First, the border wall was “immoral.” Then, it was “ineffective.”
Now, it’s just too damn expensive.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi offered a new objective to a border wall on the southern border: It’s a “luxury” that just costs too much.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Pelosi said, “It’s unfortunate because there’s an opportunity cost here of this money— he keeps increasing the amount of money, the amount of beds, increasing the obstacles to finding a solution.
“Because I don’t think he really wants a solution,” Pelosi charged.
“I think he loves the distraction that this is from his other problems and that’s most unfortunate.”
Turning to the wall, Pelosi said, “It’s a luxury our country can’t afford under any circumstance. This is certainly a luxury we can’t afford when he has shut down government, takes pride in it and says months or years.”
“That is not the action of a responsible president,” the Speaker declared.
Trump is seeking $5 billion in funding for the border wall, which represents just a tiny fraction of federal spending.
Grabien has produced a list of items Democrats have found the money for in the past, such as:
- The United Nations. As the United Nation’s largest contributor, the U.S. in 2016 donated $10 billion to the U.N. As CAGW notes, reducing these contributions just 25 percent would create a savings of $12.5 billion over 10 years. Of the money Congress appropriates for the United Nations, $5 million taxpayer dollars are itemized for abortions in foreign countries.
- Amtrak. Congress could sell Amtrak to the private sector where it would almost certainly be operated more efficiently, but instead it’s showered in billions of dollars of taxpayer subsidies. Over the next five years, these subsidies will cost $9.7 billion.
- Unused Real Estate. Congress appropriates money to maintain federal real estate that’s not actually being used. Per CAGW, an October 31, 2017, CRS report found that, “In FY2016, federal agencies owned 3,120 buildings that were vacant (unutilized), and another 7,859 that were partially empty (underutilized).” Current laws require the government to undergo a series of steps before considering a sale of these buildings. Were selling this unused property prioritized, the 5-year savings are estimated at $15 billion. Simply maintaining the unused buildings annually costs $1.7 billion.
- Foreign Aid. American taxpayers currently spend more than $50 billion a year helping develop foreign countries. Many of the recipients are not known for being America’s closest allies — such as Egypt, South Sudan, Uganda, South Africa, Russia, the Congo, Sudan, and Zambia — which raises the question of what Americans are receiving in exchange for all of this aid. Cutting these donations back just 10 percent would be enough to fund the wall.
Go there to see the full list.