Throughout Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign, the real estate mogul has promised to build a “beautiful wall” on the U.S./Mexican border, explaining that Mexico would pay for it. John Oliver devoted 18 exhaustive minutes to that topic during Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, clarifying the absurdity of such a venture – from the lavish costs to its impracticality and racist implications.
As Oliver demonstrates above through Trump video clips, the GOP frontrunner’s estimate on the wall’s cost has risen from $4 billion to “$10 billion, maybe 12, depending.” But the host cites an expert’s estimate at $25 billion, before factoring in maintenance costs. “It’s a big, dumb thing that only gets more expensive over time,” Oliver says.
As for Trump’s claim that “Mexico is going to pay for the wall, and they’re going to be happy about it,” Oliver cuts to a clip from Mexican Treasury Secretary Luis Videgaray, who intoned, “Mexico, under no circumstances, is going to pay for the wall that Mr. Trump is proposing.”
Oliver draws comparisons between Trump’s wall and a large border fence approved by George W. Bush in 2006 – one which was forced inland, creating a variety of practical and ethical problems.
Referring back to his earlier estimate, Oliver says the Trump wall would conservatively cost $77 per American – two dollars more than his personal plan: one waffle iron per person.
“I know what you’re thinking: John, this is a stupid idea. But is it? Is it really?” he says. “Yes, obviously it is. But is it significantly stupider than Donald Trump’s wall? Because this waffle iron plan will cost less; it’ll do nearly as much to keep out immigrants and drugs; it won’t harm our relationship with our third-largest trading partner; if it is racist, it’s only toward Belgians; and unlike Donald Trump’s wall, this makes fucking waffles! So come on, America. Let’s ask ourselves, ‘What kind of country do we want to wake up to: one that spends billions on an impossible, impractical symbol of fear or one that smells like breakfast?'”