In Lieu Of Walls: What Else Could We Do With The Border Wall Money

Well, it looks like we’re getting a wall, folks. President Donald Trump signed an executive order earlier this week to move construction plans forward for a wall running the length of the US-Mexico border.Ugly Trump The Republican-controlled Congress has offered up massive amounts of money for a wall that President Trump insisted would be paid for by Mexico. He still insists that will be the case eventually, but as of right now, it appears the American taxpayer will be footing the bill.

The massive amounts of money needed to complete the project have fluctuated depending on who is doing the estimating. In an excellent, well-sourced piece, the Washington Post estimated that the cost of the wall would fall somewhere between 15-25 billion dollars. Republican lawmakers, Mitch McConnell chief among them, have predicted that the price range for the wall would be only 12 to 15 billion dollars. The gusto shown by the notoriously stingy GOP for such a massive project got me thinking. What else could we use this money for instead of walling off our southern border?

In order to be able to hold our lawmakers responsible for their prediction when the price eventually inflates, I’m going to use their numbers ($12-$15 billion) and assume that this is the first giant project in history to be completed at/under budget. I’m no math wiz, so I’m going to be depending on well-respected studies and resources, as well as inflation charts and a very dusty calculator to achieve totals. Don’t mistake my calculations for scripture. I’m just trying to get in the ballpark with most of these figures.

A brief word on the inflation charts. I went to the US Department of Labor Statistics to use their calculator, but it doesn’t allow prices of more than 10 million dollars (Losers.) So I found one that does, then I checked how close it was to matching the government’s calculator. It’s not perfect but it’s close. According to the DoLS, $1 in 1950 was equal to $9.96 in 2016. According to Dollar $1 in 1950 was equal to $10.02 in 2016. So keep that difference in mind, because when you’re dealing with tens of billions of dollars, the room for error increases. Okay, the nerdy fact stuff is out of the way, let’s get to it. How could we better spend Donald Trump’s wall money?

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The People’s Playbook

I had two distinct moments of inspiration on Inauguration weekend. The first was watching Donald Trump become President Trump. Mere seconds after another successful peaceful transfer of power, watching him orate perhaps most divisive Inauguration speech in United States history was a jolt to the system.

Talk about inspiring.

Less than 24 hours later, I found wave after wave of inspiration washing over me as I marched with hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children in defiance of the coming Trump years. The Women’s March was an incredible showing as millions of people around the globe stood up and said, “We are watching you.” It sent a strong message. Now we have to back it up because as wonderful as those moments were on Saturday, the coming weeks and months are going to test our mettle.

Progressive America took a hard right to the jaw that we didn’t see coming. We hit the canvas hard, only able to watch from the floor in horror as the referee counted to ten. Well, the fight just ended, the winner has been crowned and a whole bunch of us have been royally humbled.

There’s no time for despair. We’ve got another date with destiny just two short years from now when the entire House and a third of the Senate come up for re-election. The national stage isn’t the only important one. Don’t forget, state legislatures often affect you more directly than the national legislature does. Many states are vast seas of red spanning from the Governor’s mansions to county courthouses. So how on Earth do we win back the hearts and minds necessary for positive, progressive change? We work really, really hard. The hard work starts today, folks. Here’s a blueprint for how we will take our country back. Continue reading

2016: At Least Sports Were Fun!

Two more days, everybody. Forty-eight more stinking hours before we can finally kick 2016 out to the curb and welcome the steaming pile of dookie that will be 2017 into the comfort of our collective bosoms. All the terror, all the deaths, and all the F&k!ing Trump was overwhelming. But what saved this wreck of a year (just a tiny bit) was an absolutely incredible year in the world of sports. From the Rio Olympics to the Chicago Cubs winning the greatest World Series game of all time, this year in sports was actually worth remembering. Let’s take a look back at the best things in sports, grand and modest alike. Continue reading

The Electoral College: Why We Must Honor The System

We are just a few days removed from November 8th, 2016 or as it will now be known, Surreal Tuesday. You all know the facts and figures by now. Riding a wave of urban and coastal support, Secretary Hillary Clinton gained about 200,000 more votes nationally than President-Elect Donald Trump. White voters (Including an alarming percentage of women) overwhelmingly came out to the polls for Trump, who red-washed the vast rural areas of the nation. In states like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, white voters flocked to Trump, swinging the states from blue to red and securing Trump with the Electoral College votes he would need to become President. Continue reading

Why I’m Walking Away From the Cubs at the Brink of Glory

Yesterday, a report from the Wall Street Journal was published which broke the news that Chicago Cubs owner Joe Ricketts will donate at least one million dollars towards Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. This is after he and his wife, Marlene, spent upwards of six million on an Anti-Trump Republican Pac during the primaries.

The Ricketts must have decided that all of Trump’s sexist comments, which compelled them to create an entire ad built around Trump’s misogyny (which is above), suddenly don’t bother them. Trump’s utter ignorance to the subtleties of foreign affairs and domestic policy suddenly don’t seem to scare the Ricketts either. What seems to scare the Ricketts the most is that under a Clinton Presidency, (Or possibly even a 3rd Party one) the Ricketts wouldn’t get as friendly a tax break as they would under Trump. To ease their worries, the Ricketts are willing to put their money behind the most dangerous American politician since Senator McCarthy and Governor George Wallace; damn the rest of us. When I heard this news and made mental arithmetic from the previous paragraph, there was only one clear and acceptable choice I could make. I am no longer a Cubs fan. Continue reading

Suicide Squad Is Too Cool For The Room & That’s The Biggest Problem (Of Many)

Do you enjoy DC comics? Have you grown up watching some of the most iconic characters of all time like Harley Quinn and the Joker? Then you will hate Suicide Squad. If you have no clue who any of these characters are, you will also hate Suicide Squad. The worst part is that it didn’t have to be that way. Continue reading

16 Things You Didn’t Know About the Summer Olympics

Happy Friday to you all! Tonight the Summer Games officially kick off in Rio and despite all the horror stories being filed about Brazil’s unpreparedness, the actual games should be full of incredible performances and heart-stopping action. Instead of your Morning Musings, let’s take a look at some of the amazing things you might not know about the summer games.  Continue reading