October 14, 2021
By Brian Lonergan
If there is one thing most Americans can’t stand, it is flagrant examples of government waste. In the 1980s there was considerable outrage to revelations that the Pentagon was paying over $7,000 for coffee makers and $640 for toilet seats, among other excesses.
At least those infuriating details were tempered with the idea that there was little to no threat to the country as a result of it. The Reagan military buildup seemed to be working, and our adversaries were playing catchup with us throughout the decade. The Soviet Union could not keep up, and communism toppled throughout Europe as a result.
We still have government waste today, but with a price tag that is orders of magnitude higher and with a cherry on top: it is causing existential damage to our nation, both now and in the future.
Rather than just overpaying for goods and services, our government today buys materials and then pays contractors not to build anything with them. This is currently happening at our southern border in Texas, where the Biden administration is refusing to build the border wall with materials already paid for during the Trump administration.
This has produced images almost as disturbing as those of the intentional humanitarian crisis at the border caused by this administration. News reports show vast fields of steel wall sections rusting in the sun, each section costing about $5,000. It has been estimated that about $150 million worth of materials are sitting idle in south Texas, likely never to be used for their intended purpose.
This may not amount to more than a rounding error in Washington swamp economics, but the fact is that American citizens labored for the tax dollars to buy those wall sections. The children of those citizens will be stuck with the bill to pay for more such waste, as well as the astronomical cost of addressing the border crisis authored by the Biden White House.
From the air-conditioned, marble government buildings in D.C., refusing to build the border wall is little more than a talking point. In Texas, the results of that talking point are all too real. This can be seen in videos of migrants simply walking through the gaps in the wall and into the United States. Since these people are walking through the gaps and not over the wall, doesn’t that debunk the oft-repeated claim that “walls don’t work?” Walls work quite well provided they are actually built.
If the wall was completed, those migrants would be required to follow an orderly process. Instead, they will enter on their own terms, with no official knowledge of their origins, their health status or their potential threat to the country.
Prior to the Department of Homeland Security’s recent announcement that it would terminate border wall construction contracts, Biden found a way to waste even more taxpayer dollars. Former Border patrol Chief Rodney Scott told an incredulous Bret Baier of Fox News in an interview that the administration was paying wall contractors almost $5 million per day not to build the wall. This from the same people who argued that to complete the wall construction was financially irresponsible.
While these tactics may be partisan payback by those who despise President Trump, the damage to the country may be incalculable. The Biden administration this year raised the refugee resettlement cap, and included more than 3,000 people from countries known to export terrorism. Our Border Patrol reports interacting with border crossers from numerous terror states including Iran. Should one or more of those people commit an act of terror in the U.S., will Biden take responsibility for it and apologize to the victims’ families? More likely, he will find a way to blame his predecessor and accuse the accusers of xenophobia. This is not responsible stewardship of a country, but the willful degradation of a country in service to a radical, anti-American agenda.
If President Trump had accumulated such an ignominious record of waste, failure and public hazard in any policy area, it would have taken mere days for his opponents on Capitol Hill to call for investigations and possible impeachment proceedings. In Biden’s case, there is no murkiness to the allegations. The evidence is visible and the damage done is indisputable. At the very least, Biden deserves investigation and official excoriation for the complete disaster he has created.
Brian Lonergan is director of communications at the Immigration Reform Law Institute , a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.
Also published at: Brian Lonergan, The Wall: Biden’s Other Scandal at the Border, American Greatness, October 14, 2021.
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