Most Americans would rather see the $5-or-so billion Donald Trump wants for a border wall spent on other things, according to a Business Insider poll: namely, education, health care, and infrastructure.
Now in its second week, and with no end in sight, the government shutdown carries on because Donald Trump and Congress can't agree on money for a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Ever since he announced his candidacy for president in 2016, Trump has made the border wall the focus of his presidency. Initially claiming that Mexico would pay for it (which is not going to happen, according to Mexico), Trump has since been asking Congress for that money. Congress hasn't given it to him.
"Have the Democrats finally realized that we desperately need Border Security and a Wall on the Southern Border. Need to stop Drugs, Human Trafficking, Gang Members & Criminals from coming into our Country."Enter Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat. In a tweet, she posited some ideas for how that money could be spent.
"And just like that, GOP discovers $5.7 billion for a wall. $5.7 billion. What if we instead added $5.7B in teacher pay? Or replacing water pipes? Or college tuition/prescription refill subsidies? Or green jobs? But notice how no one's asking the GOP how they're paying for it."As it turns out, a majority of Americans would rather see the $5 billion Trump wants on some of the things Ocasio-Cortez suggested. Specifically, Survey Monkey asked 1,025 Americans what they believe would be the best use of $5 billion that would otherwise be spent. Respondents were given the choice of paying the healthcare costs of half a million Americans, making infrastructure improvements, funding pre-K programs, and funding the border wall.
As for the wall, even among conservatives, it drew only 53 percent support. Among those who identified as "moderately" or "very" liberal, the wall got only 2 percent support.
Getting the most support across both sides of the aisle was infrastructure improvements: 39 percent of those who identified as liberal supported spending that money on infrastructure, while 22 percent of those who identified as conservative supported it.
Healthcare spending also got support from both sides: 16 percent of conservatives supported allocating that money for healthcare, while 49 percent of liberals wanted to see money spent on healthcare.
Pre-K programs came in last, with 14 percent of liberals wanting to spend money on such programs, while conservatives failed to support this notion at all.
Survey Monkey's results are comparable to other surveys about border wall funding. For example, a recent INSIDER poll found that 60 percent of Americans don't believe it's worth shutting down the government over a border wall.