Border Wall Will Pay for Itself/ Move Federal Jobs Out of DC

We have seen exceptional prototypes for the Mexican border wall but Democrats are protesting over and over that it will cost too much money to build, with estimates of $20 billion or more.

Democrats hardly ever object to government spending unless it favors a conservative idea to protect the nation like the military, police or a border wall.

Ultimately the wall will cost nothing. In fact it will save us money. Whatever it costs to build the wall will be saved quickly as illegal immigrants are stopped from coming into, or re-entering into the United States and getting on welfare, food stamps and everything else, or committing crimes or driving down wages.

Current government spending on illegals has been reported at more than $130 billion every year although believes that that figure is far too low in order to fool Americans about the real cost of illegal immigration.

With a wall in place we also won’t need to spend nearly as much on the US Customs and Border Protection agency ($13.5 billion annual budget) and on the processing and incarceration of illegals and their return to Mexico.

In short the Mexican border wall will probably be the most cost-effective federal government project ever. Build the wall!

Now here is a quick word about the Brexit vote in Britain in June 2016 to leave the European Union.

Socialists who love the EU predicted an economic meltdown for Britain but the opposite has happened. This is from Breitbart News:

Factories are ramping up production to meet the demand for British products as manufacturing order books see a 30-year high…

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) survey of 371 British manufacturers found “strong overall order books” driven by Motor Vehicles and Transport Equipment and Mechanical Engineering sectors, with 14 out of 17 sub-sectors noting orders were above normal.

The survey revealed that output growth was steady in the three months to December at a rate far above the long-run average with the competitive pound and global economic recovery driving the surge in new orders.

Meanwhile Germany, the biggest economy in Europe that is still strongly committed to the European Union, is described like this by Breitbart:

… German business confidence is falling … Munich-based Ifo Institute said … that the business confidence in Germany fell with forecasts dampened in part by political uncertainty as Chancellor Angela Merkel struggles to form a government three months after the federal election.

Look at this from if you want to know why the German economy has been so stagnant over so many decades (.8% growth this year compared to 3% in the US in the last two quarters and an anticipated 4% to 5% in 2018).

The Corporate Tax Rate in Germany stands at 29.72 percent. Corporate Tax Rate in Germany averaged 39.32 percent from 1995 until 2016, reaching an all time high of 56.80 percent in 1995 and a record low of 29.40 percent in 2009.

Wow. 56.8% in 1995. The new US tax bill lowers our rate to 21%. Poland, which has the strongest economy in Europe, has a 19% rate.

Now here is today’s main commentary:

Let’s Scatter Federal Government Jobs Throughout USA

Question: Why are hundreds of thousands of federal government workers concentrated in Washington, DC?

Answer: There is no good reason.

Consider the Bureau of Land Management which is responsible for federal lands in the Western US. Why not base BLM in Montana? Or Idaho or Utah? Why should all of that taxpayer wealth go to Washington? Should it not be spread around the nation? Where it comes from?

Of course it should. And now there is serious talk about this issue thanks to the election of president Trump. Hooray. Another positive benefit of Donald Trump’s leadership.

Currently 85% of all federal civilian (non-military) employees are scattered around the US, for instance in IRS offices, Social Security offices, Department of Homeland Security offices and agents, Border Patrol, FBI, etc., while 300,000 federal jobs remain in Washington. believes that 200,000 of those jobs with $30 billion or more in annual salaries, benefits, pensions, etc. could be moved out. Even 100 jobs or even $20 million annually injected into a struggling area like rural Ohio would be a boost for that area since the jobs are guaranteed and have high government salaries.

Here are excerpts from an article by Evan Halper in the Los Angeles Times discussing the issue. Each excerpt is followed by a comment:

LA Times reports: Amid the talk of draining swamps, restoring political might to blue-collar America and turning off the spigot of taxpayer cash that showers Washington, a familiar battle cry is ricocheting through this city: Move the bureaucrats out.

It has the ring of a Trumpian fantasy. Dislodge arms of the federal government from Washington and reattach them in faraway places, spreading the wealth generated by these well-paid agency workforces and forcing senior bureaucrats to face the people they affect. comment: Bingo. That’s two for one. Imagine one of these faceless Washington bureaucrats being shipped out to live among the folks who pay their check. Fantastic. Ship ‘em out. Many would retire early rather than go. Great. Then we can shrink the government through attrition (i.e., not hire anyone to replace the retirees).

LA Times reports: But the idea has established populist roots that spread across party lines, and they are reemerging at this unique political moment.

The swaggering Interior secretary from Montana is putting the finishing touches on his plan to move the headquarters of three large public lands agencies to the West. The Stanford economist representing Silicon Valley in Congress sees opportunity to strategically seed regions of the country with pieces of the federal bureaucracy that can benefit them — and that they can benefit. The unlikely prospect of locating the Department of Transportation in Los Angeles is dangled by Republicans eager to show this crusade has bipartisan cred. comment: It’s bipartisan. Even Democrats are wondering why all this cash has to go to Washington, and for good reason.

