One of President Donald Trump’s arch nemeses during the 2016 election was the ever-boring Jeb Bush. Frequently referring to Bush as low-energy, Trump consistently circled him like crows above a dead carcass during debates.
However, Jeb might have gotten the last laugh after all.
Bush trolled Trump on Twitter (because he can be hip with the Twitter) back in February. Bush tweeted a link to the Wall Street Journal piece “Trump Can’t Build a Border Wall Without The Real Estate” along with three words that owned Trump entirely.
‘Reality sets in.’
Reality sets in. https://t.co/OnjcBTelhV
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) February 17, 2017
The piece in the WSJ by Evan Siegfried, a GOP strategist, is a commentary piece about the fact that not only will the building of a border wall require tons of labor, it will also require a massive amount of real estate, which the government will have to acquire from owners. As Siegfried pointed out, during the campaign Trump insisted he could build a wall for $10 million and even deliver it under budget. However, Siegfried broke down the costs in his piece:
‘To build the wall, the U.S. would need to own all 1,954 miles of the border. Most of this land is now private property-especially in Texas, where the U.S. government owns only 100 miles of the 1,254-mile border. To acquire the rest of the land it would need, Washington would need to employ eminent domain, the authority under the Fifth Amendment to seizure private property for public use upon payment of “just compensation.”‘
Now, here’s what is an issue: when Congress tried to pull off the Secure Fence Act in 2006, they built a border fence 700 miles along the U.S./Mexico border. However, the fence is a gapped-up mess because property owners in the U.S. are STILL fighting the land seizures. That’s right. They want a wall, until they have to give up their land.
The piece referred to a report issued by the Department of Homeland Security inspector general that revealed, “Acquiring real property from non-federal owners is a costly, time-consuming process requiring negotiations and sometimes condemnation.”
Siegfried then gave some examples:
‘The cost of paying landowners “fair market value” is often higher than estimated. In building the border fence, Reuters reported, the U.S. government ended up paying $4.7 million for one developer’s land when the initial offer was $233,000. It shelled out $1 million to the Sierra Club after originally proposing $114,000 for another parcel.’
So, there’s the reality that has to sink in for Trump (it won’t – it’s “fake news”), and low-energy Jeb got to deliver it.
Featured image via Getty Images / Bob Levey.