Trump now wants the U.S., not Mexico, to pay for The Great Border Wall

“I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively — I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”  —Donald Trump

Well, even before he becomes President—and it’s just a scant two weeks—Donald Trump has reneged on another of his campaign promises: to build the Big Anti-Mexican Wall along the border and then get Mexico to pay for it. That was an insane proposal from the outset, and Mexico rightly ignored it. According to CNN, Trump’s team has said that it will fund the Wall through Congressional appropriations. That means we Americans will pay for this folly.  To be sure, Trump has issued one of his stupid tw**ts saying that the “dishonest media” doesn’t see that we’ll get the dosh back from Mexico:

CNN describes the delusion:
New York Rep. Chris Collins said Friday that American taxpayers would front the cost for the wall but that he was confident Trump could negotiate getting the money back from Mexico.
“When you understand that Mexico’s economy is dependent upon US consumers, Donald Trump has all the cards he needs to play,” Collins, congressional liaison for the Trump transition team, told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on “New Day.” “On the trade negotiation side, I don’t think it’s that difficult for Donald Trump to convince Mexico that it’s in their best interest to reimburse us for building the wall.”

Yeah, right!

How much will this cost? Well, here’s one estimate from CNBC:

According to a Government Accountability Office 2009 report, the cost to build 1 mile of fencing at the border averaged between $2.8 million and $3.9 million. But that figure may be low relative to costs for future sections of the wall. It’s based only on the first 220 miles fenced and does not include other factors, such as topography, transportation logistics in harder-to-reach areas (i.e. road-building and earth and drainage work), labor costs, land acquisition costs and surveillance equipment.

“The first miles of fencing were in the easiest” places, said Marc Rosenblum, deputy director of the U.S. Immigration Policy Program at the Migration Policy Institute. These were fencing areas in or close to cities and accessible transportation, rather than deep in deserts or mountains. Additionally, the first miles were on public lands, while completing a border wall would require the government to acquire land from private holders. The GAO estimate for one difficult section of fencing near San Diego was $16 million.

But wait! There’s more:

The actual cost for the rest of the border wall (roughly 1,300 miles) could be as high as $16 million per mile, with a total price tag of $15 billion to $25 billion. Rosenblum said the $15 billion low-end estimate is “probably an underestimate,” because the parts that have yet to be fenced are the most difficult — the most dense and arid. At $16 million per mile and with 1,300 miles to secure, the estimated cost would be $12 billion, and the price of private land acquisitions and maintenance of fencing could push that total cost higher.

The U.S. government would have to pay to maintain the wall, which could cost as much as $750 million a year, according to an analysis conducted by Politico. And then if it wanted to man it with personnel, that would be an additional cost — border patrol has an operating budget of $1.4 billion for 21,000 agents.

Assuming a total cost of $25 billion and a total American population of 319 million, that works out to be about $80 for every man, woman, and child in the U.S. What a bargain! (Of course, that doesn’t include maintenance.)

I’m betting it won’t be built, but I’d bet a lot that Mexico won’t contribute a peso.

Two weeks left until the carnage begins. . .

98 Comments

  1. Joseph McClain
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    I spoke with an archaeologist who specializes in “clearing” areas slated for government construction. A number of federal and state laws require this archaeological evaluation before a project goes forward. He estimated that the cost for just the legally-required archaeological work to build this wall would be in the neighborhood of $100 million. Keep in mind, the wall would go through ancient Native American sites, venues important in several wars, etc.

    • Dominic
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      I cannot see how they would ‘break turf’ as it were for at least a couple of years, & who knows how long Trump will last before he resigns/is impeached for something or other & you have President Pence…

      • Jeff Lewis
        Posted January 6, 2017 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        I highly, highly doubt Trump will be impeached. The Republican controlled House wouldn’t do that to their own party, and even if he was impeached, the Republican controlled Senate certainly wouldn’t convict him. Granted, the make ups could change in 2 years with the mid term, but even if those changes went in the Democrats favor, I doubt they would pick up a 2/3 majority in the Senate to be able to convict Trump.

