The Art of the Deal. Indeed!
The Donald flew into Mexico as the most unpopular figure in the country, without a close second, and walked out like he owned the joint.
Reading between the lines of the biggest question coming out of the meeting, “Who is going to pay for the wall?” I see a brilliant quid pro quo being engineered by Trump.
Nieto’s poll numbers are in the toilet. After the meeting he tweeted, “I repeat what I told you in person, Mr. Trump: Mexico will never pay for a wall,” he tweeted in Spanish….
Repito lo que le dije personalmente, Sr. Trump: México jamás pagaría por un muro. https://t.co/IJNVe0XepY
— Enrique Peña Nieto (@EPN) September 1, 2016
What Nieto is saying is, “Mexico will not VOLUNTARILY pay for the wall.”
Yes, we get that, but there are many, many ways to make Mexico involuntarily pay for the wall, from denying foreign aid to import tariffs to taxing money sent to Mexico from the US, among other methods. The US is in the driver’s seat. Mexico is simply a passenger.
Nieto’s big talk is good for his poll numbers. If Trump does not directly go after the Mexican government or the Mexican people to collect the money to build the wall, Nieto looks like the victor, his poll numbers skyrocket and Mexicans cheer “Viva Nieto” in the streets for vanquishing “el yanqui rubia.”
But how to do it. How does Trump force Mexico to pay for the wall without making Mexico’s leadership look weak for not being able to prevent it?
I know! Let’s make the Mexican boogeymen, the drug cartels, pay for the wall. Everyone hates the cartels. They kill Mexicans and Americans alike and have wreaked havoc on the people and economies of both countries.
As can be seen in the chart below, drug seizures dropped drastically during the administration of Barack Hussein. This is not from more enforcement. It is from less. Look for that to change dramatically under a Trump administration.
Remember, the goal of building the wall was to benefit the American people. It was never a goal to injure the Mexican people. This scenario of cartel seizures paying for the wall, which could be done easily from less than a year’s seizure of drug money, benefits the people of both countries tremendously and makes both leaders look like geniuses.
To fund construction of a new U.S. border wall, Donald Trump and senior advisers are considering various ideas, including the use of assets seized from drug cartels and others in the illicit drug trade.
As the debate over who will pay for the wall dominates the discussion on cable news, sources involved in the pre-planning of the GOP nominee’s Mexico trip told LifeZette the Trump camp is looking for innovative ways to pay for the construction of the border wall — ways that both countries can support. Sensitivities in Mexico regarding Trump’s visit, and specifically paying for the border wall, are running high.
“For decades, the illicit drug and arms trade has endangered and destroyed the lives of countless Mexicans and Americans.”
A senior Trump policy adviser stressed the proposal was just one of several funding options being discussed and said the idea was not raised during Trump’s meeting with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.
Advocates of the “make the cartels pay” plan believe it has the added benefit of punishing the “worst of the worst who bring violence to our streets and prey on innocent Mexicans and Americans,” while giving political cover to both leaders to accomplish their objectives. Sources close to both the Mexican government and the Trump campaign have confirmed that this proposal exists, but wish to remain anonymous given the preliminary nature of the discussions.
The plan could involve the creation of a “joint border security fund,” where assets seized by law enforcement in both nations are deposited, then deployed for construction and maintenance of the border structure to the benefit of both Mexico and the United States.
That solution could go a long way toward paying for Trump’s wall within the first term of his presidency.
According to the Justice Department’s annual audit of its existing seized assets forfeiture fund for fiscal year 2015, that fund totaled more than $8.7 billion. That figure does not include any assets seized from the cartels by the Mexican government.
A detailed analysis of the cost of constructing the wall conducted by the Bernstein Group estimated the project would cost in the range of $15 billion to $25 billion, but Trump contends he could get the construction done for closer to $8 to $10 billion.
The plan would uniquely incentivize both nations to ramp up efforts to degrade and destroy the illegal drug trafficking market.
A 2012 estimate compiled by the RAND Corporation at the request of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, found that Americans, on average, spend $100 billion annually on the four most widely trafficked illegal drugs: crack/cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine (meth).