Do We Need A Wall?

8 months ago Citizen#7 0

Immigration is an issue near and dear to our President. He has attributed many of our countries ills to those who illegally enter into our country. He has proposed to build a wall to prevent people entering the US through Mexico.

President Trump has said different things at different times about the “Wall” he plans to build. At times he has said a fence would do and then reversed himself and said it must be a wall.

Currently there is a 653 mile long fence on the border that cost about 2.3 billion dollars to build. Initially Trump said the wall or wall fence would cost about 8 billion to build but has since revised his estimate to $10 to $12 billion.

MIT looked into the costs of building a wall 50 feet high above ground, 15 feet below ground for the foundation, 1 foot thick with the required structural steel or “Rebar” would cost somewhere between $27- $40 billion to construct.

President Trump has said repeatedly that Mexico will pay for the wall. Mexico has repeatedly said it would not pay for the wall.

The Republican Party has helped President Trump by coming up with something called the “Border Adjustment Tax”. The proposed tax plan drops corporate tax from 35 percent to 20 percent and applies the tax based on the location of consumption rather than the location of production. It would do this through a “border adjustment” that exempts exports while taxing imports.

Under the plan, all imports coming into the United States would be subject to the 20 percent tax, but exports would have the tax refunded — making them tax-free. President Trump has said he doesn’t love the border adjustment tax but he doesn’t have any other way to pay for the wall that doesn’t come back to consumers – Americans paying for the wall that Mexico has steadfastly refused to pay for the wall.
More than 160 countries around the world have a “border adjusted” value added tax (VAT).

The Wall Street Journal quoted Economist Martin Feldstein who says.He the border adjustment would raise hundreds of billions in tax revenue — not from U.S. consumers or corporations, but from our foreign trading partners. Under the border adjustment, the United States would refund the tax on exports and charge it on imports — so the net revenue would be negative if we had a trade surplus, and positive if we had a trade deficit. Because the United States has a trade deficit, Feldstein calculates the border adjustment would bring in about $120 billion a year, or $1 trillion over a decade.
We have a large trade deficit with Mexico. The U.S. trade deficit in goods with Mexico was $60.7 billion in 2015 and is expected to be around $65 billion in 2016. So if Mexican imports are taxed at a rate of 20 percent, the United States would raise about $13 billion a year in revenue from Mexico via the border adjustment.

The question that remains is, Will the “Wall” make us safer? and “Is the “Wall” necessary?”

A PEW research study shows between 2009 – 2014 there has been a net decline of 140,000 Mexican people in the US. The primary reason they are leaving cited is family reunification

According to an article in Politico dated 1-25-17 a former senior Homeland Security official who served under both Presidents Bush and Obama said:

The US  dramatically strengthened enforcement by tripling the size of the Border Patrol, deploying drones and, yes, constructing hundreds of miles of fence along the border. It’s now hard to cross, and the economics of human smuggling show this: It now costs 12 times more in real dollars to hire a “coyote” than 15 years ago. That’s dramatic bipartisan progress in securing our border, although you wouldn’t have known it from last year’s presidential campaign.

More importantly, Mexico has changed. Over the past two decades, it has grown into the world’s 11th largest economy, deeply integrated with ours through cross-border infrastructure and supply chains, all facilitated by binational efforts to reduce barriers to commerce at the border. As a result, there are good jobs for Mexicans in Mexico — and, thus, more reasons for Mexicans to stay. This was certainly true during our economic crisis of 2008-09, but it remains true today.

As to making us safer…

There are numerous tunnels that begin in Tijuana and end in warehouses in San Diego near the border. It’s through those tunnels that the cartels pump drugs and weapons into the United States. It’s through those tunnels that truly dangerous or vulnerable people are smuggled. It’s that issue that should be receiving the president’s attention.

Based on the evidence it is hard to conclude that the US needs a border wall along our Southern Border. It is not a solution to making us safer and recent trends in the number of illegal immigrants from Mexico is a net loss. So there is no need for this wall.

Add to that the decrease in school lunch programs, health care funding and the many other social programs being cut it seems like our money could be better spent attending to real issues impacting citizens.

 

Sources:

More Mexicans leaving than coming to the US

Trump’s Border Wall Attacks The Wrong Immigration Crisis

Bad Math Props Up Trumps Border Wall

Trump’s Wall Won’t Make Us Safer