Trump is building a wall for only $64 million and in only two years

From a recent trip to Washington, D.C.:

A large swath of recently public space (used by both tourists and protesters) has been blocked off and is now patrolled by assault rifle-toting guards. Part of this is associated with the construction of a new fence around the White House. The 3,500′ fence will, if there are no overruns, cost $64 million and take approximately two years (AP).

What if the the southern U.S. border fence were completed in this fashion? The White House fence is 0.66 miles long, so the cost will be approximately $100 million per mile. Wikipedia says that 649 miles of the 1,954-mile border is currently fenced. So if the same techniques were used down in Texas and New Mexico, we would be doing 1,305 miles at $100 million per mile, which comes out to a fairly reasonable $130 billion (a couple of months of spending on public housing and Medicaid?).

[Trump cannot take all of the credit for this achievement. The Feds say that planning began in 2014.]

The citizen in the photo above holds a “Hate Won’t Make America Great” sign, but the souvenir vendors a block away apparently disagree:

[Nancy Pelosi said that it was “immoral” to build a more extensive border fence (but the current 649 miles did not have to be dismantled, apparently, because those are the moral miles of fence?). If a Democrat wins the White House in 2020, will this $64 million project be abandoned?]

13 thoughts on “Trump is building a wall for only $64 million and in only two years

  1. In 2009, you could still go all the way to the black fence. In 2017, Obama had pushed us to the curb with lots of dogs sniffing us out. Now, it’s the opposite side of the street. Wonder how long until the Ace Tomato company has to move out.

    Government contracts are tracking the endless quantitative easing upward nicely. Takes a lot of money to administrate those tractor drivers, sign the paperwork, wheel the deals, & bang the young & beautiful.

  2. Your posts just keep getting more and more incoherent and partisan. I enjoyed subscribing because you were a good, equal opportunity skeptic and had decent tech thoughts, now and again. But you’re reaching some super bizarre, culture war hero point where I wish I could reclaim the 5 seconds I spent scanning this bullshit.

    Why the fuck are you comparing a fence around one of the more important to be secured places in the country to the border wall? It’s completely incoherent and non-nuanced.

    Can you return to some semblance of nuance and thoughtfulness instead of just lashing out at the latest front in the culture war? I’ve seen you do it.

    • Uh oh, sounds like “Disappointed Follower” is so peeved that he is going to cancel his subscription. That (along with his profound use of the f-word) should be a hard figurative kick in the keister, Phil that should encourage you to return to typically dull posts about some airshow in North Dakota or the engineering nuances of a new helicopter part.

    • “Why the fuck are you comparing a fence around one of the more important to be secured places in the country to the border wall? It’s completely incoherent and non-nuanced.”

      Philip is criticizing the notion that it is too expensive to control the border. People who are net tax payers, and observing the effects of the ongoing demographic shift, realize that unchecked illegal immigration makes United States more like a third world nation. People with this view, might think that a president can be replaced, but there is no cure for a country that has lost its (classical) liberal ideas.

      With the above perspective, one might think it is too expensive NOT to control the illegal immigration. While a border wall is not a 100% solution, it is part of the solution.

      Lastly, the argument is coherent, in the sense that if something as important as the president can be protected by a fence for $100 million per mile, then the same level of protection for the border can be achieved for $130 billion, which is a rounding error in today’s bloated budget deficits.

      If you want to take the argument apart, you can point out that the density of SS (fitting that SS protects the Trumpenfuhrer!) around the new fence is much higher than the density of border control agents at the US Mexico border, and furthermore, if the southern border achieved a high enough difficulty of crossing, the flow would move to the northern border to the extent Canada allows tourism. Also, the electronic security measures of the white house are not included in this fence.

    • The main point of the post, actually, was to poke fun at the idea that it should cost $61 million and take two years to build a fence! That’s longer than it took for the U.S. to enter and win World War I. If we needed a taller fence for better security in 2014, why did we have to wait until 2021 to get it?

      A Chinese guy built a 30-story skyscraper in 15 days for $1,000 per square meter:

      With a budget of $61 million, he should have been able to build 650,000 square feet.

    • (But Anonymous is also right. Even at the breathtaking cost per mile of the White House fence, a border fence would apparently pay for itself pretty quickly!)

    • Ignoring the fact the the majority of illegal immigration is by visa overstays of people who enter the country completely legally ( and often via aeroplanes a futuristic device which goes _over_ fences ).

    • Hm… If we just cancel that visa program, there will be no overstays.
      Isn’t that what @10-15 is hinting? Hint, hint..

  3. The guy with the 30-story modular building also happens to be a helicopter pilot, and he parks his Bell Jet ranger at his helipad on campus conveniently near his office, but not on the roof of the building.

  4. re: the MAGA 2020 ballcaps, I’m still not seeing any “Pence 2020” stuff. Mike may want to consider joining the impeachment crew.

    • It’s unlikely there will ever be any Pence 2020 paraphernalia. The Pence 2024 stuff is all ready and waiting to be released, pending Pelosi’s approval of impeachment process.

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