Ted Cruz's Plan To Secure The Border Is Not Fiscally Conservative (Or Smart)


Ted Cruz Securing the Borders Infographic
reason infographic by Jason Keisling

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For more information, check out Shikha Dalmia's column here.

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  1. But what about claymore mines? How much do those cost?

    /runs away from explosion of comment fury

    1. Samsung robotic sentry guns. Good enough for the DMZ, good enough for our border.

    2. A bouncing betty here, a bouncing betty there and pretty soon you have Mexican mincemeat….

  2. But, but, but we’ve got to keep those damn immigrants out because they depress wages! There’s a fixed number of jobs out there and a fixed amount of goods being produced! Because the economy is a zero-sum game, immigrant workers can only drive down wages! That’s all they do! The economy doesn’t grow, jobs are not created, and more goods are not produced, because the economy is fixed!




    1. So? you’re saying Robo-Mexicans are gonna steal our jobs? I’ll be goddamned.

  3. Sure building a fence and hiring agents is expensive… UNLESS you use cheap Mexican workers. I mean, they’re right there. Use your head, Reason.

    1. +10,000 esses

  4. So it’s less than Rand’s increase to defense spending? But fiscally irresponsible?

    1. Your comment might make sense if Reason were fans of said increase in defense spending.

      1. Wasn’t Rand’s argument also that we should offset the increase in defense spending with decreases in spending in other areas, thus making it fiscally neutral?

        Given that Cruz’s proposal appears to have no offsets, his idea actually is more fiscally irresponsible than Rand’s.

        1. Damn you, Irish. Beat me to it.

        2. And politically stupid to boot. As in, why wouldn’t you just say, “And I’m going to pay for it by stripping $12.2 billion out of the Departments of Education and HHS and the EPA.”

      2. Not to mention that Paul’s defense spending proposal is supposed to be offset by cuts elsewhere. Regardless, both plans are DOA the way they are currently structured.

  5. I still don’t see what’s wrong with big, tall fences securing borders.*. They offer cursory protection from invasion, prevent the spread of disease and allow us to determine who is entering our country by corralling entrants to points of entry.

    *As long as there are wide gates every so often.

    1. You know who else thought impressive border fences would keep the riffraff out (in) (out) (in)?

      1. Westeros?

        1. You know nothing, Dark Lord.

      2. The residents of South Park?

        1. Goddamn Mongoyians!

      3. The Five Man Electrical Band?

        1. Breakin’ my mind

  6. The one argument that really gets my goat is that immigrants take jobs and increase unemployment. It doesn’t even pass the most basic sniff test: workers consume too, and it should be obvious that people consume as much as they produce, on average.

    It’s like a pot luck dinner. Bring as much as you expect to eat, and there will be no leftovers. Of course, some donations are better than others, and people like to take home leftovers, so it doesn’t hurt to bring extra, but in the commercial sector, surplus results in expansion (if people want the surplus) or bankruptcy (if it’s crap that nobody wants).

    But immigrants don’t just work and put others out of work; they also consume, which requires other people to work more, and it all balances.

    1. It doesn’t even pass the most basic sniff test: workers consume too, and it should be obvious that people consume as much as they produce, on average.

      People don’t consume as much as they produce, by and large they produce MORE than they consume and the excess above consumption is either just waste (like rotten food, for example) or it goes into savings and investment which actually benefits the economy and produces more jobs long term.

      Immigration arguments in this country are consistently bizarre. The idea that they ‘take jobs’ isn’t accurate, and since immigrants drive down the cost of goods, even if they lower wages they don’t necessarily lower real wages because your purchasing power could remain unchanged due to lower prices.

      On the other hand, progressives continuously whine about jobs ‘moving to Mexico’ but are then completely okay with lots of Mexicans moving here. Well what the hell’s the difference between a factory moving to Mexico and Mexicans moving here to do the job? Effectively there is no difference but progressives suddenly become weirdo nationalists when the subject of outsourcing is raised.

      1. ” Well what the hell’s the difference between a factory moving to Mexico and Mexicans moving here to do the job?”

