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File this under more wrong headed thinking.
Postcards from the Lege 1/22/07
Patrick, R-Houston, filed Senate Bill 268 which would place a fee on money wired out of Texas to any foreign country. The 10-percent fee on wire transactions under $5,000 would be collected to provide funding for border security.
So what’s wrong with this legislation? Let’s start with the fact that’s it’s basically foreign trade policy and the state of Texas has no authority to negotiate foreign policy on behalf of the U.S. Allowing states to start imposing a tax on international money transfers would be a nightmare for the federal government. Why would Texas or any border state be the only state allowed to take a cut of the billions of dollars that are sent out of this country. Every state would surely want a piece of that action.
Then let’s get into the cost of bureaucracy of the legislation. There isn’t a fiscal note on this bill yet, but there surely will be. The bill calls for banks and wire transfer services to file paperwork and monies remitted to the Comptroller and have the Comptroller deposit funds in a special account for border security.
Oh and to make the bill more palatable to American citizens who just might have to wire money outside the country, they can go through some more bureaucracy to apply for a refund of their fees with the Comptroller. Maker sure you have your copy of your birth certificates you lazy slackers.
Here’s the only safety valve on this type of legislation
Patrick’s bill: SECTION 4. This Act takes effect immediately if it receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this Act takes effect September 1, 2007. Reality: This bill never takes effect because it never passes in the Senate so long as Democrats control 11 of the 31 votes. The 2/3 rule is still in effect for the Senate this session, and that essentially means the the Democrats alone can block putrid immigration bashing legislation like this from ever coming to the floor for a vote.