“Biden administration spending $60 million per week to shelter unaccompanied minors”

That works out to more than $500 per child per day, and it’s apparently a discount based on this sentence: “Kenneth Wolfe, a spokesman for HHS’s Administration for Children and Families, said the average daily cost per child is ‘approximately $775 per day based on past experience.’

In comparison, I just checked the price of a Sandals all-inclusive 5-star resort in Negril, Jamaica, and it works out to $300 per person per day ($4200 for a couple, 7-nights). So we could transport the kids there, hire each kid a personal nanny at $90 a day (a desirable job with a solid wage in Jamaica), house them in a 5-star resort with unlimited gourmet meals included, and still cut the price in half from that $775 figure. The older kids can even drink booze for free! (Alcohol is also included at Sandals, and Jamaica has no minimum drinking age.)

In equally daunting math:

$60 million per week is three billion dollars per year – and the number of kids is expected to grow dramatically.

The cited rate of $775 per child per day multiplies out to $280,000 per child per year!

Of course I’m not saying that we shouldn’t take care of the kids, but perhaps we need to improve our efficiency.

A lot.

19 thoughts on ““Biden administration spending $60 million per week to shelter unaccompanied minors”

  1. The government is incapable of running a hot dog stand effectively or efficiently, let alone multibillion dollar enterprise. It’s a joke. Liberals clearly don’t comprehend this as evidenced by their willingness to elect community organizers, academics, career politicians, and lawyers to positions of power.

    It really doesn’t matter in the end. No matter how many weights liberals strap to the successful, we still overcome. And the more they try to regulate us, the more we simply use it to our advantage.

    1. Which is why hundreds of thousands of companies prove you right through bankruptcy every year right? Corporations run into the ground CONSTANTLY. Tell me the genius Republican’s who burned a whole in the state of Wisconsin budget trying to fund a fail privatized Foxconn plant. They lived off money and still failed! We’ve seen the great results of deregulation: the Great Depression and Recession.

      Conservatives are the poison pill. I guess if your entire goal is to make a project fail to prove yourself right, then the organization itself doesn’t matter, does it?

      And also you hypocrites have no problem using publicly funded projects and property to run your business and live off of other people’s work. Including the TCP/IP protocol you’ve being routed to this very site right now to use!

      Keep up with your persecution complex though, while you ride the backs of others. The programming languages, internet infrastructure, protocols, policies, research, and funding came off of the backs of researchers funded by society as a whole to make what you have right here to complain about. 99.9% of the work is done, but idiotic libertarian/conservatives think it’s just magically off the backs of your rugged individualism using other people’s work to get it done.

      You want to prove a point? Go stand up your own damn servers, businesses, programming languages, processors, and protocols of the backs of public funding and research and then you can talk. There’s sure a lot of ego and undeserved persecution complex from you people who gladly use others work to make your living, while hypocritically bitching that it’s a failure.

      1. Indy, all of these tools created by others are at my disposal. I can work for a company that makes those tools or I can build something new on top of their accomplishments. That is the very definition of innovation and progress. Take a risk and reap the rewards. But I want someone in charge who knows how to run a profitable organization with a track record of success.

        1. Profit isn’t a sole measurement of success. Many of those tools were created by public resources, non-profits, and universities. And much of the most profitable organizations actually stifle progress and innovation by throwing money at endless litigation and lobbyist to protect monopolies and stifle competition.

          Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook have created monopolies due to the lack of regulation and run out competitors and jack up prices because of it.

          Being profitable doesn’t have a damn thing to do with being successful if innovation and progress matters. The best case scenario was the businessmen shutting the hell up and getting the hell out of the way in cases like Bell Labs, who’s creations ended up being for the betterment for technology as a whole and not some bullshit business plan to make executives money while they sit on their ass.

          You’re trying to tie privatization as some golden model of success, when the real innovation came from people who weren’t motivated by profit – they were motivated by progress and contributing to society.

          1. I don’t think we want the US government to do extensive privatization. We want the US government to be, at the minimum, as efficient as the governments of other developed countries, and at the maximum, as efficient as the most efficient companies.

            Case in point: France creates railroads for a tiny fraction of what the US spends. They figure about $10 million per mile. California’s original estimate was $154 million per mile – and they don’t think they can deliver on that estimate!

            Similarly, a new subway station costs 1/7 as much in Paris as in NYC.

            It isn’t that government is inefficient. It’s that OUR government is inefficient. The solution is not to abandon it, but to fix it.

    2. When Steverino says “The government is incapable of running a hot dog stand effectively or efficiently”, you have to add “when Trump is in charge”. He never says that part out loud, but he knows it’s true.

      Everything else in his post here is just standard “conservative” boilerplate, to be forgotten the instant the right thinks the government to do something.

