No, Mexico will not be paying for Trump’s wall

Let’s talk walls.

Donald Trump continues to tell us that Mexico is going to pay for the Trump Wall on the border of Mexico. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has said fat chance and cancelled a meeting with Trump in January as a result. Leaders throughout Mexico have a pretty uniform stance to the idea: Screw Trump.

Btu Trump says Mexico will pay, dammit, so the plan he floated is a 20 percent tariff on Mexican imports.

In other words, American consumers will be paying for the wall, not Mexico.

Recognize this meme? It’s bullshit. That wall is in Israel. There is no wall on the Mexico-Guatemala border.

It astonishes me how many people can’t seem to grasp this, but like clockwork the faithful are all abuzz trying to defend the plan when it doesn’t take more than two seconds of thought to realize what’s what. In truth, this is basic stuff. You force a cost onto a business, that cost gets passed on to consumers. In this case, that means Americans buying any of the hundreds of billions in goods imported from Mexico, which includes car and car parts, electronics, machinery, fuel, food, medical equipment, and more, will be the ones paying.

And take note that even if these companies don’t jack up prices to cover this — and let’s be honest, the idea that they wouldn’t is ridiculous — it’s still not Mexico paying for it, it’s PRIVATE BUSINESSES.

So no, Mexico is not paying for the wall, no matter how much he repeats the mantra. Forbes does a super thorough, often head-spinning breakdown of how this surprisingly complex system of transactions would work, and the end result is always the same. You pay for it.

When confronted with this uncomfortable reality, I’ve seen people suggest that this policy will prompt companies to relocate to the U.S. in order to avoid the tariffs. This argument is absurd on its face. First, why would a company go through the trouble and expense to relocate when they can just pass on the cost to the consumer? Second, you expect them to relocate to a country where they’ll be expected to pay higher wages and abide by stricter operating standards? And third, many of these companies are actually American companies, so …

Again, absurd.

And once again, because it’s important to drive this point home, who is disproportionately impacted by a hike in consumer good prices? That’s right, the poor and middle class. The very people Trump claimed wouldn’t be forgotten would feel the impact of this more than any other.

Oh, and it’s not a one and done cost, either. Oh no. Most of the estimates for construction of the wall are only talking about the construction itself. He claims it will cost about $10 billion. Mitch McConnell says it will be around $15 billion. Engineers say it will actually be closer to $25 billion. But here’s what most estimates are ignoring: that 2,000 miles of wall actually has to be manned and maintained. You know all that national infrastructure Trump said was falling apart during his inauguration speech? The wall will become part of it. It has to be taken care of. That is a cost that NEVER, EVER GOES AWAY. It’s perpetual, and in fact grows higher with each passing year as the wall ages. That has to be paid for, too. By you. And that’s not even taking into account all the people who will have to man the wall day and night if it’s actually going to serve its intended purpose.

Which it won’t, which makes this expensive pet project even more ridiculous.

But that topic is for tomorrow’s post.


  1. Matt TimsonMatt Timson

    The idiot’s idiot…

  2. James HansonJames Hanson

    Yeah, it’s just amazing.

  3. Dan BowenDan Bowen

    Stop referring to sourced fact and expert analysis. He’s doing a very good job but I can’t specify where, when or in what ways.

  4. Jim McDevittJim McDevitt

    But Hillary.

  5. Chris SharChris Shar

    Also, walls don’t work. we already know that.

    1. Eric San JuanEric San Juan

      You got it. I pulled up some hard data on how illegal immigrants get here. I think that piece goes live tomorrow. Based on the data, the wall will accomplish very little. About half of all illegal immigrants actually come here *legally*, they just don’t leave when their work visas run out. A wall does no good there. Another percentage arrive by air. Some others arrive by boat (and that would increase if there was a wall). Basically, it’s a fraction of illegal immigration that would actually be stopped by this … and in reality, they would only be slowed, not stopped.

  6. Brian San JuanBrian San Juan

    If memory serves, according to the last census report immigration coming across the border, both legal and illegal, has been at a near standstill for years. If I recall this correctly it said as many people have been traveling back across the border, back to Mexico, then have been coming to the states. Frankly, it just seems like such a non-issue either way. Come on in.

    1. Chris SharChris Shar

      Its the same con conservatives have been playing forever. As long as there is a perceived threat from people with a lower socioeconomic standing, someone they can point at and blame. They will always have a voter base. It’s the same with food stamps and single mothers.

    2. Eric San JuanEric San Juan

      Mexican immigration actually REVERSED in 2015, meaning more Mexicans left the U.S. than arrived that year. I touch on this in the piece going up either tomorrow or Wednesday. This is the first of four.

    3. Brian San JuanBrian San Juan

      I actually recall hearing that on NPR. I knew I was definitely missing some facts.

  7. Pingback: No, a wall will not stop the flow of illegal immigrants into America – ERIC SAN JUAN

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