Friday, April 26, 2013

Homeland Security Suggests U.S. Border Crossing Fees – Why Not Purchase Less Ammunition to Fund Department? – Or Possible Ploy to Cut Down on Illegal Immigration? Is there a Doctor in the House?

The Canadian-US Border in Vermont - Image and Article from the National Post "Montreal Man Crosses US Border with IPad in Lieu of Passport"!!!!!!

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has come under some fire lately for stockpiling massive amounts of ammunition:

“The Associated Press reported in February that DHS was planning to buy more than 1.6 billion rounds over the next five years, a number that sparked fears of government stockpiling – which DHS previously denied to Whispers. Officials told lawmakers DHS actually was planning to buy only up to 750 million rounds.

But Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said it still looked like the government was unnecessarily amassing ammunition.

"The idea that you have to have excess rounds, year after year, flies in the face of common sense," Issa said. Medina argued that DHS keeps a reserve of ammunition because of market fluctuations and because of past problems with vendors.

In fiscal year 2012, DHS purchased more than 103 million rounds of ammunition, to be used by about 70,000 DHS officers who are currently authorized to use weapons. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said Thursday that "the math" didn't make sense, pointing out that this means an average 1300-1600 rounds per DHS officer – some 1000 rounds more than the average for an officer in the Army.”
(U.S. News & World Report)

Which raises the question, why does the 2014 budget for the Department of Homeland Security include a proposed a fee for border crossings into the U.S. from Canada and Mexico?

According to Section 544 of the budget proposal, the Commissioner of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection should “conduct a study assessing the feasibility and cost relating to establishing and collecting a land border crossing fee for both land border pedestrians and passenger vehicles along the northern and southwest borders of the United States.”

Currently, travelers aren't charged fees for crossing the border by car, bus or train. Some crossings in cities such as Detroit and Buffalo occur on toll bridges, but the money collected goes to the bridge operators, not DHS.”
(International Business Times)

IBT goes on to explore the relationship to commerce between the U.S. and Canada which would be impacted by the addition of fees. The Canadian’s aren’t overly pleased by the proposal: ”No Border Tax”, is the title of one of many anti-border taxes from the Canadian Press – this from the Winnipeg Free Press. The border fees would especially hit tourism for Northern U.S. States, and is seen as particularly unfair to Canada.

Is there truly any logic to most of the governments’ budgets? One might suggest, since the Department of Homeland Security is busy “protecting” our borders, especially the Western State borders with Mexico – a fee (tax), of any measure would impact those poorest who cross the Southern Border with Mexico – Visiting family members, or doing business in the U.S. Those that cross, either legally or illegally would be impacted by the fee (assuming those crossing illegally would cross at an actual border crossing). Perhaps this is a feeble attempt at reducing any form of immigration from South of the border.

Regardless, as there is no end to waste in the U.S. Federal Budget, the manner in which budgets are set for departments should be revised, and all items purchased, as well as salaries and perks, should be under a microscope. As those working in the U.S. know, there is no end to the taxes that are levied, from payroll (Income, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security), to gasoline, to usage fees – now the long arm of the Fed is seeking to grab what it can from those who are contributing to the U.S. economy by the simple act of visiting the U.S. – Why not apply that “fee” to anyone attempting to enter the U.S. by any means? – Or alternately, start making adjustments to budgets (cuts) by reviewing Senator Tom Coburn, MD’s reports: ”Department of Everything”, suggests more than a few ludicrous and expensive projects by the DOD(PDF), while Duplication Nation suggest a savings large enough to cover the costs of Sequestration, by simply eliminating duplicate spending by the U.S. . The good Doctor also publishes an annual ”Waste” or “Pork” report, outlining the extremely imbecilic way that tax payers dollars are allocated. (PDF)

Of course, Senator Coburn is not a professional politician or lawyer, rather a Doctor – which may be the reason – ethics!! Perhaps we need more Doctors in the House, the Senate and for that matter, the Oval office.

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