Since his show Last Week Tonight debuted nearly two years ago, John Oliver has had plenty of fantastic segments. One of the best I’ve seen yet aired Sunday night when he annihilated Donald Trump’s push to build a wall between the United States and Mexico.
“The border wall is one of the few policy proposals Trump has talked about in detail, so instead of mocking or dismissing it out of hand, tonight let’s take a serious proposal by a serious presidential candidate seriously,” Oliver said, mocking the fact that Trump rarely offers specifics about anything he promises to do if elected.
He then spent the vast majority of the segment ripping apart how impractical, expensive and ultimately pointless this wall would be.
Take for instance Trump’s insistence that the wall would cost anywhere between $4-12 billion. Though as Oliver pointed out, that estimate is complete fiction. In fact, after all the estimated costs associated with such a massive project are added up, it would likely cost around $24 billion just to build the thing. Furthermore, the CBO projects that within seven years the upkeep on the wall would exceed the actual cost to build it.
“The Congressional Budget Office estimates that wall maintenance costs will exceed the initial construction costs within seven years,” Oliver stated. “It’s a big, dumb thing that only gets more expensive over time.”
He also mentioned how building a border wall would actually go against a treaty that says nothing can be built near the Rio Grande that could disrupt its flow. He then made sure to point out the fact that around half of the unauthorized immigrants who are currently here came here legally but simply overstayed their visas. Meaning that the wall wouldn’t have done anything to prevent those folks from coming here.
Oliver then brought up the reality that a wall wouldn’t stop drugs from crossing the border based on methods that have currently been used by cartels that include tunnels, makeshift rocket launchers and catapults to bypass the current fencing we already have to get drugs into the United States.
He concluded the segment by stating that the wall is nothing more than a symbol to give some people a false sense of security that ultimately won’t do anything but cost the country tens of billions of dollars just to build and maintain it.
“If the main thing it’s going to get us is a warm sense of satisfaction inside, I suggest that instead of building the wall, we use the money to buy every man, woman and child in America a Palmer Waffle Iron,” Oliver quipped. “These beauties retail at $75 apiece, so we’d still have nearly $1 billion left over. This waffle iron plan will cost less, will 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 f*cking waffles.”
This was an absolutely fantastic segment that crushed Donald Trump’s stupid idea to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico border. I’d highly recommend spending a few minutes to check it out.
Watch the segment below via HBO:
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