Over the line

Santa Fe POE TABC booth
It’s $3.50 a bottle these days, but they’ll let you bring four.
If El Paso wants to thrive, we need to reduce the disincentives to crossing the border.

We need to debunk the canard that you need a passport to cross back into the United States. You’re a citizen. This is your country. Don’t think some bureaucrat in a uniform will tell you that you can’t get back into the U.S. because you don’t have your papers. They won’t, because they don’t have the authority.

We need to get rid of those ridiculous Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission booths on the bridges. Have you ever crossed at Santa Teresa, or Columbus? New Mexico doesn’t charge a state liquor tax for liquor from Mexico. Those tax booths are the product of the Texas liquor lobby. And on the face of it, the Texas liquor tax is unconstitutional. States are not permitted to maintain their own foreign policy, and since Texas doesn’t require liquor imported from New Mexico, say, or Oklahoma to pay the tax, a tax on liquor from Mexico amounts to a foreign tariff. Not only that, but I’ve heard for years that those booths lose money every year. That it costs more to man and maintain them than they collect.

The disincentives to crossing the border need to be reduced to a secure minimum.

El Paso needs to embrace Juarez. We need to once again become an international city.

Without Juarez, El Paso is little more than a collection of truck stops on I-10 and a big Army base. Think Fort Stockton meets Killeen. The Mexican federal government, unfettered by the considerations of fiscal responsibility that might deter a local government (ha!), is fixing to throw a lot of money at Juarez. That’s about all that El Paso has going for it.

That, and another season of Triple A ball.

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