Rich Tucker
It’s not difficult to spend someone else’s money. Here’s a sample from one of President Bush’s recent speeches: “I’m calling on Congress to provide funding for dramatic improvements in manpower and technology at the border,” he announced on May 15. And, “since I became president, we’ve increased funding for border security by 66 percent.”

There’s a pattern -- Bush’s answer to all problems seems to be more federal spending. Perhaps this explains No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D and the 49 percent increase in discretionary non-defense federal spending since 2001. The fallacy is that increased federal spending brings positive results. Nope. While Bush is free to brag he’s spending two-thirds more on border security, this increased spending hasn’t made the situation better.

And why would spending even more be the solution? The government is already turning away free and effective help from the often-maligned Minutemen, regular Americans donating their time, cash and effort to secure our borders. The Minutemen have been filling holes aliens dig under border fences with concrete, but the border patrol recently asked them to stop.

“Their purported rationale was because they had placed super-secret sensors at some of the holes to monitor the traffic,” one Minuteman e-mailed me. “When we asked them why they hadn’t detected any of the groups of 8 to 20 that we’ve repeatedly caught and apprehended after coming through the supposedly monitored holes, the Border Patrol senior officials got suddenly rather quiet (leading us to conclude that either the sensors are either entirely mythical, totally inoperative or wholly ignored -- take your pick).”

But why bother installing super-secret (and, no doubt, super-expensive) sensors along the border when average Americans are more than willing to foot the bill for enough concrete to simply block the holes?

Still, American ingenuity knows no bounds. The Minutemen now dump white gypsum, the same stuff used to line baseball fields, into the tunnels. Illegal aliens are leaving an easy-to-follow trail of white footprints as they enter our country.

“We’ve prevented almost all crossings (without even being there) across two linear miles of border, at a cost of $40 for 10 bags of powdered gypsum,” my correspondent writes. If only the government could get as much bang for its billions of bucks, we’d have solved the illegal immigration problem years ago.


Rich Tucker

Rich Tucker is a communications professional and a columnist for Townhall.com.