Obama's New New Deal: Why Not Start with the Border Fence?
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On Saturday, Barack Obama announced that he hoped to sign a bill to create the biggest expenditure on infrastructure and public works since Eisenhower created the Interstate Highway System. Obama did not give an exact figure on the costs, but estimates are in 700 billion dollar range to spend on roads, bridges, broadband access, school buildings, and rewiring public buildings to make them more energy efficient.

While Obama says these are necessary investments, the main purpose of this bill is not so much what gets built, but the fact that the expenditures will create jobs. Leaving the economics of this aside, if the government needs to spend money to employ jobs building stuff, why not start with the border fence? After all Obama voted for the Secure Fence Act to construct the fence, but then voted against Jeff Sessions' resolution to fund it, because he thought it was too expensive.

Now that we are looking to spend hundreds of billions of dollars for the purpose of ”job creation,” even if it costs the 49 billion dollars its critics claim, there's no reason not to build it, since it is, after all, necessary for border protection.

Yet strangely, the refrain from the Left is that we can’t afford to build the fence. A group of Democratic Texas politicians sent an open letter to Obama calling the fence an ”irresponsible expense while the country is in the midst of a recession.” I hope Obama will write them back to say that its construction will help create jobs for Americans...which brings me to my next question.

Will these jobs actually go to Americans? One of the few proactive things Bush did in office was to sign Executive Order 12989 requiring all federal contractors to use E-Verify to ensure that no illegal aliens get hired. Unless his stimulus plan is to create ”jobs that Americans won’t do,” I hope Obama will honor Bush’s executive order and make sure that E-Verify is reauthorized in March with no strings attached.

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