Which criminals cost us more?

I spent a blissful five days without the Internet last week, except for what I could get and transmit from my phone, which I could only use outside in 95-degree heat.

I had to rely on television news — in Texas — for my information. All it did was piss me off.

Early in the week, one local station promised an investigative report on illegal immigrants.

“They come into this country and commit crimes. They get arrested and cost U.S. taxpayers money. How much? Tune in to hear the whole story.”

Probably each undocumented alien who gets arrested — which is a small number compared to the number who are here — costs us a few thousand dollars.

Compare that to the Wall Street moguls who destroyed our economy. They cost us billions, and not one of them went to jail for their activities. In fact, they’re still doing the same things they did before the economy crashed, and those of us who have to work for a living and pay taxes to fund two wars are losing our jobs and our homes at rates not seen since the 1930s.

And how about BP Oil? They spilled millions and millions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, killing birds, fish and other wildlife, poisoning salt marshes and estuaries where sea creatures reproduce. The oil is still there, even though we can’t see it. It will affect the sea life and the livelihoods of people along the coast for generations to come. That cost us taxpayers billions, too.

No one went to jail for that, either. In fact, the oil companies are making record profits as we who have less income pay ever more at the pump. There are promises to investigate that, but nothing’s being done yet.

It’s not new — as my father was dying from emphysema in the 1980s, tobacco company executives were testifying before Congress.

“No sir, I don’t believe nicotine is addictive,” they said as the committee members nodded and pretended to believe.

That bastard didn’t get charged with perjury, even though we all know he was lying.

Illegal immigration is down because our economy is a mess. Still, the wealthy want us to blame someone other than the real culprits for our economic woes. They want to distract us from the real issues, and most of the media follow merrily along, holding the shiny object of illegal immigration in front of us while corporations and their minions steal us blind.

Tune in at 11 for more shine objects.

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