Politics

Better Ways to Spend the Money Designated for Trump’s Wall

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Since the beginning of his campaign, Donald Trump has promised to build a border wall between Mexico and the U.S. Trump plans to have Mexico pay for the wall that will stretch 2,000 miles and cost up to $25 billion dollars.  There are several issues with this wall, including alienating Mexico, threatening endangered species, infringing private landowners, and rivers that flow through the border. There are so many different outlets the government could put this money towards. Here’s a few:

1. Fix the Flint Water Crisis. Flint, Michigan has been without clean water since April 2014. Press on the issue has died down since December 2016, when the Michigan Civil Rights Commission published “The Flint Water Crisis: Systematic Racism Through the Lens of Flint.” According to CNBC, the crisis could be solved with $55 million, costing each home about $4,000.  About 41% of people in Flint live in poverty and can’t afford to pay $4,000 for new pipes. With the money for Trump’s wall, we could cover the cost of replacing the damaged pipes, lifting a burden no citizen should endure.

2. Pay the adoption fees of every single child in the system. The average cost for adoption is anywhere between $5,000 and $40,000, and there are currently 107,918 children in the foster system. It would only cost $4.4 billion to waive the adoption fees for each of these deserving children. If you subtract that from the $25 billion, there would be $20.6 billion dollars left over, which means we could provide each of those children with a $100,000 federal scholarship for education.

3. Eliminate 15% of poverty in America. 15% of the population is currently living under the poverty line, leaving about 46.5 million Americans struggling to make ends meet. Additionally, one in five children under eighteen and one in four kids under the age of six are impoverished. To fix this, it would only cost one percent of our GPD (gross domestic product), which is about one-fourth of what we spend on national defense every year. That number is about $175.3 billion. Although that may seem like a huge jump from the $25 billion it will take to build the wall, the $25 billion is enough to bring 15% of those 46.5 million people out of poverty. Every cause starts somewhere, and the money for Trump’s wall is perfect to begin fixing this problem. It would help 6,975,000 people out of poverty.

4. Provide grants to underfunded schools. As of 2013, there are 98,817 public schools in America. About 56% of those schools are low-income, and over 40% of them do not get their fair share of grants. However, with the $25 billion it would cost to build the wall, the government could provide over $400,000 to each of those schools. This money would provide quality education to the future of America and ensure that those schools remain for years to come.

No matter how you look at it, Trump’s wall will be a disaster. It will be expensive, have a negative impact the environment and alienate Mexico. There are so more beneficial ways to spend the $25 billion that would go towards this disastrous wall. We could provide clean water, aid children in the adoption system, give support to those in poverty and provide financial aid to underfunded schools. Those are only four ways out of the limitless amount of good this money can do. Trump’s wall must be stopped, and the money designated for it must be utilized elsewhere.

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Micaela Tompkins

High school junior with interest in painting, writing, and politics.

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