‘Shut­down’ nec­es­sary for na­tional se­cu­rity

Westside Eagle-Observer - - OPINION - By Harold Pease, Ph.D.

The fed­eral gov­ern­ment des­per­ately needs to diet. Much of our spend­ing is con­sti­tu­tion­ally du­bi­ous and it is im­moral to pass our na­tional debt, now ex­ceed­ing $21 tril­lion, to our yet un­born chil­dren. We need to re­turn to con­sti­tu­tional lim­its to gov­ern the dis­tri­bu­tion of our taxes.

The one ex­cep­tion to the diet ar­gu­ment is na­tional se­cu­rity. With­out a phys­i­cal bar­rier that works, we can­not re­main a coun­try. His­tory has demon­strated our south­ern bor­der to be too por­ous and that only a phys­i­cal bar­rier will work.

“Kick­ing the can down the road” on bor­der na­tional se­cu­rity, as both ma­jor po­lit­i­cal par­ties have done for decades, only ex­ac­er­bates the prob­lem. Our na­tional se­cu­rity now de­mands a wall.

We’ve had 20 gov­ern­ment “shut­downs” since 1977, ac­cord­ing to the Con­gres­sional Re­search Ser­vice. Most Amer­i­cans never knew when we were in one. In fact, “shut­downs” may be a good thing if they re­duce the na­tional debt, make ex­pen­di­tures more con­sti­tu­tion­ally based, or strengthen na­tional se­cu­rity.

Demo­crat op­po­si­tion to a south­ern bor­der wall (they ad­vo­cate for open bor­ders) has been the prin­ci­pal rea­son for the last two “shut­downs.” Open bor­ders are the “real” rea­son for their op­po­si­tion, but they know this will not sell with most Amer­i­cans. The other two rea­sons are that a wall won’t work and it costs too much.

But walls do work. Look at any pen­i­ten­tiary. Many of those push­ing the in­ef­fec­tive ar­gu­ment, hyp­o­crit­i­cally, live in gated com­mu­ni­ties. If walls (gates) did not work, they would not live there. China’s Great Wall suc­cess­fully kept “bar­bar­ians” out for cen­turies, and they built it with hu­man la­bor — no earth­mov­ing equip­ment — and over im­pos­si­ble ter­rain.

To­day’s 143-mile steel bor­der fence in south­ern Is­rael has stemmed the flow of il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion by 99 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu (The Jerusalem Re­port, Herb Keinon, Jan. 2, 2013). It “stopped the flood of African mi­grants into the coun­try,” end­ing “Si­nai ter­ror.” At one time 2,300 peo­ple crossed each month but, af­ter the fence, it dropped to 18, a 99 per­cent cut. Is­rael will be build­ing other walls. The wall, be­gun in Novem­ber 2010 and fin­ish­ing De­cem­ber 2012, changed ev­ery­thing.

Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu tweeted, “Pres­i­dent Trump is right. I built a wall along Is­rael’s south­ern bor­der. It stopped all il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion. Great suc­cess. Great idea.”

Democrats ar­gue that the wall costs too much but in the re­quested 2018 bud­get of $4.094 tril­lion, cer­tainly five bil­lion is but a drop in the bucket. Spend­ing be­yond our means has never been a de­ter­rent for Democrats. In the 10-year Farm Bill of 2014, they gave $3.3 bil­lion alone for a cot­ton in­come pro­tec­tion plan. Other gift-giv­ing in that nearly tril­lion dol­lar bill, con­sid­ered pork by crit­ics, in­cluded “$2 mil­lion for sheep pro­duc­tion and mar­ket­ing, $10 mil­lion for Christ­mas tree pro­mo­tion, $170 for cat­fish over­sight, $119 mil­lion for peanut crop in­sur­ance, $100 mil­lion for or­ganic food re­search, $150 mil­lion to pro­mote farm­ers mar­kets, $12 mil­lion for a ‘wool re­search and pro­mo­tion’ pro­gram, and $100 mil­lion to pro­mote the maple syrup in­dus­try.” Iron­i­cally the 949-page bill spends about $1 bil­lion dol­lars per page ($956 Bil­lion Farm Bill Loaded with Pork, Your World Cavuto).

We could eas­ily fund the wall by end­ing the fund­ing (ice cream cones) we presently give to the il­le­gals af­ter they il­le­gally cross our bor­ders, but the Democrats would never agree to this be­cause they are presently pur­chas­ing fu­ture party af­fil­i­ates. The non-par­ti­san Cen­ter for Im­mi­gra­tion Stud­ies re­cently found that “63 per­cent of nonci­t­i­zen house­holds ac­cess wel­fare pro­grams com­pared to 35 per­cent of na­tive house­holds,” cost­ing tax­pay­ers an aver­age of $73,000 per im­mi­grant over his life­time. In ad­di­tion, they found, “com­pared to na­tive house­holds, nonci­t­i­zen house­holds have much higher use of food pro­grams (45 per­cent vs. 21 per­cent for na­tives) and Med­i­caid (50 per­cent vs. 23 per­cent for na­tives).” Plus il­le­gals get cash. “In­clud­ing the EITC, 31 per­cent of non-cit­i­zen-headed house­holds re­ceive cash wel­fare, com­pared to 19 per­cent of na­tive house­holds.” If these funds were in­stead used to fi­nance a wall, such would be eas­ily funded.

As far as the cost of the wall is con­cerned, a study re­leased in Septem­ber 2017 by the Fed­er­a­tion for Amer­i­can Im­mi­gra­tion Re­form (FAIR) re­vealed that, “At the fed­eral, state, and lo­cal lev­els, tax­pay­ers shell our ap­prox­i­mately $134.9 bil­lion to cover the costs in­curred by the pres­ence of more than 12.5 mil­lion il­le­gal aliens and about 4.2 mil­lion cit­i­zen chil­dren of il­le­gal aliens.” This, the re­port says, is a nearly $3 bil­lion in­crease in the cost since 2013. It is also rather more than the sin­gle pay­ment of $25 bil­lion that it will cost to build a wall — five and a half times more, and ev­ery year.” Con­se­quently, “each il­le­gal alien costs nearly $70,000 dur­ing

his or her life­time.

Both stud­ies show that funds presently given those who cross our bor­der il­le­gally could eas­ily pay the $25 bil­lion to­tal cost of build­ing the wall or five bil­lion per year for five years for the same — this, with­out rais­ing a sin­gle penny from any new tax monies from our cit­i­zens.

Looks like we need the wall for both na­tional and do­mes­tic se­cu­rity. To get this, ap­par­ently, we have to have the demo­crat­i­cally im­posed par­tial gov­ern­ment shut­down. Let us keep the par­tial shut­down in place un­til we get a com­mit­ment from both par­ties for the whole $25 bil­lion needed or leg­is­la­tion to redi­rect the fund­ing of those here il­le­gally to the wall.

Harold W. Pease, Ph.D., is a syn­di­cated colum­nist and an ex­pert on the United States Con­sti­tu­tion. He has ded­i­cated his ca­reer to study­ing the writ­ings of the Found­ing Fa­thers and ap­ply­ing that knowl­edge to cur­rent events. He taught his­tory and po­lit­i­cal sci­ence from this per­spec­tive for more than 30 years at Taft Col­lege. To read more of his weekly ar­ti­cles, please visit Lib­er­tyUn­derFire.org.

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