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President Trump, with the acquiescence of the conservative majority in the Supreme Court and most Republican Senators, is now treating the Department of Defense as a slush fund for his ineffective and costly border wall.
This week marks the first anniversary of Trump’s fake national emergency declaration – the pretext for raiding military funding to divert it to border wall construction that was upheld by the Supreme Court. Thanks in large part to the fake emergency and the subsequent raiding of military budgets, the American taxpayers’ tab for the border wall is now up to $18.4 billion – only 27.7% of which has been appropriated by Congress.
The Trump administration has apparently chosen to mark the anniversary of their fake emergency declaration by offering fresh reminders about why the unpopular border wall is such a boondoggle, which should outrage American taxpayers. On top of the existing billions on the tab for American – not Mexican – taxpayers, the new White House budget contains an additional $2 billion request for border wall construction. And CNN reports that the “Defense Department, under White House pressure, is expected to announce this week that billions more in Pentagon funds will go toward the border wall.” All at a time when military housing is characterized by “mold and neglect.”
According to Douglas Rivlin, Director of Communications for America’s Voice:
President Trump’s latest budget continues to steal money from military readiness and out of the pockets of US taxpayers to prop up his mindless obsession with building a wall that has already proven unable to stand up to wind, saws, ropes, tunnels and rivers. The billions of dollars to be raided for more wall construction should be classified as campaign funds and the military’s forced donations to Trump’s re-election. The wall, the fights with Congress over the wall and Trump’s lies about the effectiveness, cost and who is paying all show up in the flood of campaign commercials the President’s campaign pumps out, so the straight line between taxpayer spending and the Trump campaign could not be clearer.
Trump’s border wall obsession remains the perfect encapsulation of Trump and his presidency: narcissistic, mendacious, wasteful, corrupt, racist, authoritarian, ineffective, ridiculous and thoroughly at odds with everything the Republican Party once embraced, including fighting big government spending, taking money from the military, while trampling private land ownership. American families in the military, families suffering through narcotic addiction, families to be targeted by massive budget cuts in domestic spending programs can take little comfort in the efficacy of a racist wall that must be left open for months at a time during the summer because of potential flood damage and can be cut through with a cheap saw, climbed over with a rope or ladder, and has already been knocked over by a stiff wind. Despite their furrowed brows and weak expressions of consternation, so far most Republicans in Congress seem comfortable in diverting federal dollars to the President’s campaign talking points as they probably hope it will benefit their reelection efforts. But the wall remains deeply divisive, massively over budget, and hugely ineffective, none of which should be the basis of anyone’s campaign strategy.