The Border Wall Could Cost $15 Billion. Here's What That Pays for in DC

If one believes the back-of-the-envelope estimates by Republican leaders on Capitol Hill, President Donald Trump's border wall is going to cost between $12 billion and $15 billion. That's a lot of money, even though it's just a minute fraction of a $4 trillion federal budget. For comparison, here are a few examples of how far $15 billion of government funding can go.

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A work crew contracted by the Environmental Protection Agency prepares to set up a turbidity curtain, which prevents sediment and debris from flowing downstream, in the Gowanus Canal, October 24, 2016, in Brooklyn, New York.
In this July 14, 2011, file photo released by U.S. Air Force, a 33rd Fighter Wing aircraft maintainer moves by an Air Force F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather, stealth, multi-role fighters, and the program is the most expensive military weapons system in history. President Donald Trump has sought to bring the price of the program down. (AP Photo/U.S. Air Force, Samuel King Jr., File)
A supermarket displays stickers indicating it accepts food stamps in West New York, New Jersey, Jan. 12, 2015.
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A soldier from the 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division waits to depart outside a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle in the last convoy from Iraq at Camp Adder, now known as Imam Ali Base, on Dec.17, 2011, near Nasiriyah, Iraq.
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The National Debt Clock, a billboard-size digital display showing the increasing US debt, is seen on the corner of Sixth Avenue and West 44th Street on August 1, 2011, in New York City.
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Federal tax forms are distributed at the offices of the Internal Revenue Service November 1, 2005, in Chicago.
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Gabrielle Barry, a research specialist at the AIDS Vaccine Research Labs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, tests body fluids from rhesus macaque monkeys infected with the Zika virus searching for evidence of the virus on June 28, 2016, in Madison, Wisconsin.
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