        • rickflick
          Posted January 6, 2017 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

          There are signs that not too many republicans actually like Trump. It might not take to much to persuade them that they’d rather have a president Pence.

          • gluonspring
            Posted January 6, 2017 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

            True, but they still have to fear primary challenges from actual Trump supporters, who are highly motivated, exactly what you need for primary challenges. I think they would not move on Trump unless they were confident that that threat was nullified somehow: e.g. Trump loses popularity with that group.

            • Helen Hollis
              Posted January 9, 2017 at 2:44 am | Permalink

              His 100 day plan will cause some to drop off after they see his plan fail?

    • Sastra
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      Archaeology? Elitist liberal political correctness. Whatever department THAT falls under, you can bet it’s controlled or will be controlled by someone who’s ready to drain the swamp of this sort of pettifogging nonsense.

      • gluonspring
        Posted January 6, 2017 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

        This is 100% correct.

        And I think that many people have misplaced expectation that the normal rules will apply even then, that laws on the books will be observed, that lawsuits will be responded to, etc. I hope I am wrong, but I think many people have not adjusted their minds to exactly how radical the coming years may be.

  2. Dominic
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    I am reminded of the film from 2010 – very good film – ‘Monsters’ – there is a gigantic wall along the Mexican border… to act as quarantine against aliens…
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsters_(2010_film)

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Other than the fact that I cannot stand science fiction please do tell who will build this wall? My best guess is nobody will build it but I am sure the Trump vision is thousands of Mexicans hired at low wages. Imagine a bunch of white folks down there building this thing.

      • Posted January 7, 2017 at 10:57 am | Permalink

        I think his plan is be to cut all social programs and then start a economic recession, so that he’ll have millions of people willing to work just for food. (But not Trump steaks, obviously, more like Trump grub and Trump porridge).

  3. Jim Knight
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    …not to mention the cost of numerous (countless) lawsuits that will be brought against the government because of public domain, endangered species, etc. by various environmental and other groups…

    • gluonspring
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      This is true. OTOH, I fear/expect the next administration to simply ignore lawsuits, to act in defiance of them daring anyone to stop them.

  4. Craw
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    These are dodgy calculations. Cost accounting. Counting the cost of border patrols as part of the cost of the wall. If the wall reduces the amount of personnel then then that is a reduction ion operating costs at an initial cost in capital. This is no different from buying a new refrigerator that uses less energy. You don’t reckon the long term cost of its energy consumption without considering the savings compared to the old refrigerator.
    This is not to defend Trump or the wall, simply to insist that arguments be sound.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      You are not kidding? Insisting on sound arguments. That is funny.

      • Craw
        Posted January 6, 2017 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        The argument cited in the main post simply IS unsound. This is not difficult. If the wall reduces patrols, and compared to no wall it does because that’s how walls work, then the final cost of the wall must reflect that. Analogy: If I spend 100 a day heating my house because I have no back wall, but will spend 10 a day once I build the back wall it is not correct to consider 10 a day as part of the total cost of the wall, it is correct to consider -90 a day as part of the total cost of the wall. The cited argument gets that wrong.

        • darrelle
          Posted January 6, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink

          I could of course be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that Randall was making a joke. And not at your expense, but rather agreeing with you that sound arguments are preferred but that they are depressingly rare these days.

          • Randall Schenck
            Posted January 7, 2017 at 7:18 am | Permalink

            Sorry I was not there to reply but had many other things that kept me away. My comment was somewhat sarcastic. I do not condemn an attempt to better the cost estimates but when the original idea…building a wall across a thousand miles of desert is not laughed into submission first? What can I say.

