would be like us deciding to export our poorest and most destitute (who are largely black) to Canada. But our elites are too blinded by PC to pick up on this scheme being used by our southern neighbor. When former president Vicente Fox says that illegals do the work that “even blacks won’t do,” I think it’s pretty clear that the consensus in Mexico in regards to race is such, that if you were to put their elites under hypnosis and ask them if there were biologically influenced race differences in IQ, they’d largely nod in agreement.

  • joesolargenius

    All the third world countries are exporting their undesirables to other countries just like the Africans did hundreds of years ago, and just look at that result !

  • LIBERTYSINCURSION

    The illegal invaders have insidiously burrowed their parasitic selves straight into Uncle Sam’s pocket where they act as one enormous siphon. Sucking up portions of America’s ailing economy and dumping it into the pockets of Mexico’s ultra corrupt political controlers. Which is just one more reason on top of hundreds and hundreds of other reasons. Why the illegal alien invaders must be torn from the tit of Uncle Sam’s underbelly, and booted clear across the border to the lovely city of “WherevadeylanIdongivadam” Mexico. Good bye, parasite!