Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Speech, Part 4 – It Costs HOW Much?!


The Rabies Wing of the Republican Party has really been going full-tilt after President Bush. There’s no sense, really, in trying to sort out why – why does a dog chase cars, or Al Gore believe he will win the White House in 2008? Madness is its own explanation. But the dishonesty of these hypocrites is demonstrated by the fact, beside the known examples, that none among them discusses the cost of their demands. Instead, they try to ‘low-ball’ the estimate by only discussing the immediate and material costs of the actions they say must be undertaken before anything else. This sort of behavior is dishonest on its face, especially since the public has a right to know the scale of the commitment they are being asked to fund.

The Federal Budget 2007 is running at 2.77 Trillion dollars. That is not only a huge number, it’s important to understand that the only ways new expenditures on controlling the border and apprehending illegals can be done, would be to either increase taxes, increase deficit spending, or cut other programs. And judging from the last several budgets passed by Congress, that third option is not a real strong contender. So the questions are:

1. What is really needed, in cost, to secure the border?
2. What will it cost to apprehend illegals in-country, and deport them?
3. How will the Federal Government pay for these as-yet unknown costs?

Frankly, no one has really even discussed these points yet. Anyone who thinks that the total cost of the fence/wall is only in buildng it, and who fails to consider the cost of its maintenance and repair, the surveillance of perimeters, the staffing of response teams, and of course the equipment needed by the support and interception teams, is not serious about the issue.

As to catching people already here in the country, the only way to find them and deport them begins with good old-fashioned police work. Now, does anyone want to guess how difficult it is to find people who keep a low profile, who are not violent or conspicuously flagrant in their behavior, who to all outward appearances are simply working and raising their families? No, I am not saying we should not try to catch people who are here illegally; I am saying that the physical difficulties in doing so are far tougher than the Rabies crowd is willing to admit. The manpower necessary to find illegal families, locate them and remove them, is significantly greater per-capita than any other type of law enforcement operation. And given the scale demanded, the cost quickly moves beyond the practicable scope of any known agency.

That's why President Bush is intent on a temporary worker program - it not only reduces the number of targets for law enforcement to pursue, it also lowers the incentive to try crossing the border illegally. Also, if pursuit should become necessary, the additional identification measures make it easier for law enforcement (ICE, etc) to find the offenders. Unlike the Rabies demands, the President's plan works on making the numbers more manageable, so that the most dangerous and violent illegals will not find it so easy to hide in a crowd.

Next: Part 5 – Race Issues


Harold C. Hutchison said...

It's as if the conservatives have just gone batty on this issue. I really don't see anything being done... and as a result, Tom Tancredo and the other hard-liners are doing for the national GOP what Pete Wilson did for the California Republicans.

Anonymous said...

since you're such good friends with the reconquisdorees, could you get my car stereos back?
by the way does bush ever have to park his car on the street?

Anonymous said...

thanks for this fine work...

i have to agree with Hutchison, bigger problems loom with some of the expression of some being so extreme building the 'Cult of Immigration'.

but what is deeply concerning, in my own humble opinion, is the building (by extremes and opportunits) of this 'isolationist-protectionist' mantra. [i use these terms to be polite]

suddenly, i see some, once considered reasoned, embracing the narrow folly of Mr. Buchanan...

The Macker said...

DJ, You and The Anchoress are looking at the whole problem and in a thoughtful way. Bravo!

The problem is multidimensional. It is primarily economic, with police, administrative and social aspects.And it is wrongheaded to expect a police solution to solve an economic problem. All three must be addressed simultaneously. And this the President did.

We need the workers and they need the jobs.We can create a rational tracking system, an automatic withholding system,tools for the employer to quickly check job applicants, and attractive incentives for illegals to self report.

Arguing about the definition of "amnesty", demanding that the "illegals" be blackballed as "lawbreakers" and equating their violation to such felonies as robbing a bank is weak and fatuous.

Again Bush is ahead of the curve.