No one has ever accused Donald Trump of knowing how numbers work. Or how math works. Or how democracy works. Or for that matter, how spelling and grammar work, but I digress. The point is that the guy isn’t exactly fond of getting into specifics when it comes to government and policy, unless he’s repeating the half-remembered talking points he just heard on Fox News. That makes Trump’s sudden numbers game even more bizarre.
Here’s what Donald Trump spewed during a lazy Sunday morning Twitter ramble: “We are not even into February and the cost of illegal immigration so far this year is $18,959,495,168. Cost Friday was $603,331,392. There are at least 25,772,342 illegal aliens, not the 11,000,000 that have been reported for years, in our Country. So ridiculous! DHS” Wait, what?
None of those numbers make sense in any context. There is no argument to be made that undocumented immigration costs the United States money. In fact there is a strong economic argument that, whatever you think of the influx, the U.S. ends up profiting from it. It’s also laughable that he’s suddenly inventing fourteen million new “illegal aliens” who clearly don’t exist. And by throwing “DHS” on the end he’s implying that these numbers actually came from the Department of Homeland Security, when they obviously did not.
But the truly weird part is the oddly specific nature of these numbers. He couldn’t have simply heard numbers this complex on-air on Fox News and then typed them out on Twitter in real time, and we don’t think he’s the type to keep rewinding the DVR in order to get it right. In other words, Trump didn’t write or post this tweet. But this idiocy has his name on it. It’s a numbers game, and as is increasingly the case these days, Donald Trump is totally lost.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report