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April 05, 2016

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Hey now, I profit, I profit! This is as good as a standup routine...

What if the visa fees were doubled instead of quadrupled with the expectation that the increase in visa fees would pay off the debt over 60 years instead of 30 years?

Who knows? There are no bonds dated that long. And we have no idea what the demand elasticity is for U.S. visas.

My proposal is tongue-in-cheek. I'm not sure that the U.S. has ever issued hypothecated bonds. The Panama Canal bonds were actually general-obligation, despite the name. A Trump administration could "pay" for the wall however it wanted.

The CBO uses a 10-year cash flow window, which is also silly. But hey. Let's assume that El Presidente wants to build the wall in eight years. He needs $17 billion. So $2.1 billion per year, under paygo rules. $2.1 billion divided by 1.6 million visas: a mere $1,300 extra per visa!

We're dancing on pinheads, here. Hey! That's a good insult for El President Aspirante. "Pinhead Trump"! Or maybe Tiny Dancer.

Anyway, for anyone interested in the current state of the border barrier:

https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/homesec/R43975.pdf

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d09244r.pdf

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/the-6526-miles-of-fences-in-the-southwest-border/2015/07/17/e4e4e674-2c40-11e5-a5ea-cf74396e59ec_graphic.html

Short version: the areas where Trump wants to build a wall are already covered with fences. (Trump has said that he does not want a wall where there are natural barriers.) The 2006 Secure Fences Act mandated double-fencing, but Congress blanched at the cost and repealed that requirement in 2008. End.

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