Donald Trump really prides himself on being a smart businessman. He’s made it one of the primary reasons why he thinks he belongs in the White House, saying that “we need people in Washington that know how to make a deal.”
But, there’s plenty of reasons to scoff at Trump’s claims. Sure, he’s “really rich,” but he largely has his dad to thank for that. Then there’s his history of bankruptcies, the numerous casinos going belly-up, and that whole business about calling Mexicans “rapists” that ended his lucrative business deals with Macy’s, NBC, Univision, Televisa, and a host of others.
Maybe that explains why Trump was so horribly off when it came to estimating the total cost of the massive wall he wants to build along our southern border and then make Mexico pay for (“We are not going to pay any single cent for such a stupid wall!” said former Mexican President Felipe Calderón. Yeah, sounds like he’s really into the idea).
“The wall is probably $8 billion, which is a tiny fraction of the money that we lose with Mexico,” Trump told MSNBC’s Tamron Hall in an interview Tuesday.
Explaining how he came up with that figure, Trump said, “all I’m doing is I’m multiplying the number of miles by a certain num—it’s a very simple number … I’m very good at that.”
Sorry Donald, but the border experts think otherwise. While Trump insists on an $8 billion price tag, the total cost for his 1,300 mile monstrosity (keep in mind the Berlin Wall was under 100 miles) could actually be as much as three times that amount:
The actual cost for the rest of the border wall (roughly 1,300 miles) could be as high as $16 million per mile, with a total price tag of $15 billion to $25 billion. [US Immigration Policy Program at the Migration Policy Institute’s Marc] Rosenblum said the $15 billion low-end estimate is “probably an underestimate,” because the parts that have yet to be fenced are the most difficult — the most dense and arid.
And, that doesn’t even include the hundreds of millions of dollars in costs for annual upkeep and Border Patrol personnel, which we’re assuming Trump would also somehow make Mexico pay for, even though they’ve said they won’t fork over a cent:
The U.S. government would have to pay to maintain the wall, which could cost as much as $750 million a year, according to an analysis conducted by Politico. And then if it wanted to man it with personnel, that would be an additional cost — border patrol has an operating budget of $1.4 billion for 21,000 agents.
“The need to maintain, repair and replace outdated and aging fencing will continue to be an issue,” Vitiello said during his Senate testimony given in May.
We get it, Trump, you’re “very good” with numbers. But you’re terrible when it comes to the facts.