    • darrelle
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      I am not sure a fence would significantly reduce the number of border guards necessary for a given level of security. It isn’t very hard to get over or through a fence. Especially if there is no one to interfere with you because there are fewer border guards and you can get over the fence and gone faster than they can respond to a fence alarm.

      A wall, if it is tall and tough enough, would be more effective, but can you imagine how much more money that would cost compared to a fence?

      It’s all moot anyway. Unless the real purpose is to keep people in the US from going south. More people are going south into Mexico these days rather than north out of Mexico.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted January 6, 2017 at 10:01 am | Permalink

        Yes, and there is that little matter of 3500 miles of border called Canada. And a few airplanes and airports which is generally the way terrorist come here. They don’t walk.

      • Craw
        Posted January 6, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink

        The net is not the issue. The purpose of the wall is not to effect the net number of immigrants. It is to enforce the immigration law by requiring that immigrants enter legally.

        A building I sometimes work in has a turnstile at the front entrance. Side doors are blocked. The blockages — small walls if you like — are not to stem the flow of workers into the building, it is to make sure everyone uses the turnstile so they can be counted.

        It is, despite sarcastic rejoinders, important to answer arguments actually made.

        • darrelle
          Posted January 6, 2017 at 11:02 am | Permalink

          Your comment seems like a non sequitur with respect to my comment. It doesn’t appear to address anything I wrote.

          It seems evident that you don’t approve of sarcasm. But note that sarcasm does not necessarily preclude being accurate or being on point. You do understand that any sarcasm I may have employed in my comment was not directed at you?

        • Posted January 7, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink

          A problem with your analogy is that currently, in addition to entering via a missing back wall, pretty much anyone can enter through a turnstile as a visitor and get counted, but then never leave.

      • Kevin
        Posted January 6, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

        Surveillance measures, drones, sensors, remote sensing would bring the need for personnel down. Technology would make the wall useless in a few decades.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      Hey, what’s the diff? Deficit spending only counts when there’s a Donkey in office.

      Let’s build a wall, rebuild the infrastructure, give the Pentagon a blank check, keep Medicare and Social Security spending at current levels, and give the rich a big, fat tax cut, because why not?

    • gluonspring
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      I don’t care about the cost. I’d happily contribute my part of the cost of building it to *not* build it. It’s the ugly spectacle and permanent scar on the landscape that I oppose.

  5. Randall Schenck
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    First thing to mention here is that stupid and tweet from Trump are redundant.

    Why can’t we just renege on him being president. We know that he actually lost by nearly 3 million votes. We also know and continue to find out today that the Russians probably caused Trump to win. It is pretty clear that this guy pretending to be president will be the joke of the world. Yet no one will be laughing.

    • GBJames
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      I am of the belief that he will not last through his first year and we’ll have President Pence instead. Oh, joy.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      Because democracy.

      Besides, no one wants to use him to make a future presiden … precedence.

    • Jacob
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      He didn’t lose. He won the electoral college, which is how US elections are conducted. To say he lost the popular vote is irrelevant, because people didn’t vote or campaign on the premise of a popular vote decision. Who knows how it would have come out if the ground rules were different?

      *Disclaimer: I am in no way a fan of Trump.

      • Carl
        Posted January 6, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        Your disclaimer is unnecessary. Your argument speaks for itself.

        Suggesting the electoral college is not legitimate and should be ignored is incredibly short-sighted. An attempt to act on the suggestion would be sedition.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted January 7, 2017 at 3:01 am | Permalink

          Suggesting that the electoral college be abandoned by constitutional amendment is a commonsense effort to rid ourselves of an anachronistic vestige of our slave-holding past.

          To acknowledge that electors are free to vote their conscience for someone other than the candidate who won their state’s popular vote is merely to accept the constitutional framers’ intent. See Federalist No. 68.

          US sedition laws apply only to efforts to overthrow or destroy the government by force or violence.

          • Randall Schenck
            Posted January 7, 2017 at 7:23 am | Permalink

            Plus one to that. 3 am. ??

