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Critics claim that President Donald Trump’s proposed wall will be a relatively ineffective way to achieve border security, and hence, a waste of money.

Ironically the controversy over the wall, including the partial government shutdown and its ripple effects spreading throughout our economy, is surely costing more than the sum the president wants to spend for this installment of his wall.

As it continues, the dispute about the wall is no longer primarily about border security or saving money but rather about saving face. Meanwhile, the real cost of the shutdown is most inequitably distributed among us.

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A fair and successful resolution to this contretemps will require both parties to abandon blaming and to focus seriously on finding a win-win solution. President Trump’s most recent proposal may not yet be seriously focused on a solution instead of on blame, but it can, if both parties want, be a point of departure for negotiations leading to wins for both of them and, more importantly, for all of us.

David Cole, Baraboo

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