When John Oliver reverses his position in re “giving a s*it” about Donald Trump, he does it with gusto, last night devoting a second consecutive episode of Last Week Tonight to the GOP front-runner. Oliver looked at the cost of Trump’s Great Wall and suggested an alternate plan.
Since the candidate first unveiled plans for The Trump Wall along our southern border in June, his own cost estimate has skyrocketed from $4B to $12B.
Trump says the wall will be made of hardened concrete rebar and steel and will span about 1,000 miles. He keeps changing the height. But, borrowing from Washington Post reporting, Oliver says that at 35 feet high (Trump’s shortest estimate), the concrete panels would cost $10B, steel columns another $5B-$6B, concrete foundations another $1B, plus $2B to build roads to get the material into inaccessible areas and another 30% for engineering, design and management — bringing the cost to $25B. And the Congressional Budget Office thinks wall maintenance costs will exceed initial construction costs within seven years.
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It’s likely to cost even more, Oliver said, noting that, when Mexican authorities said they would not pay for the wall, Trump responded, with characteristic diplomacy, that the wall just got 10 feet taller. “Come on, things don’t get bigger just because you’re angry,” Oliver conceded. “If that were true, Alec Baldwin would be 100 feet tall by now.”
If, as some have suggested, the wall costs this country $77 per person, Oliver suggests we mull another plan: waffles.
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