      1. Dang, I meant to say “wants” and not “thinks” in that last line. Color me embarrassed.

  2. This money is going to jobs, correct? Agencies that run the camp. It seems efficiency is a ‘thing’ when government spending goes to you know, actual jobs, instead of funneling the money directly to the rich like the previous administration.

    Lets count the trillions and penny pinch on efficiencies that went though those great trickle down economic policies by the 2017 corporate tax cuts, and count the money there. You know, the the conservative goons once again funneled money directly to corporations to NOT create jobs, and to repurchase stocks, so executives could increase their own compensation and cash out millions.

    Or, if they were ‘generous’, they just threw that money to mergers and acquisitions so that they could buy out competitors and lay people off so they could raise prices on the rest of society.

    I would literally take that money, withdraw it in hundred dollar bills and hire hundreds of people to burn cash out in the middle of the desert than give another damned penny to the wealthy here. It’s been amazingly quiet these past four months with you-know-who gone and out of the public eye, but I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from the conservative greatest hits of spending once again when they gave fuck all about the deficit when they were pushing policies turning people like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos into country level GDP powers.

    1. The points you make are good, but irrelevant to the point. There is no way to justify spending twice as much as it would take to house the kids in a 5-star all-inclusive resort with a child care ratio of one-to-one.

      It’s also worthwhile to note that the cost per child is not specifically a Biden problem. It did not magically increase when Biden took over. It is the same cost which has been prevalent for years. In fact, if the man cited in the article is right, Biden’s administration has managed to reduce the cost to $500 from the previous $775, so good for them.

      The specific Biden problem is the vast number of new immigrants. Nobody would care about the cost per child if there were only two kids to take care of. The $60 million per month is obviously the product of two factors – cost per child times number of children. The new influx of kids has caused the cost per child to be more noticeable because it is now multiplied times a very large and ever-increasing number.

      Bottom line: we still have to learn to provide better care for these kids at a lower price.

      1. The accounting here is important, and would want to see the receipts on this. The framing of actual cost is a big problem with government accounting, such as the framing of the Postal Service as losing money every year, because a conservative Congress imposed pension requirements that no logical organization has to impose, to once again try to privatize another organization for their buddies.

        For example, TheHill’s math is different:

        “The Biden administration is spending $60 million per week to take care of unaccompanied minors at the border, according to a report by The Washington Post.

        The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) quickly filled its 7,700 available beds in its network of permanent shelters, where the cost of caring for a single migrant child runs $290 daily. ”

        And even if the cost here is accurate, which is more helpful for society, the money going directly to employment, or outsourcing it at a cheaper price so some wealthy asshole can take 90% of the overhead while the hotel workers make pennies?

        That’s why I honestly don’t care about the spending argument. If most of that money goes to a job, and a person can actually make a living, then I don’t give a damn. I rather spend $60 million a week on people having employment, if it means picking up a rock and moving it 100 yards a few times a day rather than ‘cheaper’ privatization that goes immediately to the executives of that organization to hoard or utilize for power.

        Conservatives sure as hell like to incentivize idiotic privatization as ‘stimulus’ for creating jobs – like the failed Foxconn plant in Wisconsin where the state of Wisconsin was spending upwards of a million dollars per jobs that never came to fruition that were supposed to be 10% or less than the actual cost of all the infrastructure and tax breaks that went into it. If this were up to McConnell, I’m sure the same strategy would be there – find some rich donor to privatize it slightly ‘cheaper’, funnel all the tax breaks directly to the wealthy contractor, and let them make millions off of it and cut all the support and set wages at minimum wage and let it all go to squalor for profit – just like every other grand strategy.

        If the cost is $60 million in jobs directly to blue collar workers, that sure as hell a better deal than the conservative Foxconn ‘strategy’ of gigantic tax breaks with virtually no job creation with lower wages with the combination of spending AND giving all the overhead to rich executives.

        1. Again, Indy, irrelevant. You’ve created some “government versus corporate” straw man, which is not the issue.

          I’m not suggesting we privatize care (although I’m not ruling it out). I am simply pointing out that if private enterprise can provide 5-star care and an open bar for $300 per person per day, then surely government can learn to provide no-star care for less than $775.

          The issue is not that government is running it, but that government is running it badly. Instead of turning it over to experts, the government should become experts. Luckily Biden does believe in expertise, and will presumably have the program managed by professional workaholics who actually care about doing the best job at the best price, instead of chowderheaded political appointees looking for a sinecure.

          (Granted, the vast number of kids piling up in these facilities is not something that we were prepared for, so I am judging the performance too soon, before the managers have had a chance to adapt and adjust. I assume the cost per child will decrease as we learn how to manage it and no longer need additional capital to build new facilities.)

          All of that circles back to the key issue, which is that the key component in the $60 million is not the cost per kid, but the number of kids. There’s the real challenge for Sleepy Joe and company.

