Greetings President Trump,
You're a real estate developer, the land to be used by the wall covers a good piece of real estate. Hence this idea from my Lady friend for softening the image of "The Wall" and also helping to pay for it.
What if at regular spots inside the wall we had, monitored and controlled of course to prevent illegal trafficking, what originally were termed safe "trading posts" and "cultural exchange centers"? The Mexican side could be Mexican run, the USA side being American run with some run jointly?
Illegal activity would of course be forbidden. This "softens" the image of "The Wall". Dues and tariffs on various activities would go towards wall expansion and maintenance. A project similar in scale to the Suez canal of Teddy Roosevelt's day. Bully!
PUT A CREATIVE SPIN ON THE PROJECT.
Get some creative engineers to look at the design. There are a number other features that could be incorporated into "The Wall" to make it more commercially viable with service energy and resource needs while at the same time providing border security:
- Prototyping environmentally friendly products and concepts such as covering portions of "The Wall" with solar panels and having windmills on the top. Capillaries embedded within "The Wall" containing nontoxic working fluids could passively collect ambient heat energy during the day to be used at night for energy generating purposes.
- Aqueducts and/or canals to distribute water similarly to what the Romans did.
- Pipelines within, over or under, to transport hydrocarbons such as oil and natural gas in the name of more energy independence. This could get some funding from the O&G industry.
These are just a few ideas, I'm sure others will come out in making "The Wall" a positive concept serving purposes in addition to it's original one, national security, not the least of which are the Economy. LOTS AND LOTS OF JOBS!!! It may just be we will have regional economic revivals blossoming everywhere near "The Wall" on both sides of the border!
"UGLY AND USELESS" IS ALL A MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE.
Objectors need to broaden their mind-sets and stop being so obstinate and narrow-minded. I'm not talking about a monolithic structure here like the "Great Wall of China", but a living and breathing organism that can serve many purposes in addition to border security. NOTHING IS BETTER THAN A WIN-WIN. You CAN have your cake and EAT IT TOO! You just have to plan, develop and market the concept properly. For instance,
- Alternative energy generation, which the greenies ought to love. Wind, solar, ambient heat, all this becomes possible to prototype within a structure as large as the proposed Wall will be.
- Transporting water from areas of surplus to areas deficient. The aqueduct and canal system will make more lands arable for farming and agriculture.
- Transporting hydrocarbon fuels from areas of surplus to areas deficient, be they raw materials in need of refining or finished products in need of sale.
- The trading and cultural exchange centers as points inside the wall. As in the days of walled cities business was often conducted just outside the city gates and similarly under controlled conditions such commerce can occur gain.
The nice thing is that these and other proposed commercial adjuncts to "The Wall" can lure investors from the venture capitalist markets and business arena, that "billionaire class" effectively becomes the investors in exchange for write-offs, which eliminates much if not all the need for our taxes to do it :-). What does the middle class gain? jobs Jobs JOBS! In the same way a national infrastructure refurbishment project can be put together. It's all "The Art of the Deal" :-).
A bit of history to remind anyone reading this, one of the spin-offs of the Pharaohs building their seemingly useless pyramids was to keep their people busy and happy by giving everyone jobs when the growing season was over. (And they paid their workers in BEER!) Nothing like a public project to do this.
If you really are a real estate developer you ought to have the know how to do it as a commercial venture marketed to those billionaires. I mean what if it were a sophisticated housing development, shopping mall, amusement park or golf course we were talking about? I'm not one, but I can make some guesses.
1) A public-private partnership. Maybe something like the Tennessee Valley Authority that built all those flood control dams to generate hydroelectric power. Sell shares. Funds go towards construction. Shareholders participate in revenue streams generated when the project completes.
2) I favor tax credits over tax cuts. Give someone a tax cut and they can use the funds or not however they choose. Like distribute the funds to their shareholders as a dividend instead of reinvesting as intended. Tax credits on the other hand target funds towards specific needs. Such as an employee tax credit calculated as a function of the number of employees and the average wage or salary paid.
3) Designated Purpose Tax Deductible Bonds. The simplest and probably best way. Wall bonds. Infrastructure bonds, etc., with the smallest unit being $500,000 (or even $1 million), to make them desirable to the billionaires. Buying a $500,000 bond first reduces your taxes $500,000. Then the return until the bond matures is tax free as well. If you're a billionaire it does let you target how your money is going to be used. Mutual funds could pool investors in these bonds for the less well-heeled. N.B., we might want to restrict these special bonds to U.S. citizens only, to be determined.
Of course anything that has a defense application can get a part of its funding through the Department of Defense. Eisenhower began the Federal Highway System as a means for quickly moving men and materials after the problems he experienced doing the same in Europe during WWII. Both "The Wall" and infrastructure upgrades have DoD applications.
Richard Cox Independent member. WV Senator Manchin’s "Project Weirton" task force