President Trump is once again demanding that his anti-immigration abomination of a border wall be painted black because it's a very scary color that will also get hot in the summer. The president has reportedly had the stance for a while now, but unfortunately his passion for landscape design has thrust itself back into the limelight after briefly receding. Now, according to government contracting estimates obtained by The Washington Post and published Wednesday, Trump has renewed calls for the hundreds of miles of border wall he has promised will be completed by next year to be painted an unspecified shade of black — a modification on his initial construction plans that could add "at least" half a billion dollars to the project's overall cost, the paper reported.
"[Trump] has changed his mind and now wants the fence painted," one administration official who spoke with the Post confirmed. "We are modifying contracts to add." Those modifications could add anywhere from $500 million to more than $3 billion dollars to the project's cost, depending on how the job is done and what sort of paint is used, the documents obtained by the Post indicate.
Among the various complicating factors is the fact that construction on the border wall has already begun, so making Trump's change would necessitate having to go back and paint already completed sections. Similarly, there are questions about how best to paint the Mexican side of the wall, and how to ensure the paint job is uniform throughout. All because, the president apparently thinks black is more intimidating, in addition to being hotter to the touch in the summer.
Given the fact that smugglers have been able to cut through existing sections of Trump's border wall 18 times in a single month — to say nothing of just climbing over the damn thing — Trump's renewed obsession with paint choices becomes all the more superficial and pointless.
Meanwhile, here are just a few other things you could could spend half a billion dollars on these days:
- meeting the requisite testing capacity to accurately track and contain the coronavirus pandemic;
- saving the concert industry from total collapse;
- keeping 100,000 Disney workers employed for a month;
- buying literally dozens of Minor League Baseball teams;
- funding half of Mike Bloomberg's very brief, very failed run for the White House.
Or, yes, you could paint your xenophobic construction project a scary color and hope that enough people are impressed by your design skills that they don't care about the astronomical price tag.