How Much Are We To Spend For Trump’s Wall — Instead Of Schools, Healthcare, Safe Water?

David McNew/Getty Images

❝ During the campaign, President Donald Trump promised to build a wall across the southern border some 1,000 miles long. The number of miles the president currently has money for: seven.

United States Customs and Border Protection officials delivered the startling news…at a conference in San Antonio for businesses eager to win contracts for beefing up security along the border.

❝ Although estimates to build the wall soar past $20 billion, the agency has so far managed to scrape together only about $20 million, according to its top contracting official. The rest of the cash will have to come from Congress, which so far has proven reluctant to foot the bill.

That amount of cash would not go very far to build a real wall — existing fence along the border costs roughly $2.8 million per mile.

Instead, the agency plans to spend the money on eight model walls, planning, engineering, and early-stage land acquisition…

So, the money will either come out of taxpayers’ pockets directly – or the usual way favored by Congressional conservatives, e.g. rip it from budgets already dedicated to education, healthcare, etc. You know. Stuff that benefits ordinary people. Not corporate elites.

❝ The contracts for the prototype walls — some made of concrete, some made of other materials, all to be “aesthetically pleasing” per Trump’s wishes for a beautiful wall — will be announced later this summer…

Like most of everything Trump owes obedient voters, True Believers in our nation unwinding time back to some 19th Century myth – it ain’t going to happen. It will cost exponentially more than promised. It will take money stolen from healthcare, decent roads, education, a poison-free environment. Nothing the Republican Party has cared about in decades. Everything this generation and those to follow will require if America is to keep from falling backwards compared to the rest of the developed and developing world.

30 thoughts on “How Much Are We To Spend For Trump’s Wall — Instead Of Schools, Healthcare, Safe Water?

  1. Update says:

    The House approved an appropriations bill yesterday that included $1.6 billion to build 74 miles of wall, including $251 million for 14 miles of fencing in San Diego — separate from the prototypes that received $20 million in funding earlier in the year.
    The amendment from Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) was attached to a spending bill for the 2018 fiscal year for the military and veterans in the Rules Committee, meaning it did not need a vote in the full House. The government’s fiscal year begins in October.
    The Senate still needs to come up with its own funding bill, which will probably lead to a fight in September on the overall budget, including the $1.6 billion for the border wall. But Thursday’s vote was significant in that it was the first time Congress had voted to spend taxpayer money on the project.
    Trump said during his campaign that Mexico would pay for the wall, but his administration appears to have abandoned that idea.”
    See also “Here’s How Long The U.S.-Mexico Border Wall Would Need To Be” (video)

    • At What Price? says:

      ⚠️ “Construction of first border wall segment to begin sooner than expected along Rio Grande : Federal officials plan to start construction this fall on 3 miles of border barrier through a South Texas wildlife refuge.” (Texas Tribune 7/28/17) “U.S. Customs and Border Protection will begin constructing the first segment of President Trump’s border wall in November through a national wildlife refuge, using money it’s already received from Congress. For the past six months, CBP has been quietly preparing a site to build a nearly 3-mile border barrier through the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, according to The Texas Observer.”
      ⚠️ “Trump Administration Preparing Texas Wildlife Refuge for First Border Wall Segment” (Texas Observer 7/14/17) “Established in 1943, the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge is one of the top birding destinations in North America. Home to at least 400 bird species and 450 species of plants, it also hosts both the rare Sabal palm and the endangered ocelot. The refuge is located on the Texas-Mexico border about 10 miles southeast of McAllen in the Rio Grande Valley.
      If the levee wall is constructed, it will essentially destroy the refuge, the official said. The proposed plans call for building a road south of the wall and clearing refuge land on either side of the wall for surveillance, cameras and light towers.”

  2. Jeepers, Wally! says:

    “Mexico won’t pay for it. Border-state Republicans don’t want it. Senate Democrats say they’ll block any spending bill that includes a dime for it. Conservative Republicans are likely to balk at the price tag. Funding President Trump’s border wall could go south quickly for Republicans and create a whole host of political headaches for a party already struggling to make good on some of its long-held campaign promises. So why is House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) so excited about this wall that his office released a video from his trip to the Rio Grande Valley featuring horses, helicopters, boats and techno music to sell it?”
    Ryan’s promotional video: “The Wall: Let’s Get It Done”
    (May 23, 2017) “The first leg of President Trump’s planned border wall will cost an exorbitant $24.5 million per mile, according to the 2018 budget he submitted Tuesday” “Some 32 miles of new wall will be built in the Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley sector at a price of $784 million, or $24.5 million per mile. That is four times the $6 million Homeland Security paid per mile for recent upgrades to fencing in Nogales, Arizona, and it’s six times the cost of upgrading 9 miles of fence near Douglas, Arizona. The department did not explain the massive spike in cost per mile.
    Mr. Trump’s budget also calls for 28 miles of levee wall to be built along the Rio Grande at a total cost of $498.4 million and 14 miles of replacement wall to be erected near San Diego at $250.6 million.”

