The Trump administration may have come up with new ideas to reinvigorate the enthusiasm for a southern border wall that was so much a part of his campaign and election last fall.
Congressional skepticism about the project has been growing, even from some usually reliable southern and Republican delegations. Texas senior Senator John Cornyn (R-Tx), whose home state has the longest stretch of border common to Mexico, was wary of the economic impact a 20 percent import tax levied as a funding source for the construction would have on his state’s economy.
“The United States imports into our refineries a lot of heavy crude. … Those would all be subject to the tax. One refiner told me that they believed that would increase the cost of gas by 30 cents. I want to make sure we know what the consequences would be and how this would work. I know a lot of the major retailers are concerned about this was well,” he said. “We have a unique relationship with Mexico, with maquiladoras (factories which have duty-free privileges) right across the border and in the car-manufacturing business in particular.” Cornyn isn’t alone in the Republican congress. True to conservative principles, others, including Lisa Murkowski (R-Ak), vow that a 10-12 billion dollar expenditure would need be offset with with reductions in other parts of the budget, which would be difficult to find.
As far as the demand that Mexico pay for the construction, Senator John McCain (R-Az), said curtly “No, that is not viable.”
The junior senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, has made no public comments on the proposal, possibly still fuming about recent Obama initiatives normalizing relations with Cuba. Even though his ancestry is there, he really hates Cuba.
Our sources have revealed a possible contretemps that might have been an intentional leak of the administration’s strategy to breath new life into the project. A bar service operator (whose name must remain anonymous), related a recent evening at an out-of-the-way D.C. watering hole in which he served White House dignitaries Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer. After a couple of drinks, the couple left, but not without leaving a scrap of paper, which, as it turned out, was an opened but empty envelope, and fairly covered with a scrawl of of whirls, smiley faces, and what has now been determined to be a back-of -the-envelope brainstorming session between the two to revive the the national and White spirit that fueled support early in the campaign.
“Good fences make good neighbors” was printed fastidiously at the top. Between the doodles and check marks, the envelope gave up the following: Plan A and Plan B. It was unmistakable. Despite the attempt to render the notes to seeming hieroglyphical code, it was possibly a pseudo-cryptogram, intended to float a leak of possible strategies to reverse flagging interest in The Wall. After each bullet point was a short, abbreviated stream of consciousness.
A. Offset in spending–big one: military ± 750B–but OP wants to strengthen military--How jibe? Reductio ad absurdum: 12B is only 1.6% of 750B! Also make libs and Catholic pacifists happy. win-win.
B. OP to guarantee loan--has extensive open lines of credit--trustworthy--good for it--he's a builder--well?--income verify?--naming rights!--would he?
The chicken scratch near the end of Plan B., calling for the President himself to personally back the financing of the construction became less legible, as if the scribe , whether Conway or Spicer, had lost confidence in B., and her cursive effort was weakening. And come to think of it, for good reasons: it wouldn't be likely the OP would front $12 Billion of his own cash, and getting a signature or collateralized loan for that sum would require proof of income— namely, providing his income tax return to the lender. That was improbable.
And maybe that's why the envelope was carelessly left behind. Maybe it was just another dead-ended strategy session, and not a plot to leak hare-brained trial balloons to bolster support of a bad idea.
Or perhaps it was. But—just saying—if it happens, you heard it here first.