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Thread: The $20 Million Dollar Mile

  1. #1

    The $20 Million Dollar Mile

    Not a competition, but the costs of Trump's wall which he said Mexico would pay for and that it would be cheap. It is the most expensive barrier in the world- and that is not counting the costs of acquiring private lands to build it on. Most of it so far has been replacing existing barriers.

    At $11 Billion And Counting, Trump's Border Wall Would Be The World's Most Expensive

    President Trump's border wall comes at a staggering cost: $11 billion, or nearly $20 million per mile. It's already the most expensive border wall in the world, and the costs keep piling up.

    MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

    President Trump often tells his supporters he is delivering on his signature campaign promise. Here he is at a rally in Milwaukee this week.

    (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

    PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: You're going to have a wall like no other. It's going to be a powerful, terrific wall.

    KELLY: That promise comes at a cost. As NPR's John Burnett reports, it is already the most expensive border wall in the world, and the bills keep piling up.

    JOHN BURNETT, BYLINE: To get an idea why we're spending a fortune on Trump's border wall, I've come out here to one of the construction sites down in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. On one side of a caliche road, you can see the pedestrian fence that was erected more than a decade ago. At 18 feet, it looks downright puny. On the other side of the road are massive steel panels rising 30 feet above the cotton fields.

    The price tag for the president's border wall, now projected to be 576 miles long, has pushed past $11 billion. To put that in perspective, that's approaching the cost of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. President George W. Bush's fence averaged $4 million a mile. Trump's wall costs five times that, nearly 20 million a mile. But Customs and Border Protection spokesman Christian Alvarez points out there's a lot more to Trump's barrier.

    CHRISTIAN ALVAREZ: The border wall system will include 150-foot enforcement zone, lighting, cameras, other technology. So it's not just going to be the barrier itself.

    BURNETT: There's more steel, an expensive commodity in a 30-foot structure. There are powerful floodlights. Every mile of it will have conduit for electric power and fiber optics that connect the surveillance cameras. Electronic gates cost up to a million dollars apiece. And there's a graded graveled enforcement zone as wide as a six-lane highway. Congress funded the wall here in the Rio Grande Valley, but the government still wants more.

    Now CBP is dipping into $600 million from a Treasury fund that holds money seized in criminal investigations. Some of that will be used to build the wall higher and 10 miles longer. There have also been unforeseen expenses to address serious seepage problems on the concrete levee wall along the Rio Grande. Those extra costs came to light in a deposition by a CBP official made public last week. And the official said they need more money to cover the ballooning expense of acquiring the private property the wall sits on.

    SCOTT NICHOL: It just significantly increases the hurdles that the government has to face.

    BURNETT: Scott Nichol is a longtime wall opponent with the Sierra Club down in the valley. He joins me a few days later at a spot overlooking the construction site.

    NICHOL: Where you have private property and the government has to go through the courts to get that property, it takes a lot longer, and it drives the cost up because you have to pay for that land. You have to send DOJ lawyers in to get that land.

    BURNETT: Just how expensive is Trump's wall?

    REECE JONES: The 30-foot U.S. wall is the most expensive wall that's being built around the world.

    BURNETT: Reece Jones is a geographer at the University of Hawaii who studies border walls. There are now more than 60 border walls in the world. Jones says they're much in vogue in the post-Cold War era. But, he says...

    JONES: The cost of almost $20 million per mile is four times as much as the most expensive other walls being built.

    BURNETT: Israel's wall on the West Bank ranks as the second-most expensive. It costs $1 million to $5 million a mile. At 30 feet, Trump's is also the tallest in the world, a fact the president gushes over.

    (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

    TRUMP: Our very big and very powerful border wall is going up at a record speed. And we are at - and we're fully financed now. Isn't that nice?

    BURNETT: For the record, the wall is not going up at a record pace. It's fallen behind schedule precisely because of the problems acquiring private land in South Texas. But it is fully financed because of the president's willingness to sidestep a defiant Congress. A Democrat-controlled House authorized less than $3 billion for the wall, much less than Trump asked for.

    So Trump shut down the government, declared a state of emergency and diverted billions more from the Defense Department to pay for his wall. Pro-immigrant groups promptly sued and initially succeeded in getting injunctions to block military funding for the wall. But the Supreme Court and an appeals court have allowed the administration to proceed with construction.

    Representative Henry Cuellar sits on the House Appropriations Committee.

    HENRY CUELLAR: I mean, with all due respect to the president, he's obsessed with this wall.

    BURNETT: Cuellar is a Democrat from Laredo.

    CUELLAR: I live on the border. I don't want to see chaos. I want to see law and order at the border, but I don't want to just be spending billions of dollars to those federal contractors.

    BURNETT: And who are those federal contractors? Mostly giant construction companies accustomed to handling complex federal projects. Then there's Fisher Sand & Gravel. The North Dakota company snagged a $400 million wall contract after CEO Tommy Fisher went on Fox News - the president's favorite channel - to boast how he could build it faster and cheaper on the California border.

    (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

    TOMMY FISHER: So that current fence that they're building right now in Calexico - the government has given basically 300 days to build 2 miles. With one crew, we can build 15 miles in one year.

    BURNETT: Now the Pentagon inspector general is looking into the contract. Auditors want to know if the White House steered it to Fisher, who says his bid was best. Meanwhile, Trump wants to build even more wall. This week, Homeland Security asked the Defense Department to come up with funding for 270 additional miles of border wall. The Pentagon is studying the request. If approved, that would mean three-quarters of the U.S. southern border would be walled off from Mexico.

    John Burnett, NPR News.
    Last edited by Zippyjuan; 01-18-2020 at 12:03 PM.



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  3. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Ryan
    In Washington you can see them everywhere: the Parasites and baby Stalins sucking the life out of a once-great nation.

  4. #3
    Amash>Trump

    ΟΥ ΓΑΡ ЄCΤΙΝ ЄξΟΥCΙΑ ЄΙ ΜΗ ΥΠΟ ΘЄΟΥ

    "Patriotism should come from loving thy neighbor, not from worshiping graven images" - Ironman77

    "ideas have the potential of being more powerful than any army....The concept of personal sovereignty was pulled screaming from the ether into this reality by the force of men believing in a self evident truth, that men are meant to be free." - The Northbreather

    "Trump is the security blanket of aggrieved white men aged 18-60." - Pinoy

  5. #4
    Now if this was a bullet train or a bike lane, it would be Sword posting an article about the economic futility. Zippy would be mum or posting charts.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by angelatc View Post
    Now if this was a bullet train or a bike lane, it would be Sword posting an article about the economic futility. Zippy would be mum or posting charts.
    Bullet trains are a waste of money too.

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by angelatc View Post
    Now if this was a bullet train or a bike lane, it would be Sword posting an article about the economic futility. Zippy would be mum or posting charts.
    Neither of those serves a National Security purpose.
    I would certainly like to see it cost less but it's better to have it than save the money, the invaders will cost us far more.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  8. #7
    Claymores are cheaper.

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by phill4paul View Post
    Claymores are cheaper.
    And sentry guns.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment



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  11. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    And sentry guns.
    That might be better, but it wouldn't be cheaper. I suppose with snipers it would be discriminate and therefore not kill wildlife. That might appeal to the eco-Natzees.



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