          • Carl
            Posted January 7, 2017 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

            A constitutional amendment is clearly out of scope in the discussion here – which is a suggestion to ignore the constitution. Very bad idea. The Constitution is our wall of separation between what Trump does and what he may want to do.

            To acknowledge that electors are free to vote their conscience for someone other than the candidate who won their state’s popular vote is merely to accept the constitutional framers’ intent. See Federalist No. 68.

            Yes, and we both know the framers’ intent is not what governs us in this particular case and that’s why Trump is the lawful President. Are you saying you favor what Hamilton laid out in no. 68? The last time you and I discussed this, I favored it, and you didn’t. No. 68 is much further from “one man one vote” than the existing rules for the electoral college.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted January 7, 2017 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

              As I think we’ve discussed before, Carl, I’m opposed to faithless electors as a matter of policy, but the Constitution certainly permits it.

              I think it is indisputable that the arc of this nation’s history bends toward greater democracy — as demonstrated, for example, by our constitutional amendment requiring the popular election of US senators, and by our “one person, one vote” jurisprudence.

              Given this directional trend, I’m confident the electoral college has many more years behind it than it does in front of it.

      • Posted January 7, 2017 at 2:56 am | Permalink

        + 1

  6. Posted January 6, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    as my father (who lives roughly 5 minutes from the Mexico border in the Rio Grande Valley) says .. “it’s not hard to get over a 30 ft wall .. just build a 32 foot ladder”

    this is an exercise in futility

    • Kevin
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      Or dynamite or a tunnel or a visa (bet Trump doesn’t even know how those work).

      In any case, the real clever ones who want to destabilize America can do so now from a desk with a computer connected to the internet.

    • Desnes Diev
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      I was thinking of it as an exercice of virile compensation. Like the erection of a (Trump) tower, but horizontally.

    • Posted January 7, 2017 at 3:04 am | Permalink

      Anything that makes access difficult and increases its cost is doing the function, though not perfectly. Squirrels do eat nuts, but this does not prove that nut shells are a product of neutral evolution.

      Here in Bulgaria, building a fence at the border with Turkey significantly reduced the human traffic without abolishing it completely. There was little public discussion about this fence, because guarding the border is considered a basic function of the state.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted January 7, 2017 at 7:27 am | Permalink

        I had to bring it up at such an hour but wasn’t building fences to keep people both in and out a long term project in Bulgaria? We are kind of anti-wall over here.

        • Posted January 7, 2017 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

          During communism, we had fences designed primarily to keep people in. Border guards were instructed to shoot to kill, and some regions were mined. Many people died trying to escape from Bulgaria to Turkey, which was a gateway to freedom (it may be a bit difficult to believe it now). Not only Bulgarians but also citizens of other Soviet Bloc countries, notably East Germans.

          After 1989, in the enthusiasm of newly gained freedom, not only were mines removed but border fences were dismantled. The latter was a mistake. We first suffered periodical import of foot-and-mouth disease from Turkey. It is not a nice situation to have a country endemic for FMD at south-east, and at north-west, countries that want you to stop vaccinating because they are afraid of the strains used in vaccines! (EU has a non-vaccination policy for FMD, which I consider idiotic.

          Then, the migration crisis came. Welcome to Earth, dreamers! The fence was rebuilt hastily, with much wasting and corruption, as is unfortunately our habit. Still, better than nothing.

          My impression from US discussions is that border fortifications is a cultural issue. Guarding the border, similarly to the ID cards, is considered un-American.

          I wonder, then, why isn’t the border officially opened, as are internal borders in the EU. Because what is the situation now? The Mexicans, and other people able to get to Mexico, in theory need a US visa. If, however, they pay human traffickers and slip to the USA illegally, they can stay, work, study and generally have the entire progressive US public opinion on their side. Meanwhile, law-abiding folks stay stuck in Mexico. Am I the only one who sees this as unjust?

