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      Fact Checking Steel Slats

      3 months ago

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      Fact Checking "Steel Slats"

      Trump's efforts at re-branding his wall hit a speed-bump

      (of his own making)


      Jose Luis Gonzalez | Reuters

      Trump's tariffs make his "transparent" barrier much more expensive


      By Ray Cunneff

      December 21, 2018


      The Trump White House efforts to win broader support for a border wall by describing the project as “border security” with “steel slats” serve as a reminder that the president’s steep tariffs on steel and aluminum would make such a project much more expensive.

      So far this year, the price of milled steel products is up roughly 25 percent, which matches the level of import duties Trump applied in March to all steel products made outside the U.S., according to a CNBC analysis by John Schoen:

      "Despite congressional Democrats’ opposition to Trump’s demands of $5 billion for a border wall, the president Friday seemed determined to force a government shutdown."

      But, should Trump actually get his $5 billion, it would merely be a down-payment on an estimated (average) overall cost of between $20 billion and $40 billion. (The high-end estimate by the Brookings Institution came to over $60 billion.) And all of these estimates were made before Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum increased their cost by 25 percent.

      The "steel slats" design is a response to Trump’s call for “transparency” and the need for “openings because you have to see what’s on the other side of the wall,” in remarks he made to reporters in July 2017.

      “I’ll give you an example,” he said. “As horrible as it sounds, when they throw the large sacks of drugs over, and if you have people on the other side of the wall, you don’t see them — they hit you on the head with 60 pounds of stuff? It’s over. As crazy as that sounds, you need transparency through that wall.”

      He actually imagines drug smugglers throwing sacks of drugs over his wall as he demands a 7th Century technology to solve a 21st Century problem while, as Nicolle Wallace said on MSNBC's "Dateline:White House" yesterday, "Taking six sides of a two-sided issue".


      Why the DHS believes that a 30–foot tall wall cannot be scaled or overflown

      and that a tunnel cannot be built deeper than six feet below ground is unclear.


      His wall, or as he now tries to re-brand it "steel slats", is preposterous in virtually every respect, not just fleets of drones able to fly over it carrying drugs or other contraband, but that it would need to be at least as deep as it is high to limit tunneling. (The deepest tunnel dug by the drug cartels found thus far was 70 feet below the ground level.)

      But all of that aside, a wall, any wall, would only impede a tiny fraction of illegal entries. As Mick Mulvaney, Trump's incoming "acting" Chief of Staff, once described Trump's wall a "simplistic" solution and Trump's grasp of the situation on the ground "absurd and almost childish" in a 2015 interview.

      He added, "And by the way, the bottom line is the fence doesn't stop anybody who really wants to get across. You go under, you go around, you go through it. And that's what the ranchers tell us, is that they don't need a fence".




      The keys to real border security are technology and manpower. A wall is the least effective and most expensive reflexive action and one that fails to address the underlying issues. Such a wall would indeed be a symbol, an enduring monument to hubris and to Trump's real motto, "Strength Through Stupidity".


      https://www.brookings.edu/essay/the-wall-the-real-...

      BROOKINGS INSTITUTION FINDINGS:

      The wall would not stop smuggling

      The wall would hurt the U.S. economy

      The wall would not reduce crime in the U.S.

      The wall would create severe societal and environmental impacts

      The wall could prevent the renegotiation of water-sharing agreements critical to water and food security as well as to farming

      LINK TO FULL REPORT:

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          Ray Cunneff
          3 months ago

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          Overfed, smug, lazy-azzed Trumppusists should worry that an angry Mexican government might take 45rump's obsession with a wall to keep Mexicans out of the US for exactly the racist shlt it surely is and not allow tens (hundreds?)-of-thousands of their citizens, who are contracted by American agribusinesses each year at harvest time, to come here to pick our crops. And don't forget all the goods "Hecho en Mejico" -- from Fords to T-shirts to light-bulbs -- made affordable by the same brown-people because Mexico is our closest trading partner and there is no f**cking wall!, eh?

          The ignoramus in the White House and the right-wing haters who are in a wee-wee about brown-people living in, and coming to, the US, haven't thought this through very carefully. Beware of xenophobic buffoons like the criminal prick in the White House, I say. We'll be payin' $30 for a head of iceberg-lettuce, $50 for a 60-watt light-bulb and Fords as expensive as Bently's, if they continue to insult one of our (heretofore) closest allies.

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              Ray Cunneff
              3 months ago

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                  opie
                  3 months ago

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                  50
                      3 months ago

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                      I can't wait for Elon Musk and his Boring Company to propose a high-speed tunnel under Trump's wall. Even at $10 million per mile, as projected for his tunnel system in Los Angeles, it would be far cheaper than the $60 billion medieval monstrosity the president demands.


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                              Ray Cunneff
                              3 months ago

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                              There is irony in the costs escalating because the price of steel has gone up. And as just about everyone except Trump fails to realise, tunnelling under the wall is not that difficult.

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                                  Ian Miller
                                  3 months ago

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                                  Just about everyone except the pervy-prick knows that you can go around walls, too. Hell, there's more than 17,000 miles more American border to choose where you can go around. @@

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                                      Ray Cunneff
                                      3 months ago

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                                      The first time I heard him make the "steel slats", in place of wall, reference my immediate thought was where was the steel going to come from, with the tariffs he put in place and all, and at what price?


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                                          Dajuan Candle
                                          3 months ago

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                                          The challenge might be to put our industrial creativity to work to find things that hold up like steel, cost less, and it would be nice if it looked better and less hostile. We would never tolerate a county jail fence that looked as bad as parts of our border fence does now.


                                          There are giant solid fences used as sound barriers along the interstate ....what does that cost to build? Having cost estimates that range from $12-70 billion seem a little odd ....don't we have people that can do construction estimates that are more accurate than that.

                                          The problem with our border fence now is even at 72, I could probably get across many parts of the border. Much of the border with Texas is a shallow river at many time of the year. Because of flooding, fences are a problem, as well as the fact that many ranchers use the water from the river for their cattle.


                                          There is nothing simple about this issue.

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