One columnist opined Thursday that if Donald Trump is as rich as he claims to be, he should spend his own billions on a border wall with Mexico.
Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell noted that she’s not the first person to raise the suggestion — and that the suggestion appears to have come from North Carolina Republican Congressman Walter B. Jones.
At the end of 2018, Jones “suggested that our builder in chief pledge ‘some of his own funds’ toward the wall,” Rampell wrote, “though Jones emphasized that a fiscally responsible approach would primarily rely on offsetting cuts to ‘wasteful federal spending.'”
The columnist proceeded to point out that even interim White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, in newly-uncovered comments from 2015, believed the wall is “absurd and almost childish.”
After outlining the many physical, legal and logical impracticalities of a border wall with Mexico, Rampell mused: “If we’re gonna waste billions of dollars, at least let those billions be Trump’s.”
“It would be his money on the line only initially, of course. Trump has repeatedly promised that Mexico will pay us back for the costs of construction,” she wrote. “Occasionally, he insists that Mexico has already committed this money, somehow, through his willfully confused understanding of how the still-as-yet-unratified NAFTA 2.0 will work.”
If that Mexican check is really coming, Rampell wrote, Trump can afford to put up the initial funds — and should given the large bill he’s charged taxpayers with his trips to Mar-a-Lago.
“Like those GoFundMe donors, Trump could model putting America first by donating all that money back, plus anything he has collected from the political fundraisers and dubious international business coming through his hotels,” the columnist mused.
“The best possible outcome might be this: If Trump believes that he — rather than the taxpaying public — is on the hook for construction costs, he might just declare the thing already built,” Rampell concluded. “He can instruct Fox News to air some B-roll of the Great Wall of China and hope his supporters don’t notice the difference, and we can all, at long last, move on to the next fake crisis.”