          • Posted January 7, 2017 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

            Turkey didn’t pay for the fence, though ;-).

          • Carl
            Posted January 7, 2017 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

            Personally, I am very much in favor of controlling the borders. I just don’t believe a fence or wall will be effective, while the cost will be immense. With modern surveillance technology and a similar level of manpower that will be needed even with a wall, we can achieve the same level of control, or nearly. The wall is a wasteful, ineffective symbol at best.

            Then even if the Southern border is controlled, there still remains something like 5,000+ miles of border and maybe three times that in coastline to go. We may keep out people who will work for low wages, but criminals and terrorists will find a way.

            • Helen Hollis
              Posted January 9, 2017 at 3:20 am | Permalink

              What about a wall that protects all free people from Russia?

  7. Sastra
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    And then if it wanted to man it with personnel, that would be an additional cost — border patrol has an operating budget of $1.4 billion for 21,000 agents.

    I just created 21,000 new jobs! Boy, is this great or what? My enemies are sure steamed up now.

    /twitter

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted January 7, 2017 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      Nice…and no new taxes.

  8. Posted January 6, 2017 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Oh noes! More Trump bets by PCC. 🙂

  9. DrBrydon
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    To paraphrase, When your only tool is a brick, every problem looks like a construction site.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      Or a glass window through which to throw said brick.

  10. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Among the many things that will be happening is that our country and the world beyond will have to listen to that megalomaniac bich be cra-cra for years to come.

  11. Jim Knight
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    In retrospect, it seems as though Trump has watched “Escape from New York City” too many times. Walls are fixed fortifications! There is always a way around fixed positions. Besides, the amount of security necessary in the above movie may well illustrate what it might take to secure his wall…

    • gluonspring
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      Ladders. Ramps. Tunnels.

      I suppose no one in Mexico has that kind of technology, though.

  12. KM32
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    You’d need tanks in the Zócalo to get Mexico to pay for that wall. They’re at least as patriotic as Americans, and would sooner be invaded than cough up the money.

    • Posted January 7, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      And in some areas especially prone to cartel violence, they might even (gasp!) greet as as liberators, at least initially.

  13. Ken Kukec
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    I thought former Mexican president Vincente Fox was eloquent in his response to Trump last February: “I’m not gonna pay for that fuckin’ wall.”

    Sure hope the Donald uses his super-secret info (from his buddies Assange and Putin?) to set straight the heads of the so-called “intelligence” agencies he’s meeting with today about the purported “Russian hack.”

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      I don’t believe he “knew things” others didn’t. I think he was relying on Hannity’s interview having some nugget that he could pretend he knew about already. The best he could come up with was that Assange said he didn’t get the info direct from Russia. FFS! I think we all knew that already. Of course Russia used a cut out.

      Eventually Assange will have to go back to Sweden to answer the sex abuse charges against him, unless he manages to escape to Russia. One of the reasons he doesn’t want to go back to Sweden is the US will then extradite. (Because of all the people who were killed because of another document dump.) Russia wouldn’t’t risk there being anything that could trace back to them if the US gets hold of Assange.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted January 7, 2017 at 2:41 am | Permalink

        “One of the reasons he doesn’t want to go back to Sweden is the US will then extradite.”

        Yeah, and we know just how much of as fair trial he’d get in the US.

        “(Because of all the people who were killed because of another document dump.)”
        Which document dump was that exactly? Or is that just more BS from the spooks who gave us Weapons of Mass Destruction…?

        cr

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted January 7, 2017 at 10:36 am | Permalink

          I agree he wouldn’t get a fair trial.

          Otoh, the documents named hundreds of Afghans who had helped the US and Afghan government against the Taliban. Many of them were assassinated as a result. I personally don’t see how that is information that should be in the public domain.

