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Friday, February 10, 2017

Speaker Paul Ryan talks tax cuts but Mexico wall costs billions

Bernstein Research, an investment research group that tracks material costs, has said that uncertainties around the (Mexican border wall) project could drive its cost up to as much as $25 billion. (This insane campaign promise by Donald Trump goes into the hopper of , "What are they thinking?" They're not!)

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It's cruel to create a border wall with Mexico at the expense of American benefits to support Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid for the poor.  But, House Speaker Ryan is obsessed with tax cuts while Donald Trump is equally fixated on building an expensive Mexico border wall with US tax dollars paying the up front costs. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nietosays: "México dijo que no pagará!"

It's counterintuitive for Speaker Paul Ryan, who is obsessed with tax cuts, talking about "reforms", while Donald Trump takes tax money to build a border wall with Mexico.  It's like, Speaker Ryan is thinking in another dimension, a place where logic, reason and arithmetic float around like conceptual bubbles in a glycerin jar.
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Speaker Ryan speaks about tax cuts and reforms like they're conceptual bubbles in a glycerin jar. He isn't connecting with reality.

Americans do not want to spend money on a stupid border wall with Mexico!  Those who want this barbaric show of bigotry don't realize how paying for the monster barrier will mean cutting expenses where we need the most humanitarian support- in social safety nets and benefits paid for by workers who receive Social Security and Medicare.  Although Social Security is supposed to be in a "lock box", meaning the FICA insurance isn't to be used for any purposes other than to pay beneficiaries, in fact, the Congress has borrowed from the fund without paying back the monies. Speaker Ryan has no intention of paying back the beneficiaries who contributed to the FICA fund so, therefore, he's just going to cut the program so the debt will be absorbed in the net reduction to the entire fund.  Meanwhile, Donald Trump is obsessed with building a border wall to harm innocent Mexicans, even though many are being deported, even without a "wall" to keep them out. Cutting beneficiaries retirement and medical care are terrible ways to treat hard working Americans, who have paid into Social Security and Medicare, and the wall is cruel treatment targeting innocent and hard working Mexicans. Besides, just think about it, the Mexicans and Hispanics are "First Nations" peoples. In other words, Hispanic ancestors were here in the Americas before any of us who claim US Citizenship. We are the immigrants!

Now, Donald Trump is taking back his claim about Mexico paying for the stupid wall because, frankly the Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto said "No!". Therefore, because Donald Trump wants to provie his dictatorship over all of us, it turns out, he's putting American tax money into the constructon of a project that won't succeed.  The wall won't work, it costs too much money, there will be sabotage of the construction and tunnels will simply be created to get underneath the barrier.

Newsweek and Reuters reports:

Trump’s “wall” along the U.S.-Mexico border would be a series of fences and walls that would cost as much as $21.6 billion, and take more than three years to construct, based on a U.S. Department of Homeland Security internal report seen by Reuters on Thursday.

The report’s estimated price-tag is much higher than a $12-billion figure cited by Trump in his campaign and estimates as high as $15 billion from Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The report is expected to be presented to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly in coming days, although the administration will not necessarily take actions it recommends.

The plan lays out what it would take to seal the border in three phases of construction of fences and walls covering just over 1,250 miles by the end of 2020.

With 654 miles of the border already fortified, the new construction would extend almost the length of the entire border.

Many cost estimates and timelines have been floated since Trump campaigned on the promise of building a wall. The report seen by Reuters is the work of a group commissioned by Kelly as a final step before moving forward with requesting U.S. taxpayer funds from Congress and getting started on construction.

A DHS spokeswoman said the department does "not comment on or confirm the potential existence of pre-decisional, deliberative documents."

A White House spokeswoman said it would be “premature” to comment on a report that has not officially been presented to the president.

The report said the first phase would be the smallest, targeting sections covering 26 miles near San Diego, California; El Paso, Texas; and in Texas's Rio Grande Valley.

The report assumes DHS would get funding from Congress by April or May, giving the department sufficient time to secure contractors and begin construction by September. Trump has said Congress should fund the wall upfront, but that Mexico will reimburse U.S. taxpayers. Mexico has said it will not pay.

México dijo que no pagará!

Several U.S. congressional delegations are visiting the border this month to assess funding needs, according to several people familiar with the travel plans.

The report shows the U.S. government has begun seeking waivers to address environmental laws on building in some areas. It also shows the government has begun working with existing contractors and planning steel purchases for the project.

Trump told law enforcement officials on Wednesday, "The wall is getting designed right now."

The report accounted for the time and cost of acquiring private land, one reason for its steep price increase compared to estimates from Trump and members of Congress.

Bernstein Research, an investment research group that tracks material costs, has said that uncertainties around the project could drive its cost up to as much as $25 billion.

The second phase of construction proposed in the report would cover 151 miles of border in and around the Rio Grande Valley; Laredo, Texas; Tucson, Arizona; El Paso, Texas and Big Bend, Texas. The third phase would cover an unspecified 1,080 miles (1,728 km), essentially sealing off the entire U.S.-Mexico border.

Barriers to Construction

The report lays out costs to cover the border with barriers, but funding constraints and legal battles are likely to place limits on those plans.

It also does not account for major physical barriers, like mountains, in areas where it would not be feasible to build.

A source familiar with the plans said DHS may have to go to court to seek eminent domain in order to acquire some of the private land needed to cover the final and most ambitious phase.

The first phase, estimated to cost only $360 million, could be a relatively easy way for Trump to satisfy supporters eager to see him make good on his campaign promises to limit illegal migration. But the rest of the construction will be markedly more expensive, covering a much larger stretch of land, much of it privately owned or inaccessible by road.

In addition to seeking eminent domain and environmental waivers, the U.S. government would also have to meet the requirements of the International Boundary and Water Commission, a U.S.-Mexico pact over shared waters. The report estimated that agreement alone could bring the cost from $11 million per mile to $15 million per mile in one area.

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