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Build the wall? It’s already been built

Confounding his critics, President Trump has already built his big beautiful border wall. Illegal immigration on the southern border has plummeted. Mexico didn't pay for the wall — nor did U.S. taxpayers.

Trump's new barrier is a virtual wall. Nothing newfangled, yet it is the strongest of all possible barriers. It is a psychological blockade called deterrence — the deterrent effect of actually enforcing immigration law.

Trump’s immigration proposals aren’t mean — they’re reasonable, legal and entirely doable

Last month's Homeland Security policy memos implementing President Trump's executive orders on illegal immigration elicited the inevitable charges that the policy is un-American and that "rounding up millions" is a quixotic impossibility. Both charges are empty.

Trump is enforcing long-standing U.S. law, which is any American president's first duty, and, while reports from around the country confirm that he is ramping up enforcement, he has abandoned his campaign cry that "they all gotta go," all the estimated 11 million or more illegal immigrants.

Trump faces time bomb in college loan program

What does the incoming Trump administration propose to do about
the fast-growing, loss-ridden $1.3 trillion federal student loan system?

Unfortunately,
senators barely touched on this issue at Tuesday’s confirmation hearing for
Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s choice to be education secretary. In particular,
they should have zeroed in on one target, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness
program, a ticking time bomb set to go off this October.

How to make drug prices fair to U.S. consumers

Americans pay far more for branded prescription drugs than people
in any other developed nation, exactly the kind of bad deal that
President-elect Donald Trump decried repeatedly in his campaign. The U.S. was
reminded of this outrage in September when it learned that drugmaker Mylan NV
has been charging Americans more than $600 for its EpiPen two-pack while
selling it for only $69 in the U.K.

Why
does this kind of inequality persist? The main reason is that, by law, Medicare
and Medicaid cannot use their volume purchasing power to negotiate lower
prices, as do health agencies in virtually all other developed nations.

Make colleges pay loans if their graduates can’t

When the U.S. Education Department shut down ITT Technical
Institute at the beginning of the fall semester, some people saw it as just
desserts for the for-profit college. Given ITT’s relatively low graduation
rates, alleged use of deceptive job placement figures in its recruiting
efforts, and high numbers of loan defaults and delinquencies, the government
may have seemed justified in refusing to fund more loans to ITT students.

Yet,
now, 35,000 students are suddenly without a school and 8,000 faculty and staff
are unemployed, and the entire episode shows that the government remains
fixated on problems in the for-profit sector while virtually ignoring that all
of U.S. higher education has long been guilty of what, in another business,
might be called price gouging.

Trump should talk about legal immigration

Since releasing his policy brief on immigration in mid-2015, Donald Trump has said repeatedly “build the wall” and “they all gotta go,” simplistic renditions of his border security and deportation policies. Recently, he has been shifting all over the map on illegal immigration, and this week he's attempting to set everything straight in a Phoenix speech.

What Trump really needs to talk about is the third principle set forth in his policy brief, the one addressing legal immigration: “Any immigration plan must improve jobs, wages and security for all Americans.”

Britain should adopt a points system for all immigrants

It
was widely observed that Brexit was driven by anti-immigrant sentiment. A new Ipsos poll
confirms that about half of Brits have a negative view of immigration, while
only 35 percent view it positively. Much concern has focused upon European
Union citizens currently residing in the U.K (they’ll certainly be
grandfathered, as will U.K. citizens living in the EU), but the real question
is what kind of long-term immigration policy the U.K. should adopt.

Does Brexit give us our best chance to kill too-big-to-fail?

The biggest U.S. banks are the strongest in the world, which is why we should break them up right now. They just passed the Federal Reserve's annual "stress tests," and they navigated smoothly the moderate stresses of post-Brexit financial markets turmoil, which has shaken many big European banks.

The alternative to break-up is Dodd Frank, the 2010 bank law that, instead, employs intensive regulation to ensure the safety of our "too-big-to-fail" banks. Recently, both the Federal Reserve and the House GOP announced proposals with the idea of ensuring bank safety without such smothering government oversight.

Both the Fed and House GOP proposed increased equity capital standards. However, they head in exactly opposite directions.

Backwards Brexit doomsayers

Brexit has brought forth a legion of Chicken Littles. They have predicted doom for the United Kingdom, stripped of its free access to the European Union’s common market, diminished in its own realm by Scottish independence and, then, the departure of Northern Ireland.

The sky is not going to fall.

A cautionary tale for politicians pushing universal preschool

Yet another study has found that preschool yields no significant educational benefits. After spending £2 billion annually for almost a decade to fund an expansion of preschool to cover all three-year-olds, the United Kingdom had no lasting improvements in educational achievement to show for it, researchers have found.

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