Forget a wall, we need to build a roof

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By Kristen Harris

President Trump took a little while to react to Hurricane Harvey, yet he just can’t shut up about that stupid wall. However, though he responded more quickly to Hurricane Irma, I think that he should start talking about building us a roof instead.

The promise of a bigger, better border wall between the US and Mexico was one of Trump’s most, ahem, spotlighted campaign promises. According to the BBC, he planned to beef up border protection with a “beautiful, southern border wall.” However, seven months after that article ran, there’s still no wall.

According to Politifact, Congress stopped Trump’s attempts at earmarking his $10 billion  wall budget in a stop-gap budget measure that was necessary to avoid a government shutdown.

Those Congressional opponents were smart to stop him. There is already fencing and natural borders along the 2,000-mile border. I like to cite the fact that drug cartels could just tunnel under the proposed wall if they wanted to get into the US badly enough.

As the last few weeks have shown us, Mexico is not the enemy here. Mother Nature is.

After Harvey battered Texas, Florida got slammed by a hurricane as wide as the entire state. No matter where they evacuated to, no one within the state borders was perfectly safe.

That’s where my roof comes in.

Florida is 65,755 square miles big, or 1,833,144,192,000 sq. ft. A metal roof would be best, as they’re more resistant to wind damage. According to Fixr.com, the average national cost for a 1,700 sq. ft. metal roof is $6,700. So, assuming a metal roof to cover all of Florida would cost about the same as metal roofs for 1,078,320,112.94 homes, the estimated budget for this project should be $7,224,744,756,698.

I mean, go big or go home.

The President has only pledged one million dollars for hurricane relief so far. Leonardo DiCaprio’s foundation pledged the same. Maybe we should get him to help us out instead.

We can start small, building a roof that covers the more vulnerable parts of southern Florida and then slowly work our way up the coasts. It may take a few years, but the nation debt already surpassed $20 trillion. What’s $7 trillion more?

All joking aside, there are more important things going on in our country than keeping or kicking certain people out. There are, quite literally, people dying, and our tax dollars are worth more when they keep us safe, not when they try to construct something useless.

The notion of a roof to cover Florida is, of course, ridiculous. The hurricane winds would just blow in the sides, kind of like how the drug cartels can just dig tunnels to get past border control. What’s important is funding life-saving organizations such as FEMA, which delivered food and water to families in my tiny town who were without electricity for days. Schools have suffered damage all across the state. The climate change debate is strong.

Our state government is doing a decent job. The federal government, however, could step it up. The President’s job should be to address the suffering of his own people first. The hoagies he served in Naples aren’t going to solve anything long-term.

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