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Politics

Obviously, We Could Fund a Border Wall – Democrats, Be Honest

schumer-senate-shutdown democrat obstruction

CBP Photo by Glenn Fawcett

Let’s get serious about the US border.  Let’s put present political debate in perspective.  While President Trump has asked for $5 billion dollars to build a protective “wall” along the vulnerable Southwest border – in a federal budget of $4 trillion dollars – US House Democrat leader (soon House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democrat Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), say “no, too much money.”  On the numbers, this is absurd.  This is pure political theater.

In early December, more than 1,100 illegal Central American immigrants are crossing the US southwest border daily, aside from the publicized “caravans” camping in Tijuana, Mexico, south of San Diego.  The problem – as most know – is unprotected portions of the US border from Rio Grande Valley to the Yuma sectors.

The answer?  Reinforcing border security, of course.  This should be a “no brainer,” but has now gotten twisted up in a nonsensical debate over whether “omnibus” legislation with the remaining seven appropriations bills – has room for $5 billion to fund the wall.

Note, the total dollar figure tied up in these last seven bills is nearly one trillion dollars, so $5 billion would be one half of one percent of that bill.  Even if limited to discretionary spending, the total is roughly $322 billion.

So what gives?  Clearly, the idea is to assume most Americans are not paying attention, and to blithely politicize President Trump’s efforts to enhance southwestern border security via a “wall.”  Democrats want to deny the President this success, and believe they have a winner.  After all, $5 billion sounds like a big number.

But let us keep or restore some fiscal perspective.  Roughly $3 trillion dollars are spent annually on so-called “entitlement” programs, a number unsustainable over time.  The Democrats have driven that number north.  Moreover, as a result, current federal debt tops $21 trillion, with interest rising at breakneck pace.

In less than 10 years, annual interest on the national debt will exceed $900 billion.  Cost of interest on the national debt will hit $390 billion next year – 50 percent higher than in 2017, according to the Congressional Budget Office.  So we are on an unsustainable path with these unreformed entitlement programs and national debt.

But for the moment, put those monstrous numbers away.  Debt reduction and reforming entitlement programs are big issues – and will need to be addressed by future congresses and administrations.  Just look at the current “seven bill” omnibus spending package – the one that has roughly $322 billion in discretionary spending in it (read: could be cut, without hitting entitlements).

This is a bill over which the Democrats are howling – saying no room for $5 billion to build the President’s border-protecting wall.  Even assuming insufficient bipartisan support for adding $5 billion to the $322 billion bill, what else is in that bill – what else might be cut to offset the wall, and which Democrats will not agree to cut?  A lot.

Here are a few examples:  Without gutting or markedly reducing other programs, that necessary $5 billion could easily be found – if congressional Democrats stopped playing politics and started thinking about enabling national security, law enforcement, Southern state populations, and broader public safety in the United States.  After all, with illegal entrants come drugs, drug and human traffickers, organized criminal gangs, transnational crime syndicates and – as law enforcement affirms – suspected terrorists.

So, why not reinforce security along the southern border with the start of a bona fides protective wall.  The money could come from any combination of the following: The present bill contains nearly $2 billion for international food programs that offer no identified strategic alignment or Return on Investment.  The so-called “SNAP” program is funded at $73.2 billion, with $3 billion that is not targeted, just held in reserve.  Could some of that not go to protect Americans we are feeding?

Or how about the $43.6 billion given to Housing and Urban Development, which is $11.9 billion above the president’s request – how about making it just $6.9 billion over the president’s budget request – and building the wall?  Or slimming down the $30.8 billion given out at “housing choice vouchers,” which is half a billion over the president’s budget?

Or maybe Congress could – without adding anything new – trim the broad $7.6 billion for “Community Planning and Development,” or the other housing programs that now tally $12.6 billion, more than $100 million above last year’s level, and $655 million above request?

Here is the bottom line:  All the largess that floods these appropriations bills at end of year, faster in the hurly-burly of urgent “omnibus bill” passage, leaves plenty of room for discretionary cuts – even when entitlement programs are left untouched.

The fact – that no one wants to speak open is this:  The $5 billion President Trump  is asking for is less than one half of one percent of the total in this giant spending bill, less than two percent of total discretionary spending in these bills.  Of course it could be done – and easily.  That public safety money could be added, or cut from the existing fat.  Instead we get politics.  That is what no one will say, but there you have it – boldly said.  Be honest:  We could fund a border wall.  Only politics is stopping us.

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Read more articles by Robert B. Charles

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Wayne Peterkin

This is really very simple. You either support border security or you support open borders. There is no in-between. The democrats have chosen open borders. I want our borders secured by the most effective means possible, whether that is a high-tech wall or drones armed with Hellfire missiles, or any other means! Secure the border effectively however works best! The cost is truly negligible since the total cost is a fraction of what illegal immigration is costing the American taxpayer each and every year. Who pays is immaterial since it’s our security and our sovereignty at stake, but the new trade deal may be enough benefit to us to recover the cost over time. Secure the border and fire any politician who opposes doing so!

