Why Trump wants to spend 21 Billion Dollars For Something that Cannot Work

Trump now claims his border wall might cost as much as 12 billion dollars (he initially said 4 billion).  Bernstein Research puts it at  15 to 25 billion. Estimates from Democrats go as high as 70 billion. The Department of Homeland Security puts it at 21 Billion. Let’s go with 21 Billion for now.

Even some Republicans in Congress are reluctant to fund the wall because it may end up costing far more than estimated and likely would not actually prevent illegal entry. There’s always a way around a wall. Think of the seagoing refugees in Europe. Think of tunnels. Think of the fact that he’s not actually going to build wall along every last inch of border. Intact existing fences will be retained, and he plans to continue to use rivers, alone, as barriers in some places. The wall would perhaps reduce illegal immigration somewhat but it wouldn’t stop it, which means not only a big cost–but also a wasted cost.

Trump may well use executive authority to move money around in the budget and pay for the wall–or at least part of the wall, if it turns out it costs far more than estimated. So look for it to be at least partly built. Even if funded the wall may not  be completed, given historical variances–political changes,  or emergency circumstances–or simply a more mature sense of priorities.

While he’s doubtless xenophobic and some variety of racist, Trump’s real reason for this gigantic boondoggle is simply political. It’s the calculation of a demagogue. Yes, 62% of Americans are opposed to the border wall project–but those people aren’t Trump’s base. He’s gambling that his base, both the MAGA hat wearing supporters and the anti-regulatory far-right, can be turned out in sufficient numbers to keep him in office in 2020–if he gives them his symbolic wall. Their own racist xenophobia will recharge their enthusiasm for him. His symbolic construction project, gerrymandering, and just plain voter suppression, would together give him a chance of re-election despite the fact that most Americans now despise him. Remember, too, the vagaries of the Electoral College.

Trump doesn’t care about protecting the American people–he doesn’t care about anything but himself. He’s demonstrated that fact again and again. He is a pathological narcissist who can’t think beyond his own small-fingered grasp. The only thing he does care about is his own safety and comfort. He’s afraid that his money-laundering and the true extent of his Russia connections will come out. He’s afraid of going to jail. If he’s re-elected President, he’s unlikely to be indicted and he’ll have four more years to work on a cover up.

He’s only insisting on the wall for political purposes. Only that, nothing else. And the curious thing is, we all know that. I’m just saying what you already suspect. What really matters here, is that we as a people seem to be okay with a multibillion dollar boondoggle taking place simply for the sake of an election–for barenaked political reasons alone. No one seems to be pointing this out.  There should be millions of us standing up and shouting, “This is just wasting at least 21 billion dollars of US taxpayer money purely for one man’s vote-getting!”

Comments are closed.