Here we go again.
President Trump continues to insist he will force a government shutdown if he doesn't get $5 billion for his border wall.
In an embarrassing, internationally televised display, Trump tried to irk Sen. Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as he threw another tantrum that helped no one except the Democrats — and anyone who enjoys watching temper tantrums by grown men.
Trump is trying to deliver on a campaign promise to build a wall between Mexico and the United States. He claims the wall would cost $5 billion, but that figure is not reality, and a wall already exists, although it does not cover the entire border from Texas to California.
A wall is a good idea in theory, but we believe it is not worth spending billions of dollars at a time when we're running record-high deficits. If there is a true security threat at the border, a better plan would be to utilize drones to monitor and later capture anyone entering the country illegally while using our current security measures — the Border Patrol, for instance — to control immigration.
What's more concerning to us is the shutdown and record spending. Bloomberg News reported Thursday that Republicans left Washington without a plan to keep the government open. Republican leaders reportedly may call members back to Washington next week — right before the Christmas holiday weekend — to come up with something, but they haven't decided whether to try to submit a token bill that includes Trump's border-wall money. Democrats vow to stop it. "'I want to be crystal clear: There will be no additional appropriations for the border wall,'" Schumer said on the Senate floor, according to Bloomberg. "'It's done.'"
It's all a sad charade that we're hopeful won't be repeated next year when Democrats control the House. But as they say, history often repeats itself, and it seems to do so quite often lately.
At least we'll save a little money if the government shuts down.
Pelosi Rides On
While we're talking about Congress, we'll note how thrilled we are with Rep. Nancy Pelosi's pending re-election as speaker. (Note the sarcasm.)
She was in charge when the Democrats enacted the "Blue Wave" in November, but it likely was despite her, not because of her leadership. She is not exactly popular with independents (but Trump is even less popular, thus the wave).
So while China, Russia and other adversaries are hacking our businesses and citizens (more on that in the coming days), the Senate passes a "Farm Bill" that has been criticized as being too slanted toward corporations and expanding subsidies for farmers' distant relatives.
But we believe an imperfect bill right now is better than none at all, especially given Trump's trade war, which has devastated industry.
REPRINTED FROM THE PANAMA CITY NEWS HERALD