        Factory workers in Mexico don’t vote for them. Plus its much harder for the dems to steal their money.

      2. The “dey took awr JERBS” argument is nonsense. The entitlement spending and amnesty arguments are not.

        1. Illegal immigrants contribute far more in taxes than they collect in entitlements.

          Freaking out over amnesty shows a narrow mind and hypocrisy. On the one hand, “they are here illegally!” and on the other “they want to be here legally!”

          Oh noes. They want to be Americans! What shall we do!!!

          Run and shout, scream and pout.

          1. If you want to engage in the utilitarian argument, have at it. My concern is further strengthening an electorate that becomes addicted to government largesse.

  7. I don’t get it.

  8. Once again I’ll suggest that we have the Border Patrol actually guard / patrol the border – instead of hassling motorists 100 miles away.

    1. +2 hours waiting in line north of Brownsville this coming Friday.

      1. Must be the wrong time of day. I got through that one in 10 minutes a few weeks ago.

      2. Never been there, but I’m going to guess that the Mexican border is on the SOUTH side of Brownsville.

    2. I got tangled in a Border Patrol checkpoint just south of Bangor, Maine one time. That’s near the center of the state.

      1. To be fair, those brave boys are protecting us from the looming threat of Quebecois terrorists attempting to smuggle in dirty bombs made up of poutine and maple syrup.

      2. Damn, did you have to keep reminding yourself not to say “eh”?

        1. He just asked if everyone in the car was a citizen, then let us drive off. I was tempted to say “Oui” but thought better of it.

  9. I’ll just drop these here:……..hadeh.html

  10. I posted two questions on DerpBook:

    * Should there be a law requiring gay people to make purchases from Chick-fil-A?
    * Should a group of fratboys be able to demand service at a lesbian bar?

    I’ll let people know if I get any responses.

    1. Posted to the wrong thread. Sorry.

    2. The answers will be:

      1. No because that’s discrimination!

      2. No way because that would be discriminating against lesbians!

      Most of these oeople don’t follow and logic. To them it’s kogucak because they’re always against discrimination, but outside of that there is little introspection on the implications.

      1. Fuckin phone typing. Most of these people don’t follow logic. To them it’s logical because they are always against discrimination.

        1. Certainly not. They are not against discriminating against white people (affirmative action) or discriminating against Christians, or discriminating against rich people (progressive taxes) or discriminating against people who make offensive jokes (any of the many comedians who have lost work or jobs due to one thing or another) or discriminating against male college students (aka rapists).

      2. It’s all about emotions. Logic and reason need not apply.

    3. 1. Yes, of course. If they go to Chick-Fil-a and don’t make purchases then they are committing theft or trespassing/loitering. There are laws against these things.

      2. Yes, of course. If they are being polite and not engaginging and disorderly conduct they should be served.

      Only a fucking idiot would answer no to either of these questions. In fact, only an idiot would asked these questions.

      1. Why does Reason’s spellcheck always make less sense than whatever slight spelling errors you may have made?

  11. Actually, $5.6 Billion is pretty cheap.

    In an adjacent article we read:
    “Under Attorney General Eric Holder, the Department of Justice has netted more than $100 billion in civil fines, settlements, and restitution for fiscal years 2012 and 2013. Criminal fines and settlements account for another $80 billion.”
    That’s $180 billion snatched in two years, enough to pay for at least 30 fences.

    The F35 program has cost about $1.5 TRILLION to date. That’s at least 250 fences.

    The valid question is:
    Is controlling/securing the border a proper function of the Federal Government? Follow up: Is a 2000 mile fence as described an effective way to perform that function? If yes, you do it and pay for it.
    If not, you don’t.

    1. No it hasn’t cost 1.5TT. That’ the entire development and service life cost.

      1. That’s true. Didn’t mean to confuse. The recent estimate of $1.5T was recently bumped up a mere 50% from the previous $1.0T.

        Hard to imagine what the actual cost will end up being.

        The point is: This behemoth of a country presently finances all kinds of massive spending. $5.6Billion is really not the issue. The issue is: Is controlling immigration good policy? Will a fence be “effective”? Is the “effectiveness” significant enough to warrant the expenditure?

