Young’s idea: ‘Wall bonds’

Alaska Rep. Don Young. File photo: Liz Ruskin.

Alaska Congressman Don Young doesn’t like President Trump’s plan to build a wall on the border with Mexico, and his objection isn’t on humanitarian grounds. Young says the wall just won’t work.

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“It’s that simple,” Young said at a public forum in Washington, D.C. this week. “I’m not going to spend 18, 20, 100 billion dollars to build something that’s not going to work.”

The event, recording by Young’s staff, was a roundtable on ocean policy. Young said he doesn’t like the budget cuts for the Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that Trump reportedly wants. Young segued from there to the wall. The congressman told the forum he had a better idea for funding it.

“I want to sell wall bonds!” Young announced, to laughter from the audience. “It’s a play off of war bonds!”

Young said it’d be like the bonds the U.S. sold to finance World War II. He suggests the government could offer 2.5 percent interest.

“But then the decision will be up to you, the American people, whether you want to build a wall or not. It won’t work,” he said, to more laughter. “That’s up to you. Because you’d get a return on your money. But why cut those programs?”

Young Spokesman Matt Shuckerow noted the Alaska congressman voted against an enhanced border fence a decade ago. Young said at the time it would be ineffective at stopping illegal traffic.

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Liz Ruskin is the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Alaska Public Media. She reports from the U.S. Capitol and from Anchorage. Reach her at lruskin@alaskapublic.org.

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