  3. Dad blazes says:

    “Texas border wall map looks a lot like private firm’s proposal” (Austin American-Statesman Aug 13, 2017)–regional/texas-border-wall-map-looks-lot-like-private-firm-proposal/4ZdqIwyLIytanpZwAGO49L/ The recently revealed map of Trump administration plans for new border wall segments in Hidalgo County is almost identical to a proposal drafted by a politically connected private engineering firm and endorsed by Hidalgo County officials in February. The proposed $379 million plan was developed by Dannenbaum Engineering, a firm that built the previous round of levee border walls in the county. Dannenbaum’s offices were raided in April by the FBI, which is reportedly investigating the firm’s pursuit of government infrastructure projects.
    See also “Houston-based Dannenbaum hit with FBI raids in four cities : Firm cuts wide swath in politics and business” (Huston Chronicle 4/26/17)

  4. Walleyed says:

    “The Wall: Unknown Stories, Unintended Consequences.” This landmark multi-media report examines in unprecedented detail President Donald Trump’s signature campaign promise to build “a great wall” on the U.S.-Mexico border.
    This immersive experience encompasses virtual reality, bots, aerial and 360-degree video, documentaries, photos, podcasts, LiDAR data, exclusive reporting and an upcoming long-form film. The combined effort of more than 30 reporters, photographers and videographers from NETWORK newsrooms along the border in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas provides a comprehensive understanding of the proposed border wall, those who will be affected, and all of the issues surrounding it.
    Meanwhile, California filed a lawsuit Wednesday alleging that the administration has overstepped its powers in expediting construction of a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border. Filed in federal court in San Diego, the lawsuit states its purpose is “to protect the State of California’s residents, natural resources, economic interests, procedural rights, and sovereignty from violations of the United States Constitution” and federal law.

  5. Untermensch says:

    “The Homeland Security Department announced this week it is waiving environmental rules in order to tear down about 20 miles of vehicle barrier along the New Mexico border and replace it with a higher wall. The project will begin at the Santa Teresa Port of Entry in New Mexico and run about 20 miles west. An agency spokesman said the new border wall will be more effective.”
    Arizona State University instructor Scott Warren, known for his work with humanitarian aid groups along the Arizona-Mexico border, was arrested by Border Patrol agents last week on a felony charge of harboring undocumented immigrants.
    The arrest happened within hours of the aid group, No More Deaths, complaining that Border Patrol agents are routinely destroying water bottles and other humanitarian aid intended to save migrant lives in the desert. See “Interference with Humanitarian Aid: Death and Disappearance on the US-Mexico Border”
    Also, “Eight Humanitarian Activists Face Federal Charges After Leaving Water for Migrants in the Arizona Desert” (Jan 23)

    • Mojado says:

      The Germany based International Office for Migration, a UN agency, reports that 412 migrants were found dead along the U.S.-Mexico border in 2017. That’s 14 more than the year before. Apprehensions of people in the country illegally who were found along the border dropped by almost half last year. Still, deaths climbed by three percent.
      The IOM is in charge of funneling billions in aid to various migrant assistance programs and was recently in the spotlight itself after The Washington Post found that President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the agency disparaged Muslims and publicly stated that Christians needed to be given priority.

  6. Movies says:

    “In times of crisis, the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another as if we were one single tribe.” T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), ruler of the African nation of Wakanda, in a post-credit scene in the 2018 motion picture “Black Panther”.

  7. No end in sight says:

    “A new audit from the Government Accountability Office Monday found that plans for building the wall are in chaos. The GAO, the investigative arm of Congress, found that Customs and Border Protection hasn’t determined what each segment of the wall will cost. And without those prices, CBP can’t prioritize where to start building. For example, the Border Patrol reasoned that it will cost $18 billion to build 722 miles of new border barriers but that was based on a rough average cost per mile and wasn’t an actual assessment.
    “Without assessing costs as part of the prioritization process, CBP does not have complete information to know whether it is prioritizing locations that will use its limited resources in the most cost-effective manner,” the GAO’s Rebecca Gambler wrote in her 49-page audit.
    CBP also hasn’t documented its plans for building a secondary border barrier in the San Diego area.
    In conclusion, the GAO found that “DHS plans to spend billions of dollars developing and deploying new barriers along the southwest border. However, by proceeding without key information on cost, acquisition baselines, and the contributions of previous barrier and technology deployments, DHS faces an increased risk that the Border Wall System Program will cost more than projected, take longer than planned, or not fully perform as expected.”
    Meanwhile: “While the Trump administration fortifies the southern border, there’s growing concern over the number of foreigners entering the country illegally across the porous northern border with Canada.”

  8. Update says:

    President Trump on Tuesday fired off a series of tweets about border security, vowing to circumvent Congress and order the US military to build his long-promised border wall “if Democrats do not give us the votes to secure our Country.” Trump wants the next funding package to include at least $5 billion for his wall – an idea Democrats have flatly rejected. A bipartisan agreement this summer would provide $1.6 billion for 65 miles of a beefed-up barrier along the Southwest border – which would be far short of the ‘Great Wall’, Trump promised Mexico would pay for.

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