          1. Certainly, American kid-prevention policy is not world-class. We could learn a thing or two from the Chinese.

          2. Not debating a thing here but just want to know how those that voted for Biden feel his administration is doing a few months in?

          3. Well, I didn’t expect miracles. We didn’t get miracles. We aren’t going to get miracles. OTOH, Biden & his people have done more good & less bad things than we’d have gotten under Trump. That doesn’t mean we mightn’t have been better off in some ways. People do different things under different circumstances. In that way, their beliefs are often self-fulfilling. Like, some governors might not have opened up so soon. Then maybe our hot zones would’ve been a little cooler. But then again, we don’t know that, do we? Not only Trump, but a lot of smart people got a lot of things wrong. We could’ve done much better. The fact we’re bumping along & I think we would’ve been with or without Joe, does seem to say there’s something good about our country. It’s just easy to forget that, sometimes.

          4. There’s no context to these numbers, that’s my point. Efficiency doesn’t exist in a vacuum of dollar values, and why should that be the goal anyway?

            What if it’s running exactly the same way as somewhere else could, but the individuals running the camps were making a living wage versus paying them what a cleaning crew at Motel 6 looks like?

            Armchair economists run around worried about government spending with no context of what the purpose should actually even be. Is it distributing money and creating jobs so people can have a better quality of life? How is the accounting even done with this stuff – is it internal accounting charging the cost owed to another government agency for services? Is HHS requiring other federal agencies or resources and paying them for their time when it’s ALL internal? There’s no context to any of this.

            Or just the lowest digit is better because its more ‘efficient’ – regardless of where or who the money flows to? And what is role of spending anyway – it sure likes to be propagandized that spending when it goes to middle or lower class is ‘out of control’ – but I’ve yet to see any evidence it’s crashing confidence in the US currency. And it sure as hell never seems to be a concern when it’s going directly to stock buybacks.

            A lot more goes into this than trying to treat it like it’s a hotel room.

        2. Uncle Scoopy: I’d generally side with Indy over you, ever since you revealed you were about ready to go Red over MW. That still looks petty & irrational to me. Not your position on that issue, but the sheer wrongness of throwing away every shred of good you have in you over it. On the MW, I think it’d have been sensible if we could’ve thru good-faith negotiation got to a compromise endpoint of $13/hr instead of $15. That said, I think anyone who believes that was politically possible must be high on dope. Also, tho I heard Biden’s version had tied the MW to 60% of *local* median, on my reading of the House’s version, it didn’t do that. I can see arguments either way, but here again, if negotiations were in good faith, I’d be happy with that compromise. The Senate & POTUS didn’t *have* to rescind the measure & comply with the ruling. But I’m glad they did. I’m also glad Dems didn’t let themselves be bullied into half-measures like they always do, when the GOP turned out to be unwilling to play ball. (No surprise, there.)

          On a larger point, I’m not enthused by the concept of small govt like I used to be. When its purpose turns out to be no more than to let the rich withdraw from participation in the common good, it ceases to be a useful principle. If you’ll forgive my paraphrase of Albert Einstein, “A good govt should be as small as possible… but no smaller.” Right now, thanks to our plutocracy, moderately expanded govt is an unfortunate necessity. I don’t see that changing for generations to come. The repairs will take that long.

          Just like SCOTUS was wrong to strike down the voting rights act. Even after all this time, as the GOP has made all too clear lately, no, the country really hasn’t advanced to the point where the VRA was no longer needed. In fact, what we really needed was expanding its scope to all states, not limited to the South. Yes, I’d have been in favor of a Supreme Court ruling to that effect. Yet another conservative principle I used to hold that I had to toss overboard: I can’t be against judicial activism anymore. I’ve decided that move always was a straight-up con.

          Well, I always thought SCOTUS had too much power. Right now, they scare me. I’d be for restricting their jurisdiction. Yet another reason conservatives are to be feared. Since I now see pretty much all the best conservative principles as inimical to the good of the country, I can no longer reserve any special respect for the “good-faith” conservative, e.g., Bill Decee, MidCon & ostensibly, you. I share many beliefs with that animal. We’re all American citizens with all the same rights & responsibilities. We’re all owed that much respect. But every bankrupt belief takes you down a peg on my “everyone’s about as smart as me” scoreboard.

          1. P.S. Oops, forgot: On the immigrant kids, I do agree with Uncle Scoopy that “as small as possible” should be applied & to small things as well as big. The Pentagon shouldn’t be requisitioning $500 hammers & a sensible plan to house unaccompanied minors at a non-exorbitant price is reasonable to expect & demand, irrespective of other unrelated political abuses committed by the GOP whilst they held the reins.

  3. $500 per day is a solid price. Spent one day in the hospital with an IV and a single liver test and that was $43k for less than 24 hours.

    1. My sister spend her last day in the hospital. Like you, she was actually in care for less than 24 hours, and the bill was $21,000.

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