        • Rambleale
          Posted January 7, 2017 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

          To be fair those spooks gave us, he wants WMDs, he’s tried to get WMDs and he might have WMDs.
          Which was all true, the problem was the ‘sexing up’ of the intellegence by Bush and Co.

  14. Mehul Shah
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    What impact would this have on wildlife ?

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      Per PCC(E) :

      does not include other factors, such as topography, transportation logistics in harder-to-reach areas (i.e. road-building and earth and drainage work), labor costs, land acquisition costs and surveillance equipment.

      Per yourself :

      What impact would this have on wildlife ?

      Oh, I just bet it’s going to be bad. Despite what many think of the oil industry, we do actually have to pay attention to local laws on things like archaeology, environmental impact and so on, before building our roads out into the wilderness (or occupied areas lacking in infrastructure at the time of assessment), and this whole idea has “train wreck” written on it in the proverbial league-high letters of fire.
      Trump’s idea of building is to bulldoze into nature reserves and then ignore that he’s broken the law. Because money talks, you know.
      Is one ocean a sufficient distance to observe him from?

  15. Historian
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    As absurd as the wall may be, it is a sideshow compared to what we can expect from the “Trump experience.” In our surreal world the greater threats that will come apparent over the next few years are the possibility of war with various countries, the weakening of our healthcare system, government by corporate oligarchy, greater religious influence in society, the curtailing of civil liberties, the relentless acceleration of climate change while we do nothing, and the overall eroding of the democratic system. This is what happens when a strong man is elected by people who can’t think beyond their personal concerns (which is perhaps understandable because they know no better) and view democracy as simply a tool to achieve their ends, to be discarded when it no longer serves a useful purpose.

    Analogies have been made between the current situation in the United States and certain other countries to the Weimar Republic in Germany in the early 1930s. No historical analogy is exact and the United States is not the Weimar Republic. Still, historical analogies can provide warnings. The warning here is that democracies are not predetermined to live forever. They can be toppled, often quickly and unexpectedly. We should all heed Robert Reich’s 15 ways to spot a tyrant. We must never stop resisting Trump.

    http://www.newsweek.com/robert-reich-fifteen-ways-recognize-tyrant-537866

    • gluonspring
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      I agree that among the risks that come with a Trump presidency, the wall ranks near the bottom of things to be concerned about. In fact, if I thought it’d occupy all his time and attention, I’d be 100% for the wall.

      We are a longer lasting and more established democracy than Weimar, so we’ve got that going for us. And Trump lacks anything like a clear ideology, so that’s a plus. But he clearly has an authoritarian view of government and already he is stressing the system quite a bit in flaunting of norms.

      I think his awful policy positions may distract many people from the many bigger picture dangers he presents.

      • Kevin
        Posted January 6, 2017 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        And some of “his own” may already be planning their own strategies to undermine him.

        Et tu, Brute?

        Of course, Trump’s last breath will be: My poop is orange and it’s huuuge.

    • Mike Cracraft
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      Civilizations wax and wane…
      from Killing Joke.

  16. kentrob
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Any kind of barrier would also prove disastrous for wildlife and migrating mammals: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-37200583

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted January 7, 2017 at 2:45 am | Permalink

      … and we know exactly how much that would count with Trump, don’t we. 😦

      cr

  17. Heather Hastie
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Robert Reich has been excellent in pointing out the problems with Trump. I’ve seen him several times arguing powerfully against him. Just yesterday I saw him demolish Jeffrey Lorde on CNN. I too would encourage people to listen to him. The article you have linked to is definitely worth checking iut.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      This was supposed to be a reply to Historian at # 15 above.

  18. Posted January 6, 2017 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Amazing.

    Didn’t we also go through a round of “he didn’t mean it” from Trump apologists?

