Right Stance. Wrong Reason.

US troops putting up barbed wire along the US Mexico border. Image Capture by TNB.

I have stated for years that I am not particularly concerned about government shutdowns.  In contemporary politics, they are used to exert political pressure.  There are indeed government employees who will not receive their paychecks, but the employees in question have known about the plausible “shutdown” for months.  They have had time to prepare.  For essential personnel, they will be paid, with a compensatory bonus, after the shutdown ends.  For non-essential personnel, it becomes a forced vacation – and often a paid vacation, at that.

Partial shutdowns generate stories from various press sources which seem to demand panic.  Meanwhile, the actual effect on most people ranges from negligible to mildly inconvenient.  During one such shutdown during President Obama’s tenure, the Administration improperly closed state roads to prevent people from viewing Mount Rushmore, lest travelers realize that they might not care to pay for the “shutdown” tourism center’s operation if they simply wanted to see the monument.  There was so little impact on average lives that some effects had to be generated, lest there be no political leverage gained.

A complete government shutdown, extended for weeks, would be a crippling event.  That is not what is typically discussed.  Rather, these are battles over projected budgeting, with money set aside to continue critical operations… critical being whatever the President deems so, which is always an expansive number of programs and positions.

President Trump is threatening a shutdown, and the reason is “funding the wall”.  The important part of that phrase, however, is not “the wall” but rather “funding”.

Contrary to what both the Republicans and the Democrats are saying, Schumer and Pelosi are not offering Trump almost $2 billion for fencing and border security.  They are begging him to take almost $2 billion for fencing and border security.  They are attempting to frame the offer as a concession for which they should get recompense during negotiations, while the opposite is true.

The Democrats went from anticipating more than 75 House seats shifting to a little more than half of that due to Trump rallying his base on two subjects: border security and the “Roe v. Wade ending” Brett Kavanaugh appointment.  Kavanaugh has already shown his willingness to support Planned Parenthood and is therefore effectively a non-issue (for the moment) for the 2020 election, but border security remains a potential rallying point for the Republicans.  The Democrats desperately want Trump to take the offered money so they can lay claim to wanting a strong, protected border.  They simply don’t want a wall, mostly to prevent Trump from claiming a victory.

President Trump is demanding $5 Billion dollars be spent not on border security but on his wall.  This is an outrageous figure among many other outrageous figures being discussed in a budget that has only continued to balloon every year under President Trump… a budget which, when drastically smaller under President Obama, rightfully triggered a public movement against further spending.

In reality, both numbers are too high.  I believe border security is an absolute necessity; while it is only a matter of basic humanity to allow people to petition for refugee status and thus evade enslavement, dismemberment and death, I do not agree with many of the arguments in favor of open borders.  Border security can and has come at a pricetag far lower than billions of dollars, however.

I support a government shutdown.  To reduce spending, not to inflate it.

This is merely two sides trying to buy the appearance of taking action by spending taxpayer dollars on solutions which will be fraught with waste and corruption.

Both of the major parties continue to demonstrate contempt for the people they claim to represent, stealing the wealth of the current and future populace with extravagant spending funded through borrowing from a combination of our enemies, allies we are alienating, and potentially rapacious organizations champing to escape the regulatory bit.  This started a movement a decade ago, when the Tea Party rose.  Today, the head of the “Freedom Caucus” which was to represent that movement is the strongest Congressional cheerleader for a $5 billion taxpayer waste.

From CNN:

Republican Rep. Mark Meadows doesn’t see a point of a short-term continuing resolution to keep government open until early next year.
He thinks if there’s a shutdown, agencies will be closed until the new Congress convenes.

He also doesn’t think the White House should bend on $5 billion for wall money, saying it is “the compromise.”

Asked if he believes Mexico is going to pay for the wall, Meadows said:

“Obviously that’s one of the questions the President needs to answer so you’ll have to ask him.”

“Taxed Enough Already” wasn’t about immediate gratification.  It was about the recognition that the piper, having played his tune, will be paid… whether immediately or in the near future.  The individual tax cuts which are to provide relief this year start dissipating immediately, and will quickly return to previous levels.  At that point we will have a much greater debt and little of consequence to show for it.

We deserve better.  “Binary” cannot scare us into submission any more than “shutdown” should.  

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About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.