When it comes to Donald Trump’s proposed border wall, the new president and his Republican allies have stopped pretending that Mexico is going to pay for it, as Trump repeatedly promised during the campaign.
Now, by their own admission, it’s the American people who will be on the hook for constructing the wall – a wall most of us don’t even support.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Greta Van Susteren, House Speaker Paul Ryan flatly admitted, “We’re going to pay for it.”
— Greta Van Susteren (@greta) January 25, 2017
Well, first off, we’re going to pay for it and front the money up … There are a lot of different ways of getting Mexico to contribute to doing this and there different ways to defining how exactly they pay for it. The point is, he has a promise he made to the American people, which is to secure our border, a wall is a big part of that. We agree with that goal, and we will be working with him to finance construction of the physical barrier, including the wall on the southern border.
Since Trump’s electoral victory last year, he and his supporters have slowly transitioned from saying definitively that Mexico will pay or the wall to claiming that America will fund it and get reimbursed at a later date.
In an interview today with ABC’s David Muir, Trump said this payment could be received from Mexico in “a complicated form,” but that the U.S. would be funding it at first.
Whatever “complicated form” this supposed payment takes, Trump’s vague language will ultimately make it easy for him to take credit for getting Mexico to pay for the wall – and his supporters will eat it right up – even if it’s part of some unrelated future transaction with the country.
This is how things work in the era of “alternative facts.”
At the end of the day, as the Republican Speaker said, U.S. taxpayers will be forking over tens of billions of dollars for this project – even though unauthorized immigration from Mexico has been falling for a decade.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.