  19. Posted January 6, 2017 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on Scotties Toy Box and commented:
    Thank you for doing the hard work of gathering the information and numbers. I am amazed that any time a democrat is President the republicans scream and throw fits about the deficit. They try to push laws to balance the budget, to have a cut for any increase in spending. When the President is a republican they don’t care about the deficit. They freely and happily explode the budget for things they want. They add massively to the to the deficit and have no trouble with it. However when it was for the lower incomes and poor people they fought the spending tooth and nail. But they can spend like drunken sailor for things like tRumps wall and tax cuts for the wealthy. The republican desire to repeal the ACA is about the 36,000 it costs the wealthy in tax to take care of the poor people. Hugs

    • stuartcoyle
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      Our Liberal(actually conservative)party do exactly the same thing here in Australia. It seems that the right just stand for lower taxes for the rich and the rest of the the country and the future can pay for it all.

      • Posted January 6, 2017 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the comment. Nice to know our country is not alone in being messed up. 🙂 Hugs

  20. Paul Monne
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    “I’m betting it won’t be built…”

    If you are up to it again, I’ll bet that it does get started, with significant $$$ $pent, but the wall will not finish in my lifetime, let alone during Trump’s presidency.

    You, (Jerry), still owe me a drawing of a sad cat from the last round of Trump wagering.

    Peace,

    Paul

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      but the wall will not finish in my lifetime, let alone during Trump’s presidency.

      You sound as if you think that Trump’s presidency is going to end before your life does. Do you not think that he’s got the [checks] 22nd Amendment in his gunsights? He’s already doing a Bush by lining up his daughter for doing a “Medvedev-Putin” manoeuvre (I could point a finger at the Clintons, but Hilary did have a significant pre-Bill political record).
      In other news, the Larsen-B ice shelf looks like it may be gearing up to mimic Trump by building a wall of seawater between itself and it’s feeder glaciers. Will it split on inauguration day?

    • reasonshark
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      “I’ll bet that it does get started, with significant $$$ $pent”

      I wonder if it’ll be like that Private Finance Initiative we suffered in the UK: the government hires a private contractor to do something instead, which proceeds to do the job as expensively as possible, actually reduce whatever utility it had, charge the taxpayer for every penny, and hide it all under a combination of pollyanna-like, outrageously lying platitudes and “corporate confidentiality” pleas.

      I imagine it’ll be a lot worse in the USA, where big business favouritism and corruption of political processes are practically the norm.

  21. Posted January 6, 2017 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    You also have to add in the cost of a naval blockade and worldwide embargo of Mexico to keep them from getting ladders.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      He’s going to put the wall on stilts with laser gun turrets set to cut off the bottom foot of any ladder.

  22. Frank Bath
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    I suppose Mexican workers coming across the border to work could be charged an entry fee???

  23. Carl
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    The idea that a wall would be effective should be the main point of attack against this expensive, bad idea.

    Penn & Teller hired three Mexicans at a local Home Depot and had them construct a section of fence identical to what an Arizona patriot group had built. On completion, it took less than 60 seconds for one to go over, one under, and one through the barrier.

    Perhaps a similar experiment should be done with whatever design Trump proposes.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      OK, he’s going to have to back the wall with a 10ft wide water-filled trench filled with hungry sharks with lasers on their heads. Only way to do it.

      • Jim Knight
        Posted January 6, 2017 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

        Naw, he can just use the alligators that live in the swamp he is going to drain in Washington, D.C.!

        He can then claim to be expanding wetlands habitat…

      • darrelle
        Posted January 6, 2017 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        I’m pretty sure those are “frigging laser beams.”

    • Posted January 7, 2017 at 3:08 am | Permalink

      In my region of the world, border fences work (not perfectly, of course, but they do work, and this is why they are built).

  24. Posted January 6, 2017 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    This already may have been mentioned, but such a wall also would have to extend a significant distance down into the earth in an effort to prevent the tunneling that currently happens.

    A wall will not save money by reducing border patrol agents because there aren’t enough of
    them budgeted for now.