  12. Day early on this one.

  13. Well someone has to do something. My dream to pick lettuce in the San Joaquin Valley has been crushed by these damn illegals.

  14. My wife just became a citizen. She is from England. During the process she learned that it would be very easy to bring her 75 year old mother (who has cancer) over here and get her a permanent resident card and Medicare benefits. It would be very difficult on the other hand, to bring her 40 something year old sister who is a skilled worker.

    1. Huh? I thought England had free healthcare for all? Why would she move?

      1. Perhaps because NHS healthcare is worth what you pay for it?

  15. For those of you who complain about immigration and how the government needs to secure our *geographical* border – What about temporal immigration.

    The US population is 3ish times larger than it was in 1915 – all through uncontrolled immigration of unskilled (the most unskilled you could possibly be) labor. Roughly 2.3 million immigrants come into this country from nowhere every year. That’s somewhere on the order of twice the total legal *and* illegal geographical immigration rate.

    And yet we can absorb that influx just fine.

    But a thousand Mexicans try to cross one. Little. Border.

    And everyonelosestheriminds!

  16. i am more concerned with the cost of not securing the border. Why do you ignore the ENTIRE balance sheet. The coin has two sides.

  17. You can’t allow free immigration… until you address the welfare State first. Why is it that Reason always puts the cart before the horse?

    1. So you support government control of reproduction?

      ‘Cause those little babies are immigrants also. So they might grow up to consume welfare. As a matter of fact they *do* – at a far greater rate than *illegal* immigrants.

  18. Hmmm..annual cost of the cost of doing nothing about illegal immigration is around $150 Billion/year at a Federal, State and Local level, and the Amnesty plans promise to add hundreds of billions more. And in this article the cost of doing something is about $12 Billion, but only about $7 Billion annually after that. That’s an immediate first year 10X ROI to the nation in just economic factors, and a 20X ROI annually after that for what is actually one of the few Constitutionally enumerated duties of our Federal Government.

  19. My best friend’s mother-in-law makes $85 /hour on the internet . She has been out of work for 5 months but last month her pay was $16453 just working on the internet for a few hours.
    Visit this website ?????

  20. why not just seize the assets of anyone caught hiring illegals under minimum wage?

  21. Before I saw the paycheck 4 $6607 , I didnt believe that my brother actualie earning money part-time at there computar. . there neighbor started doing this 4 less than six months and resantly cleard the debts on their home and bourt a new BMW 5-series .

    published here…….. http://WWW.JOBS-FASHION.COM

  22. Start working from home! Great job for students, stay-at-home moms or anyone needing an extra income… You only need a computer and a reliable internet connection… Make $90 hourly and up to $12000 a month by following link at the bottom and signing up… You can have your first check by the end of this week…………….

  23. This is a rather dopey set of arguments that pays no attention to the cost sof allowing illegals and foolishly claims that half of illegals come in legally. That is of course, not true when they don’t leave. But changing the visa program would cost NOTHING , a point these two carefully not only avoided but didn’t even mention. The costs described are also exaggerated – it doesn’t ost $171,000 to provide border guards, irregardless of what they are now being paid. That current pay would be reduced exensivey – anyone who thinks it costs $171,000 a year for what is basically a security guard is living in a dream world. I find this entire argument to be open to skeptical challenges. Now let’s see a competent study that examines the costs AND benefits, one of major importance being the money saved by allowing Black welfare communities to land the jobs that will be taken by the illegals. When those illegals land new jobs that could have removed Blacks from the welfare rolls you will see the enormous cost benefits of building those fences. This study is pure junk. Brainless.

  24. Criminally stupid analysis. The extended costs of not shutting down the border are ignored but
    astronomical. The claim that half of illegals go in via visas is to be stopped and it won’t be stopped by not buildng fences. How about fewer incompetent crappy articles like this one.?This is embarassing.

  25. Correct – securing the border at all is not fiscally conservative – but the first priority for a federal government is to provide for the common defense – seems we have priorities backward.

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