Border wall costs increase as Trump takes credit for F-35

Photo courtesy of  The Washington Post.
The Washington Post gives Trump “Four Pinocchios” for Trump’s alleged cost reduction

Ashley McCann, Opinions Editor

As if paying $10 billion for the border wall wasn’t shocking enough, recent projections have estimated that the wall will cost over $21 billion. Reuters Top News estimates the cost somewhere in the ballpark of $21.6 billion; however, citing a document obtained from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Reuters also reported that “Bernstein Research, an investment research group that tracks material costs, has said that uncertainties around the project could drive its cost up to as much as $25 billion.”

In response, Trump took to Twitter and drew correlations between what he believed to be his success for bringing the costs of the F-35 fighter jet down with the costs for the wall. Apparently, once he gets involved, the costs will come “WAY DOWN!” However, a Washington Post fact check that investigated Trump’s claim of cutting $600 million from the F-35 program discovered that Lockheed Martin had already planned to cut costs before Trump intervened.

On Dec. 19, before Trump’s meeting, “the head of the Defense Department’s F-35 Program Office, Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, announced costs could come down significantly,” said Michelle Ye Hee Lee, reporter for The Washington Post. The Washington Post therefore gave Trump’s claim “Four Pinocchios,” identifying Trump’s overstatement and lack of credibility.

This isn’t the first time Trump has taken credit for the work of others, and from the looks of this situation, it doesn’t seem to be the last. “He’s overstated his role in deals with Intel, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Ford and Sprint to take credit for saving American jobs,” said Aaron Rupar for Think Progress.

Maybe, instead of investing taxpayer and government money in a costly border wall, the government should invest in public schools, libraries, border retention facilities or public transportation. National security is important; however, there are plenty of ways people can get in this country that don’t include attempting to cross the Mexican border.  Instead of laying claim to the successes of other people, maybe President Trump should take a break from Twitter and do something on his own that doesn’t include increasing tension and stereotypes.

Ashley McCann
Ashley McCann is a junior english and secondary education major. This is her second year on The Flyer, but first as opinions editor.

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