Are you a NEXUS card holder? Despite the somewhat exhaustive process to get the thing, it certainly makes crossings much easier in both directions.
I'm from Scotland where our southern border joins with England. Although we are, along with Wales and Northern Ireland, part of the UK we each are immensly proud of where we come from. I was very happy to see on my last visit to England that the 'way in' to my country was adorned with a large clean sign welcoming visitors, alongside numerous Saltires (Scottish flag) flowing freely in the wind. Beautiful.
Unfortunately the same care and attention had not been put into Englands welcome - a small brown sign with 'You are now entering England'. Although even that was barely readable with all the grafitti on it. Was not impressed.
So yeah - I think it pays to put a bit of money towards the entrances!
I apreciate Dubai turning their country in one big theme park from a theme park lovers perspective. Still strikes me as particular bad policy that would result from such a mindset. Fortunatly for Americans, America is rich. Thus talk about inability to afford certain public spending are just another way to say "i dont like that kind of spending".