Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Costs And Paying For "The Wall"

One gets the sense listening to mockery of Trump's wall idea that the nervousness behind the jokes is just how easy it would be. The elite never want to green light it because they know it foils their multicultural plans, and it would reveal how they've been handmaidens to native displacement. That is the ultimate betrayal, and as Lawrence Auster wrote, would cause elite heads to be placed on pikes. Let us take them at their word though and consider the costs.

While discussing 50 foot walls made as thick as those of Constantinople or the Vatican is fun, let us get realistic. Let us use the Israeli border fence as the example. It is the same border fence that the Hungarians erected, and other nations are soliciting quotes. The quote to erect such a border fence from Israel was $1.9 million per kilometer. The border is 3,145 kilometers in length. That means the cost would be $5.975 billion. Let us round that to $6 billion dollars.

Let us take a moment to pause and note how small of a figure that is in today's budget. Recall that the Obama administration spent $500 million to train a handful of Syrian rebel fighters. That is 263 kilometers of the border wall. Much smaller but funnier is the $3.5 million spent on studying obese lesbians. That's two kilometers of the border wall. This $6 billion for a border wall is quaint sum compared to the wasted money we spend elsewhere. Priorities are revealed by Trump's idea. The system does not want a border fence.

Oh no how will we pay for it? This is such a tiny sum added to our multi-trillion dollar federal budget that this should not be an issue. Think of money saved not processing, feeding, sheltering and providing medical care to tens of thousands of unaccompanied child migrants. The positive consequences and secondary effects are not just economic but tangible. Let us grant the economic wizards their moment, despite their lack of care of government spending on social programs (the left) or military adventurism (the right). Paying for it would be fairly easy.

Israel gets $3 billion a year in direct aid from America. If the wall costs $6 billion, we suspend aid for two years and the wall is taken care of. Aid can resume after wall completion, but any overrun both in time and in money will be docked from aid. This might be a tough sell. After all, the Israeli firm is private while the Israeli government is a separate entity. Why punish them for one of their corporations performing a mitzvah for their great patron? Plus, this would be impossible to implement with our current media.

Here is a better idea. Mexico receives over $20 billion a year in remittances. Virtually all of this comes from America. A simple 15% tax on those remittances would pay off the wall in two years. Taxes can be refined tools or blunt instruments. taxing the transmission of money by individuals to Mexico would definitely hurt Mexico. It would not just hurt the Mexican economy, but it would hurt the recipients who would become irate with the sudden loss of 15% of what they received before. The Mexican government would probably kick in money to suppress any social unrest from the plebians since the nation flirts with the title "failed state" or "narco-state" depending on the analyst.

Why hurt the poor, little people though? Why make them pay for it when we can go for an even quicker solution that does not involve people and involves the Mexican government? Mexico can discount every barrel of oil that it sends to America. As shown above, Mexican exports of crude to the US have been dropping recently. It is still roughly 750,000 barrels per day. Say the Mexican government agrees to a $5 discount per barrel. This would mean a reduction in our crude import costs (which would help with our trade deficit) of $3.75 million per day, roughly 2 kilometers of border wall per day. At that rate in a little over 4 years, the Mexican government (PEMEX is nationalized) pays for the wall through discounted crude oil.

If you have not paid attention to the oil market, it has fallen in dramatic fashion. The world is at maximum storage capacity with supertankers doing circles in the seas to hold massive amounts of oil. It is difficult finding markets to sell to, and the producers are all going after one another to be the first to cut. Mexico would negotiate just to keep the US as a customer and secure us long term. America is never going to be oil self-sufficient, but the shale industry and technology advances both onshore and offshore have scared foreign producers that could always count on America to import more and more.

This is not an expensive proposition. I will add one more. To start up the initial fund for the wall, they could ask Americans if they'd check a box to contribute $50, $100, $250, et cetera to the "Wall Fund". How many people would give to the wall? If Indiana pizza places can raise $1 mil in one day due to the media and gays trying to destroy them, a wall to protect America can raise much more. There are ways to pay for it that would not dent our economy, and in fact, would help it. Discounted crude oil helps. Tax revenue from money leaving our nation helps. Drops in the bucket, which only prove how cheap this would be to complete. Its low cost only shows how wicked our government's priorities are.



Anonymous said...

Nice summary. Trump used to say The Wall would cost 6 Billion, which is your estimate. And he probably did the same exact calculations that you did. In recent speeches though, he has upped his estimate to "maybe 10 Billion". Nobody really noticed this, but I totally caught how clever he's being.

He'll keep saying 10 Billion. He's overestimating the cost now so he can say it came in "under budget" later. This is clearly a private sector guy with sales experience playing the game the way it should be played: under promise, over deliver.

peterike said...

I've raised the remittances issue before, though I don't remember where. Actually, you can tax remittances to all of Central America as well, as those people get here through Mexico. Make 'em all pay. But I would put remittance tax at something like 50-75%. Why? Because that functions in itself as a massive deterrent to illegal and even legal immigration. Remittances to ANY nation (also China, India, etc) should be taxed massively. They are deliberately transferring wealth out of our nation, wealth they EARN HERE. A 50% tax is cheap at the price.

But of course what's not said is how much vig the banks make off these transfers. And of course, everything in Weimerica happens to make the bankster criminals wealthier. A massive tax on wire remittances is sound, sensible policy.

Porter said...

Very good piece. I've thought for ages how comically trivial would be the cost of a wall. Approximately a one-time, one percent of the annual defense budget alone (but what does defense have to do with halting invasions?) Given that this is perhaps the most fundamental responsibility of a state, it's particularly dazzling to hear self-imagined conservatives call Trump a "Big government" liberal for proposing the expenditure.

Alexandros HoMegas said...

The Great Wall of China is a tourist attraction, the same could happen with the Great Trump Wall.

Portlander said...

Totally agreed here. Once you look at the economics of the wall, and the remittances, and the identity paper trail it takes to function in the US these days, it shows what a flat-out, bald-faced lie it all is. There are so many points on which enforcement can be brought to bear it's ridiculously trivial to tackle the problem if anyone really wanted to.

On the remittance tax, I'm on board, don't get me wrong, but look for all the libertards to come out of the wood work complaining, "Oh nooes!!! Capital controls!" And for that matter, they aren't entirely wrong. Something that starts out honestly enough as a tax on illegals, can quickly morph into a tax on natives when the SHTF.

Robert What? said...

I'm still concerned that the wall ultimately would be used by the US government to keep Americans from escaping rather than stopping migrants from coming in. If not by a Trump administration, then by the one after.

Portlander said...

"If not by a Trump administration,"

If? Really, you have to hedge?? Puh-leeze.

August said...

Once the whole military industrial complex understands how lucrative wall-sitting can be, it won't stop at the border. Baltimore? Build a wall. Ferguson? Build a Wall.

Gazafication is the process whereby our politicians, upon seeing how easy Israeli politicians have it, now want largely ineffective captive 'boogeyman' populations with which to scare the voters upon which they depend.

Anonymous said...

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach endorsed Trump today, and said the WALL is easy to pay for.... The Patriot Act has a provision that allows the US to halt remittance payments to any country. Its possible the President can just do this at will, or maybe with a friendly judge, as its already gone through congress. If that is true (haven't read the Patriot Act myself, obviously), then that is surely a remarkable bit of leverage. Don't want to pay for The WALL? Okay... you will get ZERO dollars from the US, forget tax, you'll beg us for it to be taxed. You'll get zero. Oh, you'll pay for the WALL? Splendid, thank you.