(I put these together as part of a still-unfinished piece that WOLA will publish online… sometime after I finish it.)
What might it cost to fulfill Donald Trump’s promise to build a “big, beautiful wall” along the U.S.-Mexico border? Estimates of construction cost vary wildly. Here is a range culled from U.S. media:
- $8 billion, says the National Precast Concrete Association, whose estimate doesn’t take into account the cost of acquiring land.
- $12 billion, Trump has said.
- $12 billion to $15 billion, say Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin).
- “Republicans expect the final price tag for the wall could be more than $20 billion,” according to Politico.
- An internal Homeland Security Department report acquired by Reuters “estimated that fully walling off or fencing the entire southern border would cost $21.6 billion—$9.3 million per mile of fence and $17.8 million per mile of wall.”
- “I’ve got, I don’t know, six or seven different papers on my desk,” White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told radio talk-show host Hugh Hewitt. “I’ve got one that goes, starts at $8 million per mile. It goes up to about $25 million per mile. So again, it just depends on, when you’re talking about across 2,000 miles or so, what you decide to build in what areas.” The U.S.-Mexico border is just under 2,000 miles, but using that ballpark figure and that per-mile amount yields a border-wide cost of $16 billion to $50 billion.
- After receiving a briefing from U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security Committee, extrapolates the $36.6 million per-mile cost of the administration’s request for 2018, and comes up with $66.9 billion.
Seen any others?