Politics

Trump Gets Backlash for Saying Spending Billions on Wall Would Somehow Save Billions

Published on December 3, 2018 by Athena Pallas

The cost just to build, let alone maintain, President Trump’s folly of a border wall would be over $20 billion, yet today Trump took to Twitter to say, without providing any evidence, that the wall would save billions of dollars. In fact the estimate of $21.6 billion from the Department of Homeland Security is, no pun intended, very much on the conservative side, while a report by Senate Democrats released in April of 2017 estimated the cost to build the wall would be more than three times that figure, around $70 billion, according to The New York Times, with a further $150 million annually just to maintain it. Trump continues to assert, while asking Congress for the money to build the wall, that Mexico would eventually end up paying for it, but Mexico has made it very clear that that will never happen. And of course the request to have Mexico pay for it is neither reasonable nor legal, any more than deciding to put up a wall around your own property and then demanding that your neighbor pay for it.

Trump continues to blame Democrats for not giving him the funding he wants, despite the Republican majority in both houses of Congress which Trump has had up to now, although the House returns to Democratic control in January. According to The Hill:

President Trump on Monday claimed that the country would “save billions of dollars” if Democrats voted to provide billions of dollars in funding to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The president went on to repeat a threat to close the southern border and said that immigrants will not be allowed in the “country illegally.”…The president revived his calls for a border wall on Monday as Congress grapples over wall funding while trying to pass spending bills and avert a partial government shutdown. The Senate passed its version of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spending bill with bipartisan support over the summer. The measure would allocate $1.6 billion for border security, including fencing. The White House has since demanded $5 billion for border security, including wall funding, putting Democrats and the president at an impasse. Trump has threatened to veto a bill that does not include adequate funding, while Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has said Democrats oppose spending more than $1.6 billion.

Trump, again employing random capitalization, tweeted, “We would save Billions of Dollars if the Democrats would give us the votes to build the Wall. Either way, people will NOT be allowed into our Country illegally! We will close the entire Southern Border if necessary. Also, STOP THE DRUGS!”

Trump did not state how these billions of dollars would saved. He also veered around facts with his implying that the wall would stop drug traffic from Mexico into the U.S., because many of those drugs are smuggled through legal points of entry hidden among other cargo, flown in, or brought by boat, which a wall would not prevent.

Trump’s tweet got him a lot of backlash, with many people commenting on how Trump wants the money from Congress when he had said Mexico would pay for it, such as this person, who wrote, “I thought you promised Mexico was going to pay for wall!” and got the response of “He also promised he wouldn’t play any golf because he would be too busy..he is the laziest president we have ever had!!!”

Then this person, who said Trump and his supporters should pay for it instead, wrote “Your campaign was largely built upon the promise of building a wall and having Mexico pay for it. Mexico isn’t paying for it, and neither is the U.S. If you really want to build a wall, you and those who worship you can clean out your own wallets and purses.”

Another noted how Trump sees a cost of billions of dollars as somehow saving billions of dollars without giving an supporting information, writing “Wait. How does building a wall save billions of dollars. It’s going to cost billions of dollars to build it. Do you understand how math works?”, which got a response of “If he did, he wouldn’t have had to claim bankruptcy so many times.”

Another asserted that Trump was a “liar or ignoramus”, which got a response of “These are not mutually exclusive”.

President Trump keeps tweeting out claims, using no evidence to substantiate them, adding some random capitalization and all caps yelling, railing against Democrats and other perceived enemies, but the responses he gets show that most people are anything but swayed by these mini-diatribes. Yet Trump continues to make threats based on these claims, including threatening a government shutdown this month by vetoing a spending bill if he does not get the border wall funding he wants from Congress. Trump’s current demand of $5 billion in this bill for his wall and other border-related expenditures far exceeds the $1.6 billion Democrats have been willing to allot for border fencing and other border expenditures, not including a wall. That funding battle is likely to be put off for a week or two due to the death of President George H.W. Bush, but will still proceed after that delay.

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Featured image via Wikimedia Commons.