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The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is Congresswoman Ginny Brown-Waite. She gets the award for the following.

U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Brooksville, was complaining about parts of an economic-stimulus package when she referred to residents of Puerto Rico and Guam as "foreign citizens."

". . . The bill sends hundreds of millions of dollars to people who do not pay federal income taxes, including residents of Puerto Rico and territories like Guam. I do not believe American taxpayer funds should be sent to foreign citizens who do not pay taxes. Americans want an economic stimulus for Dunnellon, Brooksville and Clermont, not for San Juan or Hagatna. As the legislation moves forward, it must be changed to ensure that only federal taxpaying American citizens receive rebate checks."

Guam residents won citizenship in 1950. Puerto Ricans were granted American citizenship in 1917. They do not pay federal income taxes but do pay Social Security and other payroll taxes.

Just another member of Congress showing how ignorant they are. Less than two weeks ago, a Democratic Congresswoman got the Fed Chair and the US Secretary of the Treasury mixed. Someone serving in Congress ought to know that and who is and isn't a US citizen and what taxes they pay. After all these are among the taxpaying people Brown-Waite was elected to represent.

Update- I'll also make the point, if someone is a legal immigrant aka 'foreign citizen' and federal taxpayer, why shouldn't they be entitled to the rebate also?

Florida Congresswoman Ginny Brown-Waite is today's Knucklehead of the Day.


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Comments (12)

If it had been a Republican... (Below threshold)

If it had been a Republican that said "foreign citizens," the press and the special-interest groups would have gone nuts, with implications that the Republican is racist and thinks that citizens from Guam and PR are too "brown" be be real citizens

David,I hate to sa... (Below threshold)


I hate to say this, Ginny Brown-Waite is a republican.


Oops...meant to say that if... (Below threshold)

Oops...meant to say that if she had been a nationally-known Republican, someone who is frequently seen on TV? In other words -- a Republican that everybody identifies as an "R?"

Update- I'll also make t... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Update- I'll also make the point, if someone is a legal immigrant aka 'foreign citizen' and federal taxpayer, why shouldn't they be entitled to the rebate also?

Because it is one of the perks of actually being an American citizen. I think the American citizen already does enough for the rest of the world.
If they don't like it, if it's such a burden, then they can protest by going away and not becoming a citizen. Somehow I don't think anyone will do that.

No problem with legal resid... (Below threshold)

No problem with legal residents, aka immigrants but I'm reading now online that, your favorite people "Open Borders Bill" - illegal aliens will also be eligible for said "tax" rebates.

"No illegal amigo left behind"....remember, the USA exists for one reason - to build a greater Meh-hee-co.

The myth of a "nation of immigrants" continues.....

I give him 98% for the comm... (Below threshold)

I give him 98% for the comment. However The US territories do not collect enough income tax from their people to pay a refund . So now they will have an amendment for the Federal government to pay to cover the cost of those refunds to those territories. So now the question is how much more money will need to be borrowed to pay for this? In addition to the 35 Million who did not pay any income tax.

Those who pay it should get it those that do not should not. However we are borrowing the money now.

I also think this should be renamed to Free money because if you don't pay Federal taxes what are you getting a rebate on? This is the old Chicken in every pot. But we now do an ipod per family member.

I like no payroll taxes for 6 months. Easy to do and everyone get extra money until they hit 97K. Lower business tax rates to what Europe has now. Cut spending by eliminating duplicate agencies and mandates in government. When you resume payroll taxes all money form SS goes into an account and is removed from general Fund.

Social Security Preservatio... (Below threshold)
William Connor:

Social Security Preservation Act HR-219 would stop Congress borrowing from Social Security like they did in 2006 to the tune of $185 Billion dollars.
People wonder why there is a problem with Social Security????? H E L L O

Hello yourself, William, if... (Below threshold)

Hello yourself, William, if you think the problem with Social Security is that Congress has borrowed from it over past decades, you really don't understand the issue.

It is demographics, not loans from one part of the Federal government to another.

It isn't a "tax-rebate" if ... (Below threshold)

It isn't a "tax-rebate" if it goes to people who don't pay taxes.

It is called income redistribution.

Her point was valid as the territories are wrongfully exempt from paying taxes and so have none to 'rebate'.

It's not about the $$, but ... (Below threshold)

It's not about the $$, but the idea that for Guamanians and Puerto Ricans that live in the mainland U.S. and DO PAY fedtaxs' per Ms Miss-ed-informed Congresswoman, she still categorizes them as being Foreigners..Guamanians & Puerto Ricans when residents of the mainland U.S. are entitled to every RIGHTS a Native american or "plymouth rock" immigrants and their descendants are entitled to, to include voting for Presidency...However, when we return to our homeland, we lose those rights and become 2nd or even 3rd class citizens.. - Is it fair that our sons & daughters (maybe one day too) are DRAFTED for the Armed Forces but can't vote for the President who'll be their Commander in Chief? wow...isn't that what we "Americans" are always out doing in the other parts of the world? To instill democracy and pave the way for people to choose their own destiny and live freely? How's that for "double standards"? Our own sons & daughters of Guam are out fighting for Iraquis to to able to lead their own destiny, but their Homeland GUAM is still awaiting for their Rights for Self Determination ...having seeked Commonwealth Status since early 1990s. Am I a proud American? HUNGGAN..you betcha... after all, Dad, 3 brothers, a sister & myself..gave 102 years of Armed Force
Military Service for the sake of Freedom! So Ms. Congresswoman, before you label us "Foreigners" ever again, please take a "Poitical Science" refresher course and good luck on the next Election.. There is a large community of Guamanians in your state.. Look them out..we'll be glad to show you how Americans we are - you might learn something!!! Congratulations on your new title... KnuckleHead!

Come tell it to our faces, ... (Below threshold)

Come tell it to our faces, Ginny.

"Because it is one of the p... (Below threshold)
Juan Jimenez:

"Because it is one of the perks of actually being an American citizen. I think the American citizen already does enough for the rest of the world. If they don't like it, if it's such a burden, then they can protest by going away and not becoming a citizen. Somehow I don't think anyone will do that."

This is the winner of the Dumbya Comment of the Day. Does this person believe anyone making money in this country, regardless of status as immigrant or otherwise, should be free to choose if they pay taxes or not? This comment is typical of two things endemic in the US anglo society. 1) Not engaging the brain before opening the mouth and 2) an education system that produces "adults" who lack what everyone else gives their kids in third-grade, basic geography and thinking skills.






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