LA Times reports: There hasn’t been so much buzz about getting “Washington” out of Washington since Franklin D. Roosevelt sent 30,000 federal workers to the Midwest after a presidential commission advised such moves would ensure the prototypical federal employee “remains one of the people in touch with the people and does not degenerate into an isolated and arrogant bureaucrat.” comment: Good. We have a precedent under a very liberal Democrat president.

LA Times reports: “We need to find out what we can move,” said Rep. Tim Ryan, a Democrat from Youngstown, Ohio, who is seeking to create a commission that would identify parts of the bureaucracy that could be moved to economically distressed regions like his. A fellow Ohio congressman and political rival, Tea Party activist Warren Davidson, has mounted a parallel bureaucracy migration push. He calls it the “Drain the Swamp Act.” comment: This is virtually “free money” for distressed parts of the nation, i.e., the money is being spent anyway in Washington. Why not spread it around? This is going to be irresistible for people in areas that are suffering. This could be yet another unexpected bonus of the Trump Revolution.

To understand the possible impact look at this from about the suburbs of Washington, DC which are populated almost exclusively by highly-paid federal workers:

The five richest counties in the United States when measured by median household income are all suburbs of Washington, D.C., according to the American Community Survey data released today by the Census Bureau.

According to the American Community Survey’s new five-year estimates (2012-2016), the five richest counties in the country are: Loudoun County, Va., where the median household income was $125,672; Falls Church City, Va., where it was $115,244; Fairfax County, Va., where it was $114,329; Howard County, Md., where it was $113,800; and Arlington County, Va., where it was $108,706.

Then imagine much of this wealth being moved out to Nebraska or Kansas or Montana, where many counties are having significant economic trouble.

Look at this from The Washington Examiner:

The top paychecks of federal workers are set to grow again next year to a six-figure number that rivals the $174,000 salaries of America’s 535 House and Senate members.

Under a new federal order, salaries for most bureaucrats in the General Service will rise next year when the cap on top pay hits $164,000.

And for the upper reaches of the government, senior executive service employees will be allowed to earn a maximum of $189,600.

The Washington area, where the bulk of federal workers are employed, will get the biggest pay raise under the order signed by President Trump before Christmas. There, the increase for General Service workers will be 2.29 percent.

The average federal worker in 2016 earned $86,365. With benefits, the total compensation was $123,160.

The average nonfederal pay in the nation was $58,726, with total compensation at $69,901.

LA Times reports: When the House Government Oversight Committee passed a “Divest D.C.” resolution earlier this year that calls on all agencies to investigate moving out, Eleanor Holmes Norton, the nonvoting House representative for Washington, warned that it would cost taxpayers a fortune, spread dysfunction throughout the bureaucracy and economically devastate the region. comment: ‘Economically devastate’ the Washington, DC region? Gee, hasn’t this massive bureaucracy in Washington been living like kings while “economically devastating” the rest of America with its policies? Shouldn’t the rest of our nation get some benefit from this federal spending? Let’s go!

LA Times reports: “There is a lot of wisdom outside the Beltway,” said Rep. Ro Khanna, the Silicon Valley Democrat. He wants agencies to more aggressively tap into it, as the Defense Department did when it set up a shop in Silicon Valley. Khanna, a Stanford economist, is among several in Washington’s intellectual circles who say fading factory and farm towns are well positioned to benefit from the kind of relocations envisioned in plans like Ryan’s. comment: Again, Democrats like this idea too. This is very bad news for arrogant Washington, DC. Usually Dems fight to the death to protect the status quo bureaucracy. Not in this case.

LA Times reports: The Trump administration will likely put it to the test soon. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, a Montanan, is aiming to move the headquarters of the Bureau of Land Management, the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Reclamation out of Washington as soon as logistically possible. Western politicians like Sen. Corey Gardner (R-Colo.) are cheering him on.

“Ninety-nine percent of the nearly 250 million acres of land managed by BLM is west of the Mississippi River, and having the decision makers present in the communities they impact in Colorado or across the region will lead to better results,” Gardner wrote in an email. He wants the bureau headquartered in his state, and Colorado’s Democratic governor, John Hickenlooper, has joined Gardner’s lobbying campaign. comment: Fantastic. This will save taxpayer cash in the long run since the areas that need these jobs have lower or much lower living costs than Washington does, and so government salaries can be lower.

LA Times reports: Of course, the argument that Washington is the cure for corruption and bad behavior can be a tough one to make. And the headaches and expense of shoehorning so many agency headquarters into this costly, congested town (Washington) keep growing.

The projected costs of a new FBI headquarters in suburban Washington escalated until they hit close to $2 billion. The plug got pulled on the whole project over the summer amid the rising price and difficulties pulling off the land swap it was designed around.

“There is all this unused office space outside of Detroit where the FBI could build for not much money,” said Paul Kupiec, a scholar at the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute. That city, unlike suburban Washington, desperately needs the economic surge such an agency would bring, he said. “Why are we spending billions of dollars on these headquarters in Washington?” comment: Good question.

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