Laura C

To the Democrats enslaving Americans through misspent welfare programs is more important than protecting ALL Americans. I’d hate to see us have to descend to the tactics used in Paris to make these politicians listen to what The People want. We voted for Trump, and the Dems act like he dropped out of the sky like a plague from a God they don’t believe in. Shame on them and shame on us for letting them get away with it.

Mamaw5

They do not intend to do their elected jobs. They are hell bent on fighting President Trump every step of the way. They have no love for America nor do they fear We The People doing anything about their treasonous actions!! I think we should, as a nation, rise up and make them do their jobs!!

Alex

“Democrats, be honest???” File that one under “Somewhere, over the rainbow”

Army Vet

Anything that protects America and Americans, or is of profound benefit to our country will always be ‘too much money’ for the democrats. Anything that is detrimental, bankrupts, or destroys our country, ignores, or destroys our Constitution, rights, and way of life they can’t spend enough on and they demonstrated it by doubling our national debt under the ‘Big Zero’.

Mary M.

I would be willing to give money to a “BUILD THE WALL” Go Fund Me Project, even as a retiree living on a somewhat limited yearly amount if we had someone in charge of it that would make SURE that is where the money was spent. I believe I am probably NOT the only senior, as well as younger adults who might feel the same way. So, President Trump, if you can’t get our Southern borders protected by a wall through the government finances, see about setting up a foundation of some kind with leaders who will make sure the money is spent for Southern Border Wall, and I’m willing to bet you can get your $5,000,000,000 without fighting the DEMS and the RINOS about it. TAKE IT TO YOUR PEOPLE!!!!

antimarxist

Tell the truth??? Democrats are nothing more than marxist SOBs. And marxists mantra is “ends justify the means”, meaning they will and do lie to get “useful idiots” to believe what they want.

Tolbert Barton jr

Christmas. Must look at monies we hand out to other countries that dont use it for their people, south American cou and tries that are using the money to send their people to our borders, other countries that aren’t really our friends, just ta kn e our money and laugh, (ie, Palestine, Pakistan, ) put that money to use in our country to help our veterans, citizens in Appalachia. We need to be as concerned about our people as we seem to be for people in other countries.
MAGS

Alan

Stop funding planned parenthood and that would provide some funds. Do one of the only jobs that the Government is actually supposed to do and protect US from foreign invasions

Tom

The biggest problem is a large percentage of Republicans did not get out and vote in the mid terms, otherwise we would have been able to maintain control in the House as well as in the Senate, some people don’t think the midterm elections are as important as the Presidential elections, but they are wrong, what good does it do to have a strong President in office, if you don’t back him up with control of the Senate and the House?

Phyllis

Stop supporting the illegals here and us that to build the wall. Tell those trying to get in illegally will not get welfare, food stamps, or any other support.

God

Democrats can never be honest they are delusional corrupt anti-American losers. Time to play Trump hardball—and our great president is the best at it!

Carol V. Campbell

Build that wall now, fund that wall now

CHALY

Stop all illegal immigration and that would pay for the wall! Its not hard to understand, much more than the wall cost is free benefits we spread around like candy on Halloween. A serious case could be made for charges of treason on all DNC’ommunists especially their politicians. It is not our country they care about.

Paul Immel

If I was President Trump , I would go on Tv and tell the American people that if We donot get the wall, blame the Democrats if one of your Family gets killed by a illegal imogrant . Nuff said.

Arteest

As the saying goes “elections have consequences “. The IQ of the voting public is very suspect. They were told what would happen if NP and company got control of the House again. (Or maybe it’s back to the “low information voter” problem.) Now we have two years of all out assault on the Constitution and our republic. We are so numb to the dangers of communism/socialism and it’s creeping takeover our country that our frog is now pretty well cooked. The Democrat’s are so emboldened that they are not afraid to publicly admit they are communist/socialist. No border wall insurers they get enough voters to take over completely. Welcome to the new USA comrade.

Phil

I think the simple answer is – the Demorcrates don’t want President Trump to succeed so they will fight him every step he takes. Its time to clean out Congress and get some people who are concerned about America and want to do the right thing. The next couple of years should be interesting with the new “progressive” candidates that will now be joining the Democratic Party.

michael failla

YOU EITHER POLICE YOUR BORDERS OR YOU DONT. YOU RE EITHER A SOVEREIGN COUNTRY OR YOU ARE NOT. YOU HAVE TO SECURE YOUR BORDERS AND THEN YOU CAN SECURE YOUR FUTURE IF NOT YOU ARE UNDER ATTACK. CAPS INTENDED.

Barb

Most politicians in DC are only interested in favoring proposals that will end in a kickback for themselves. I’m guessing they don’t see that happening for border wall funding.

Earl Ferguson

The discussion fails to say that the Dems do not want a secure border.