John Oliver breaks down the true cost of Donald Trump’s Mexico border wall

'It's a big, dumb thing that only gets more expensive over time'

Justin Carissimo
New York
Monday 21 March 2016 15:06 GMT
John Oliver sets his sights on Donald Trump's very serious campaign.
John Oliver sets his sights on Donald Trump's very serious campaign.

John Oliver has highlighted all the problems with Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall across the US-Mexican border.

On this Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, Oliver debunked the proposal by delivering an 18-minute breaking of how expensive, divisive and racist the barrier would actually be.

“Yes, Donald Trump wants to build a wall on the US-Mexican border and based on his tone, he wants to f**k that wall,” Oliver began.

“The border wall is one of the few policy proposals Trump has talked about in detail, so instead of mocking or dismissing it out of hand, tonight let’s take a serious proposal by a serious presidential candidate seriously."

Trump first said that the border would cost $4 billion to construct, then $7 billion, then $10 billion, then $12 billion, when in reality, experts have estimated the 35 to 55-foot wall to cost $25 billion, and after seven years it would exceed that number to maintain it.

“The Congressional Budget Office estimates that wall maintenance costs will exceed the initial construction costs within seven years,” Oliver said. “It’s a big, dumb thing that only gets more expensive over time. It’s like getting a pet walrus: You think it’s stupid now, wait until you learn what a bucket of sea cucumbers costs — you’ve not prepared for that."

Oliver then compares the proposal to George W Bush's border fence in 2006 where the federal government was forced to sue hundreds of US families who owned land across the border. He then says that building the barrier will not stop folks from overstaying their visas.

“A wall can’t stop that,” Oliver said. “It’s like wearing a condom to protect against head lice. You could do that, but that’s not really how you keep the thing you’re worried about from happening.”

By the end of his segment, Oliver said that it would be smarter — and two dollars cheaper — to instead buy every American a $75 electric waffle iron.

“I know what you're thinking: 'John, this is a stupid idea.' But is it? Is it, really? Yes, obviously, it is,” Oliver said. “But is it significantly stupider than Donald Trump's wall? Because this waffle iron plan will cost less, it'll do nearly as much to keep out immigrants and drugs, it won't harm our relationship with our third-largest trading partner, if it is racist it's only toward Belgians, and, unlike Donald Trump's wall, this makes f***ing waffles."

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