Letters to the Editor

Too high a cost for a minor problem

I object to building a wall along the Mexican border.

With a cost of $15 billion or more, it has been suggested that the U.S. can easily impose a 20 percent import tax to force Mexico to pay for the wall.

Suppose a Mexican company produces a product for $100. With a 20 percent tax, the Mexican company will sell its product to a U.S. company for $120. The U.S. company will in turn charge $20 more to U.S. consumers. The net loss to the Mexican company from a tax is zero. The net loss to the U.S. company from a tax is also zero. The Mexican government pays nothing.

So I ask, who is paying the 20 percent import tax; who is the loser? Me! So even with a 20 percent import tax, I am paying for this wall.

Eventually, the U.S. company may decide the price of the Mexican product is too high, and may cancel their order. The Mexican company will have no other choice but to close, putting Mexican workers out of work. As the Mexican economy deteriorates, there will be more pressure from unemployed Mexican workers to cross the border illegally. Thus, a proposal initially intended to stop illegal immigration may have the opposite effect.

Illegal crossings are reportedly down; the real problem is people overstaying a valid visa. Are illegal crossings really that serious of a problem? Is it really worth spending $15 billion to fix a minor problem?

Randolph Thomas, Boalsburg