A foolish boondoggle

 

Dear Editor,

The wall Trump wants to build will not be paid for by Mexico: American taxpayers will foot the bill.

Further, the $5 billion Trump is demanding is just the first downpayment: the final cost is expected to be at least five times that amount, not including future maintenance costs.

Two-thirds of the land along the Mexican border is privately owned. Trump’s wall will not be built in Mexico: it will be built on private property in the United States and it will be built through the federal government exercising eminent domain (which is why many Texans on the border are extremely upset about the wall). Over 26 environmental laws will be ignored to complete construction. It will cut US citizens off from the fourth largest river in our country, the Rio Grande.

$5 billion may seem insignificant when compared to the $5.6 trillion Trump’s budget will add to the national debt. But here’s a few things that $5 billion could buy: a 30 percent increase in aid to public schools; complete funding for the National Endowment for the Arts through 2051; a one-year doubling of the heating assistance given to U.S. citizens; federal spending on energy efficiency and renewable energy could be doubled for a year; five billion dollars could fund 20000 molecular biologists for over a career: one of them could come up with a cure for cancer. There are of course numerous other productive ways $5 billion could be spent instead of building a wall that will be breached and that will not stop the main way illegal immigrants end up in the USA (overstaying their visa).

Of course, the majority of Americans do not want $5 billion spent on the wall. The majority did not elect Donald Trump and almost half of those who did vote for him see the wall as a foolish boondoggle.

So why is Mr. Trump forcing a government shutdown over the wall? Because he believes his base wants him to stand strong. A man who falsely claimed “bone spurs” to avoid the draft will never stand strong in the eyes of history, but regrettably his kicking the bill for his foolish wall to the American tax payer will be painful to all of us.

 

Sue Hagan

Annapolis