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Insider Report: Ann Coulter: Have Illegals Build Border Wall

Saturday, 15 April 2006 12:00 AM

Firebrand author Ann Coulter has an answer for illegal immigration apologists who say it's simply too expensive to build a wall across the entire U.S.-Mexican border: Hire illegal aliens already in the U.S. to help with the construction.

Asked how she would solve the illegal immigration problem, Coulter told Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly on Thursday: "I'd build a wall. In fact, I'd hire illegal immigrants to build the wall."

Coulter told O'Reilly that she also favors deporting illegal aliens wherever they turn up, noting that immigration authorities missed a perfect opportunity to get a head start on the effort with the recent wave of pro-illegal protests.

"We could have done it very easily in the last week," she explained. "You could have just sent paddy wagons to the protests."

As outrageous as Coulter's comments may seem, her views on illegal immigration are firmly in the mainstream of U.S. public opinion.

A Time magazine poll released last weekend showed 56 percent of those surveyed support building a wall along the entire 2,000-mile Mexican border. Just 40 percent opposed.

Even on the question of deporting illegal immigrants, Coulter is in the majority. Asked whether the U.S. would be better off if "all illegals" were deported, 51 percent of Americans said yes, with just 38 percent disagreeing.

The controversial conservative said the disconnect between what the American people think about illegal immigration and what Washington plans to do is unprecedented.

"I've never seen an issue where public opinion seems so strongly on one side, but because of corporate interests, the government is acting the other way," she told O'Reilly. "How about putting this to a vote?"

Amid estimates that the cost of the war in Iraq could run into the trillions, some economists say the real expense could be only slightly higher than what it would have cost to merely contain Iraq instead of invading.

A study by three economists at the University of Chicago's business school – Steven Davis, Kevin Murphy and Robert Topel – gives seven scenarios for the war, and the likeliest two indicate a final cost of between $410 billion and $630 billion.

But the economists also evaluate a range of possible outcomes if the U.S. had chosen the alternative to war.

They note that even before the 9/11 attacks, the United States had 28,000 troops in the region around Iraq, as well as about 30 ships and 200 aircraft enforcing no-fly zones. These forces alone were costing $11 billion to $18 billion a year, according to a report on the study in the influential publication The Economist.

The economists estimate that, without an invasion, there was a 3 percent chance each year that the rule of Saddam Hussein or his sons would collapse.

"Given what America was spending on Iraq, the authors reckon, it would have cost at least $200 billion, in present value terms, to keep containing it until it no longer posed a threat," The Economist reports.

Furthermore, containment would have involved a few contingencies, such as the periodic need for a show of force.

The University of Chicago economists figure that there would have been a 10 percent chance every year of having to send troops to the region again to keep Saddam under control.

Under these assumptions, they "estimate that the expected cost of containment would have been around $400 billion, only a little less than the $410 billion that they now expect the war to cost," according to The Economist.

Predictions of the war's cost by the Bush administration have proved too low. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld cited a figure of $50 billion to $60 billion, and Bush's top economic adviser Larry Lindsey put the figure at $100 billion to $200 billion.

Now an estimate by Linda Bilmes of Harvard University and Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University put the cost at an astronomical $2.24 trillion through 2015.

But The Economist points out that the Bilmes-Stiglitz estimate takes into account higher oil prices, which are only slightly dictated by the war in Iraq, and interest payments on U.S. spending in Iraq. It also includes $3 billion annually to be spent on veterans' care over the next 20 to 40 years.

A third study by Scott Wallsten and Katrina Kosec for the AEI-Brookings Joint Centre predicts that the war will eventually cost America from $540 billion to $670 billion.

As NewsMax reported earlier this week, Rush Limbaugh still dominates the talk radio landscape as the No. 1 host most Americans are most familiar with.

That was the finding of a new survey by the Benchmark Company, a market research firm. Benchmark recently completed a national study of talk radio listeners aged 18 and over from the top 25 radio markets in the United States.

We thought we would share the results of who made Benchmark's "List" based on their "familiarity ratings." These national hosts scored at least 20 percent:

Rush Limbaugh - 94 percent

The handling of the recent U.S. decision not to seek a seat on the new United Nations Human Rights Council raises the question of "who really runs the State Department," according to columnist Robert Novak.

And Novak points to former Clinton administration official R. Nicholas Burns as the man calling the shots behind the scenes on this issue.

The new Council is replacing the U.N. Human Rights Commission, which has been discredited as a tool of anti-American rogue nations.

Ambassador John Bolton cast the U.S. vote against the Council, arguing that it wasn't a significant improvement over the Commission – which included members such human rights violators Sudan and Libya.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist issued a statement claiming the Council "makes only superficial changes" and "will not prevent serial human rights abusers from gaining membership and cannot be relied upon to monitor human rights abuses throughout the world."

Novak writes in the Chicago Sun-Times that senior administration officials were convinced that an American effort to gain a seat on the Council "would look ridiculous" after Bolton's negative vote. But Burns fought hard behind the scenes for the United States to pursue a seat on the 47-member panel, according to Novak.

Burns, currently undersecretary for political affairs at the State Department, was a special assistant to Bill Clinton, who in his second term appointed Burns as ambassador to Greece.

Although he served as ambassador to NATO during President Bush's first term, he is regarded as a Democrat and if John Kerry had won in 2004 "Burns would have the job he has now and would be promoting the same policies," Novak maintains.

Word in Washington was that Burns would probably be able to convince Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to accept the Council.

Ultimately Burns did not prevail. But the State Department's explanation for the decision not to seek a seat suggested the decision was made because a U.S. candidate for the council might lose in the May 9 elections. And one official said "we'll probably run for a seat later on."

Novak concludes: "That sounds like Burns or at least someone who reflects his opinion. It is an absolute rejection of Frist's arguments" and it "underlines the question of who really runs the State Department."

THAT a former adviser to

During Dean's campaign Trippi was credited with pioneering the use of the Internet to raise contributions from grass-roots donors.

THAT a Texas radio host has put a humorous spin on the debate raging over immigration reform and efforts to deal with the millions of illegal aliens in the United States.

Greg Knapp of radio station 570 KLIF in Dallas has created a T-shirt that reads: "If I Had Known All This Was Going To Happen I Would Have Mowed My Own Lawn."

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Firebrand author Ann Coulter has an answer for illegal immigration apologists who say it's simply too expensive to build a wall across the entire U.S.-Mexican border: Hire illegal aliens already in the U.S. to help with the construction. Asked how she would solve the...
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Saturday, 15 April 2006 12:00 AM
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