Biden could save U.S. taxpayers $2.6 billion by halting Trump's stupid border wall on January 20, says Army Corps

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/12/16/biden-could-save-u-s-taxpayers-2-6-billion-by-halting-trumps-stupid-border-wall-on-january-20-says-army-corps.html

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Doesn’t that mean we’ll have to send Mexico a refund?

Wait—what do you mean they never paid for it?

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I think for the last 4 years, the military has been working hard on its snark warfare.

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Any chance of their team identifying other infrastructure projects to which they could divert those contractors in similar areas rather than paying them all of the $700M? My understanding is that there are significant concerns about infrastructure at many locations near the border.

If the president-elect’s team indicated formally that they will be stopping it, perhaps the suppliers could halt production on anything still in the works to minimize the sunk costs.

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just take a note from orange one himself and don’t bothering paying the contractors. sounds like they’re grifters anyway

The company has a history of red flags – including more than $1 million in fines for environmental and tax violations. A decade ago, a former co-owner of the company pleaded guilty to tax fraud and was sentenced to prison. The company also admitted to defrauding the federal government by impeding the IRS.

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They would claim partly based on manufactured components and other contracts with subtrades. I think it would be pretty easy to argue that they don’t need any more money for profits unless a cancellation clause is in their contract but any liabilities the GC would incur would have to be paid out.

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However, the federal government would have to pay about $700 million to compensate contractors for stopping work.

How about the fed and the contractors split the cost, and use it to compensate the caged and separated families at the border with the promise not to dump the contractors out in the middle of the Sonora desert with 12 ounces of water so they can experience firsthand what it’s like to be on the other side of the fence?

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Something tells me the tab would be easy to avoid in entirely legal and ethical fashion.

Throw a little investigatory power at it, see what shakes out. That number will shrink.

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So will Biden backfill where the funds were stolen from? Or will the military recoup thru additional appropriations to cover their loses at taxpayer’s expense?

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Biden, Obama, Feinstein, Sanders, Schumer, and pretty much the entire Democratic leadership understood that illegal immigration hurts US workers, especially low-income workers, who are disproportionately minority btw. Look at what they were saying a few years ago before megadonors turned them around on border security. I can find plenty more similar statements from Feinstein and Sanders.

The Democratic Party needs to address this directly. Was the entire Democratic leadership wrong a few years ago when they made the case that open borders is, indeed, a Koch brothers proposal to permanently lower wages and destroy unions? Because I don’t think they were wrong then.

Yes

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Open a 72 hour bid for all existing wall supplies and sell it all.

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as opposed to legal immigration, which is exactly the same economically, but doesn’t hurt anybody?

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News Flash: Humans are Capable of Learning from Their Mistakes!

Anyhow…

A U.S. Department of Labor study prepared by the Bush Administration noted that the perception that immigrants take jobs away from American workers is “the most persistent fallacy about immigration in popular thought” because it is based on the mistaken assumption that there is only a fixed number of jobs in the economy.
Experts note that immigrants are blamed for unemployment because Americans can see the jobs immigrants fill but not the jobs they create through productivity, capital formation and demand for goods and services.
Immigrants pay more than $90 billion in taxes every year and receive only $5 billion in welfare. Without their contributions to the public treasury, the economy would suffer enormous losses.

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No, you’re absolutely right, both have nearly the same economic impact. Illegal immigration is just a way to get around various caps that exist on legal immigration, but they both do approximately the same thing to US workers. There are some differences. H-!B workers are sort of “slaves” to the company that sponsors them, so there’s that. Meanwhile illegal immigrants are slaves to the cartels that financed their crossing fees. Legal immigrants have access to professional type of work, like working at Big Tech companies, that illegal immigrants obviously don’t have access to. So they’re similar, in that both expand the supply of workers, but there are nuances about what kind of workers.

You mean they have to obey the law like everybody else or risk job termination and possibly deportation? That’s your beef?
Like, they were granted a special visa to come work at that job. That’s practically what H-1B is for.

Bullshit. Immigrants pay up front to the coyotes, who in turn pay the cartels. Nobody rides for free unless given permission.

You do realize H-1B visas are basically the US bending over backwards to accomodate the immigrant and their special skills? You’d have to be a violent offender or something to not be accepted if you’re qualified, and we don’t generally take kindly to violent offenders even if they’re from the US, unless maybe they’re a cop or ICE.

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Can an H-1B holder leave the employer who sponsored them and get a different job in the US?

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Indeed, A burn like that must contravene the Geneva Conventions.

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Those costs would likely be paid whether they complete their contracted wall or not. Many contracts have a termination cost calculated in them: this includes the cost of demobilizing (building a wall in the middle of nowhere means they have to ship in workers, house them, feed them, then send them home); shipping out the heavy equipment, temporary housing, temp buildings, unused and expended materials, etc.

Biden’s transition team couldn’t do anything to halt or suspend work at this point, which is why there are reports of contractors speeding up work to finish as much as possible before he’s inaugurated. (I’m too lazy to look for a link). The Pentagon could issue a stop-work order until then, and it sounds like they are costing this out (they’d still have to pay for the staff still on site (guards, maintenance, possibly idled workers if they find it cheaper to keep them there than send them home temporarily (which they have to assume until Biden issues an executive order to stop construction).

It would be a great idea to divert activities to needed infrastructure. The only question is whether the materials and equipment already paid for is appropriate for the needed works, or can be requisitioned with minimum cost and delay.

Yes, as long as there’s a new sponsor. From Teh Wiki:

A person in H-1B status must continue to be employed by their employer in order to stay in H-1B status. If the person’s employment ends for any reason, the person must leave the United States, unless the person applies for and is granted a change of status or finds another employer compatible with the H-1B status. Effective January 17, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services allows grace period of up to 60 days to stay in the United States after the person’s end of employment.[5][6]

Usually this happens when the employee is fired or laid off or the employer goes out of business, but employment can also end if the person quits.

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