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We Could Build 2 Border Walls By Just By Eliminating ‘Improper Payments’ — Audit Shows

January 15, 2019

Investors Business Daily

1/11/2019

Source …..

Waste: Critics of building a border wall claim that it would be ineffective at deterring illegal immigration. That’s not true. But Congress could easily finance the wall by cutting federal programs that are ineffective.

“Wasteful” and “ineffective” are the adjectives now routinely attached to any discussion of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

But a wall would be effective. Even President Obama’s head of the Department of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, admitted as much. When asked in an interview with Public Radio International if the “physical barrier” built south of Yuma, Ariz., had been effective, her answer was “yes.”

In fact, illegal crossings dropped by 95% in Yuma after that barrier went up. Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke says “crime has significantly decreased in the Yuma area.”

Likewise, illegal crossings into San Diego, El Paso, Texas, and Tucson, Ariz., plunged once physical barriers were in place.

$141 Billion In ‘Improper Payments’

What’s more, the government could easily pay for the border wall simply by eliminating real government waste and by axing ineffective programs

This week, for example, the Government Accountability Office reported that in 2017 alone, the federal government made $141 billion in “improper payments.”

Do the math.

Trump’s $5.7 billion would fund 234 miles of border. Eliminating just half of the government’s “improper payments” would provide enough money to build a wall across the entire U.S.-Mexico border, with $21 billion left over.

The GAO has also found “tens of billions of dollars” in savings simply by reducing overlapping and duplicative federal programs. For example, the federal government spends almost $3 billion on 163 separate STEM education programs across 13 agencies. “Nearly all of these programs overlapped with at least one other program,” the GAO found.

Citizens Against Government Waste has identified 636 examples of wasteful government spending that, if eliminated, would save $430 billion in the first year alone.

More Government Waste

Just selling the 10,000 buildings owned by the federal government that are either vacant or partially empty would raise almost $3 billion.

Trump’s 2019 budget proposed saving $48 billion by eliminating or cutting back programs that it deemed ineffective or inefficient.

One could argue that entire agencies are ineffective. The Department of Education, for example, spends more than $60 billion a year, yet reading and math scores are no better than before that department came into being in 1980.

There’s also the fact that taxpayers fail to pay roughly $400 billion owed in federal taxes each year. And there’s the massive amounts spent on corporate welfare, which, depending on how one defines it, can add up to $100 billion a year.

The question we should be asking isn’t whether the border wall would be effective, but which of the myriad ineffective federal programs we should eliminate to pay for it.

 

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