Obama 2014 budget: study a land-border crossing fee


Today, the Obama administration released its Fiscal Year 2014 budget proposal to Congress.

Apparently, Canadian opposition to an earlier sea-and-air border crossing fee (inserted into a legislation on a U.S.-Columbia trade deal) didn’t make much of an impact on their policy making.

Today’s budget includes a section calling for the administration to study a fee for crossing the land border as well.

From the budget’s section for the Department of Homeland Security:

SEC. 544. (aThe Commissioner of the United States Customs and Border Protection shall:

(1conduct 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; the study should include:

(Athe feasibility of collecting from existing operators on the land border such as bridge commissions, toll operators, commercial passenger bus, and commercial passenger rail;

(Brequirements to collect at land ports of entry where existing capability is not present; and

(Cany legal and regulatory impediments to establishing and collecting a land border crossing fee; and

(2complete the study within 9 months of enactment of this Act.



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Obama 2014 budget: study a land-border crossing fee

  1. A Randian solution: Border crossings should require a fee, and that fee should be used to pay for the border guards, administration, infrastructure, and other odds and ends present at the crossings. That way, the most effecient border crossings (servicing the most people) will survive, and the least efficient will fail, as the perfect Rand universe demands. We certainly don’t need border crossings in places like Maine or Wyoming, do we?

    Of course, there should be sliding scales. People who want to get through the border hassle-free (with their loved ones, luggage, and bomb-making gear intact) will be charged a premium fee. People who pay minimal fees will get the white glove treatment to ‘encourage’ higher payments next time they cross. Randian theory has a perfect answer for everything.

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