Dear Republican United States Senators:

We are now one month into a government shut down over a “Crisis” on our Southern Border. I have to admit that as a Texan who often works in Texas border cities and towns, I question the use of the term “Crisis.” First, Texas border towns and cities are among the safest in our great state. Second, what true “Crisis” is best addressed by not paying the people who are responsible of dealing the situation, in the field, for over a month. 

But regardless of how the situation is defined, we do find ourselves at an impasse. 

I admit, I am a fiscal conservative.  As such, I’m reluctant to support government by Santa Claus. That is new expenditures and programs approved without a dedicated revenue source, sadly a practice that is now common on both sides of the aisle.

I admit that I find the concept of a sea-to-sea, physical wall a ludicrous idea (as mentioned above, I am an actual Texan, familiar with the border).

I admit that I do believe that there is a compelling need to upgrade outdated and worn out infrastructure in the United States.

I admit that border security can be improved.

I admit all of this, because these facts lend themselves to a way out of the situation that we now find ourselves in. Here is the course of action that I recommend.

1. Immediately re-open the government. We wring our hands when a company closes down a factory and 500 people are without a paycheck. By choice, the U.S. Government is not paying 800,000 employees. That is 800,000 fellow citizens that are now in financial crisis. That is 800,000 voters that know that a Republican President shut down his own government because he didn’t like what was sent to him from a Republican Congress and a Republican Senate.     

2. Introduce the following legislation, “The Make America Safe Again” infrastructure program and tax. The program should improve the security of American borders with upgraded technology and barriers (See: Rep. Will Hurd, Smart Wall Act). The new, attached tax (which should be shouldered by all Americans) should be enough to pay for not only upgrades, equipment, barriers and manpower, but also on-going maintenance. 

Common sense upgrades to border security will make us safer and represent a significant infrastructure program. Dedicating a specific, country-wide tax to pay for this program, communicates to all Americans exactly how important this program is to the continued health and welfare of the country.

Now some may argue that a new tax is a non-starter, but if we are really facing a “Crisis” that puts all of us at risk, then we all have a responsibility to our fellow citizens to do our additional part to mitigate that risk. 

Sean Cain