    This whole thing is insane.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      This already may have been mentioned, but such a wall also would have to extend a significant distance down into the earth in an effort to prevent the tunneling that currently happens.

      That’s OK. Russia knows how to carry out construction down to 12+km (Кольская сверхглубокая скважина) ; I’m sure Trump’s mentor Putin will be willing to release the technology. For a price.

      A wall will not save money by reducing border patrol agents because there aren’t enough of them budgeted for now.

      Bah! They’re all overpaid feather-bedded federal employees. Trump will use the same budget to hire lots more really cheap labourers from off the back of a pick up somewhere. What could possibly go wrong – all the illegal immigrants have already been sared away by fear of Donald and his unfeasibly small hands. (Have we got this far into the thread without remembering that Donald really is incredibly sensitive about his amazingly minuscule manual appendages?)

  25. Rob Munguia
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    As a Mexican, I have never felt the hostility toward us that is now normalized in some media by the alt-right in the United States. All due to Donald Trump and his speech that most of us are criminals or rapists.

    The animus in Mexico is of pessimism, the peso (our coin) crumbling to the threats of Donald Trump and having a very weak President as Enrique Peña Nieto, I dont see very remote the possibility that we end paying some/part of the cost of the wall.

    • darrelle
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      My sincerest apologies. I am embarrassed for my country.

      • Rob Munguia
        Posted January 6, 2017 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Darrelle, PCC website is full of kind, informed, thoughtful persons. I learn a lot of Evolution, cowboy boots and cats 🙂

  26. Billy Bl.
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Your name “The Great Border Wall” sparked a thought about building a wall like The Great Wall of China, which I think was also meant to keep people out. Not just a barrier, but a structure that could be walked along. Trump could then call it “The Great Wall of America” and charge people to access it, thereby recouping the cost of construction, although he would more likely call it “The Trump Wall”.

  27. Filippo
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    “When you understand that Mexico’s economy is dependent upon US consumers . . . .”

    As are also the profits of, e.g., Whirlpool, having moved its manufacturing plants from the U.S. heartland to Monterey.

  28. Robert Seidel
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Well, the East Germans managed fine, and that was 50 years ago …

  29. Posted January 6, 2017 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    With maintenance this wall will cost $30B in year one. To maintain, it will be $10B per annum thereafter.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  30. Posted January 6, 2017 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    I’m not sure our gracious host should continue in the betting business though. He’s on a bad streak…….

  31. Johan Richter
    Posted January 7, 2017 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Trump is probably hoping to get some vague promise from Mexico to pay part of it which he can spin until such time as the media is completely under his heel and he does not have to care anymore.

  32. mdeschane
    Posted January 8, 2017 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    To me it is insane and incomprehensible that an American President (elect) would endorse, or even contemplate, the idea of building a wall along it’s border with an adjacent country.

    Insane that we, the greatest, yes we are great, and richest country on the planet, would feel the need to barricade ourselves with this ridiculous edifice from an imagined threat from a purported few possible miscreants or, likewise purported flood of, ambitious, hard working people looking for a chance to prove their worth that may take a few jobs from us.

    Incomprehensible the we would: 1) Insult our people with this monument refuting our values as a free and open society accepting all people of all color, creed, political preferences, social status, or whatever. 2) That we would insult our neighbors with this display of distrust and paranoia. 3) Display to the world that we accept the paranoia and fears of a few radical elements in our society, to whom we give a free and open hearing, whose, loudly claimed, doctrine of freedom they assert is impaired or threatened without this wall, and subscribe to the doctrines of repressive societies and political systems that we as a society abhor. And 4) Propose spending ~$16Bn +/- $10Bn on such a travesty.

    Donald The Great must have his Great Wall. I am most certainly not the first to observe that we are leaving an administration of measured, intelligent and reasoned discourse and entering one of polemic, bombast, self-aggrandizement and self assured conceit disconnected from, or in spite of, reality.


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