The price for GOP nativism and racism: $30+ billion wasted dollars


Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Tea-Publicans love to rail against government spending, the federal deficit, and the national debt, and loudly proclaim that they are fiscally conservative. Bullshit.

Ronald Reagan quadrupled the national debt in eight years. George W. Bush doubled it again during his eight years, and left office with the economy cratered from the worst economic catastrophe since the Great Depression.

These "deficit peacocks" like to preen that they are against wasteful government spending, except when they are not.

The latest example: the border security "surge" proposed by Tea-Publican Senators Bob Corker and John Hoeven to secure more votes in the U.S. Senate for the "Gang of Eight" comprehensive immigration bill. They propose to waste $30 billion dollars or more to buy off nativists and racists in the anti-immigrant wing of the GOP — a dubious proposition — hatred is priceless; it defines who they are, and is their only reason for living.

MSNBC host Chris Hayes did an impressive job laying out the particulars on his program All In on Thursday evening. Transcript Thursday, June 20:

in order to stabilize and further build support from their side of the

aisle, Republican Senators Bob Corker and John Hoeven struck a deal with

the gang of eight, a deal that suddenly makes comprehensive immigration

reform seem more possible, more likely to actually happen than it has in


That is the progress. That`s progress. It`s excellent news. And it`s

also infuriating because of how they are luring Republicans into the fold.

Corker and Hoeven have an amendment where they are calling for a border,

quote, "surge."

Here`s what we know about it: it would require an additional 20,000 border

agents on the U.S./Mexico border, doubling the number that are there right

now — 700 miles of fencing at the U.S. border, 350 miles more than we have

right now. And full implementation of electronic entry and exit system, of

international entry points, complete with U.S. Customs and Border

Protection officers.

The price tag? Well, it`s all for a cool $30 billion, or more.


REPORTER: So it`s about $30 billion total?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Correct. Maybe slightly higher.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It will be more than that.


HAYES: You know, another bill or so. Yes, probably more than $30 billion.

Now when you were evaluating — you right now watching this — the American

voter, the American citizen, the American taxpayer, you`re thinking: is

this a smart way to spend money?

I would like you to keep in mind these two important things. The Migration

Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, found that in 2012 we spent $18

billion on immigration enforcement agencies, a 43 percent increase from

2006. Here`s the kicker. That $18 billion, that`s more than we spent on

all other law enforcement agencies combined by 24 percent.

And do you happen to know what the net migration between Mexico and the

United States currently is? It is zero. Zero.

The most recent numbers show that from 2005 to 2010, the net migration is

zero. A huge change from 1995 to 2000, the net migration from Mexico to

the U.S. was more than 2 million people. But from 2005 to 2010, the number

of people coming here from Mexico was about the same as the number of

people going to Mexico from the U.S.

So we`re already spending almost $18 billion a year on a problem that does

not exist. And Republicans in the Senate are poised to add $30 billion to

that all over a handshake deal to win votes. And remember, these are the

exact same people who say they care about spending and the deficit.

* * *

HAYES: If you listen to Bob Corker, you`d think he`s interested in

lowering the debt. But two days ago, when the CBO came out with an

estimate saying the Senate immigration bill before they added the

amendment, would save almost $200 billion over 10 years, we heard from not

one Republican, Bob Corker or anyone else, who was rushing to switch their

vote and support this money-saving legislation.

No, instead Senator Corker struck a deal to spend over $30 billion more.

And his supposedly deficit conscious colleagues came rushing to his side to

switch their votes and support the bill once $30 billion was added to the

price tag.

This is the party that won`t stop talking about debt and deficit. This is

the party that would have you believe their number one concern is that

we`re spending our children into oblivion. And yet, they do not appear to

have been persuaded to support immigration reform because it saves $200

million. No, no, quite the opposite. They`re being persuaded to support

immigration now that Republicans have tacked on tens of billions of dollars

in additional spending to the bill.

And here`s why and this is the way to understand everything that`s

happening with Republicans and immigration. This is the deal, this

amendment. It isn`t about stopping people at the border. It`s not about

policy and it`s obviously not about the deficit. It`s about paying a price

to appease the deep fears of the Republican base, fears that were so

eloquently described yesterday on the lawn of the Capitol.



coming here who want to come to cut your lawn and have a better life. But

there are people who want to cut your throat.


HAYES: The cost of keeping people like that quiet is $30 billion, courtesy

of the U.S. taxpayer.

Video segment begins around :50 mark.

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UPDATE: Talking Points Memo reports, Leahy: GOP Border Security Amendment ‘A Christmas Wish List For Haliburton’:

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said Friday that the new border security
amendment added to the immigration reform bill in the Senate is nothing
more than a gift to defense contractors.

"I am sure there are federal contracting firms high-fiving at the
prospect of all of the spending demanded by Senate Republicans in this
amendment," Leahy said.

"So while I do not agree with the Republicans’ border demands, I will
support this modification of my amendment because it is one of many
tough choices necessary to continue making progress toward passage of
this crucial bill," Leahy said in a statement (posted below).


  1. It’ll be interesting to see if any of our three freshmen reps take a position on this. I can see them ducking and weaving already.