How is President Trump going to pay for his emergency, $8 billion border wall? That’s easy. There is $8 billion sitting in the federal treasury right now—the exact amount declined by Georgia Republican governors and legislators during recent years for the expansion of Medicaid. That money they refused would have stabilized rural hospitals, created thousands of high-paying jobs and guaranteed medical care to around 300,000 Georgians, not to mention making Georgia much more attractive to industry, which tends to shy away from sick states.
The Republicans don’t want to be reminded how they have thrown our citizens and our economy under the bus, just so they can continue railing about Obamacare. And, of course, now they’re edging toward some kind of pseudo-Medicaid approximation that may let a few Georgians get some kind of medical coverage, if they can go out and get a job with Amazon.
But the wall: Why don’t our Georgia Republicans come to the aid of their president? He has had to declare a false national emergency, so that he can fund his wall by siphoning off money from already-approved government expenditures, including $234 million from federal projects in Georgia.
Where is Congressman Jody Hice (R-Lake Oconee) when we need him? More to the point: Where is our former governor, Sonny Perdue, now the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture? Don’t tell me Sonny has lost his touch. He just recently anointed his protegé Brian Kemp governor by securing Trump’s endorsement. Why can’t Sonny use his agriculture smarts to help his president out of this wall jam?
If Sonny were worth his fertilizer as an agriculture secretary, he would know that we have resources right here in Georgia that would help build an impenetrable wall. Whether they’re talking about a cement wall or steel panels or whatever the wall du jour may be, everybody worries about the ability of the Guatemalan drug cartels to just climb over the top. Right here is where Sonny and Hice and Kemp and them could help Trump and help Georgia at the same time. Have they never heard of elaeagnus?
Elaeagnus is dense, fast-growing, evergreen, impervious to drought and has sharp thorns and deep, widespread roots. A southern border wall topped by elaeagnus would stop a horde of rapacious dope dealers dead in their tracks. The few who might somehow push themselves through a barrier of elaeagnus would be so bloodied and disoriented that they could easily be scooped up by the border patrol.
If Sonny and Hice and Brian and them really had Georgia’s interests at heart, they would realize the potential for our state, which is covered in elaeagnus. A wall topped by this stuff would add only a fraction to the cost, but it would be a bonanza for Georgians. With Sonny’s agriculture department leading the way, Georgians could sell their elaeagnus to the government, with the government responsible for digging it up and transplanting it to the southern border. We would get rid of our elaeagnus and get some money at the same time! Make the agriculture department great again, like the old days, when farmers were paid not to plant cotton!
But city-slicker government bureaucrats might not think elaeagnus can do the trick. OK, let’s dig deeper and make things even better for Georgians. A wall topped by elaeagnus and laced with kudzu: Dig it? While the dope dealers are trying to avoid the elaeagnus thorns, the kudzu is snaring their feet, and Georgians are laughing all the way to the bank.
If the “Build the Wall” crowd is still not convinced, Georgia has even more ability to strengthen the wall and line our pockets. Take, for instance, greenbriar, that fast-growing, ubiquitous, sharp-spiked pest… er, resource. If you can’t envision the impenetrability of a wall constructed of elaeagnus, laced with kudzu and threaded with greenbriar, you have never stepped outside your Marietta apartment building.
Come on, Sonny! Earn that big salary. If the wall has to be built, let Georgia profit from it and build a better barrier at the same time. And, take it from me, if you think it would be a mistake to send all these natural resources out of Georgia, don’t you worry. By the time our southern border is completely sealed off with the green wall, all that elaeagnus, kudzu and greenbriar will have grown back here stronger than ever. And, who knows? This Georgia wall cover may have other export potential. The Great Wall of China is completely uncovered.
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