Saturday, August 29, 2015

$25 million per mile

Citizens of the world like to point out, with heads shaking, the public's ignorance of what percentage of the federal budget goes to foreign aid. Kaiser found a mean estimate of 26%. The actual figure is about 1% (curiously, this reaction is not elicited when it comes to overestimates in the populations of blacks, Jews, gays, or Hispanics). In 2012, that 1% came to about $48.5 billion.

Here's a modest populist proposal for the Trump campaign--or for one of the other GOP wet noodles who want to show they are still alive and kicking. Scrap foreign aid. All of it. Divert that spending to the barrier. That annual outlay of $48.5 billion comes to $24.8 million per mile, or $4,700 per foot. And it would be recurring. Think $25 million a year is enough to maintain a single mile of wall? The US wouldn't have to outsource the work to Mexico with that kind of funding. I bet Trump could get it done ahead of schedule and under budget.

Instead of giving money to other sovereign nations, spend it on securing our own sovereignty instead. I'd vote for that.

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