Federal officials have announced that $3.6 billion will be diverted from U.S. military projects to finance construction of 175 miles of a wall along our border with Mexico.
One must assume this was President Trump’s wish, given the fact that building such a wall was the foundation of Trump’s platform in the 2016 presidential race.
Presidents keeping their campaign promises is important, if that person wants to be re-elected. George H.W. Bush was a one-term president, in large part because of his read-my-lips pledge not to raise taxes, which he and Congress were forced to do shortly after he was elected.
The Trump administration apparently is frustrated with the inability of Congress to formulate a comprehensive reform of immigration policy, which has languished for decades with only minor tweaks.
Pentagon officials insist the military projects are not being eliminated, using the word “deferred.” The problem is that once such deferrals are on the books, there is no guarantee Congress will replace the lost funding.
There are a lot of active and retired military personnel on the Central Coast, some of whom may be affected by the dozens of projects that now are “deferred,” which in most cases is government code for gone for good.
It seems appropriate to ask what building 175 miles of wall is supposed to accomplish, when the actual border between the United States and Mexico is almost 2,000 miles long, a point being made in various lawsuits fighting the Trump administration’s wall strategy.
Perhaps a better question would be what such a wall accomplishes with regard to California and the companies doing business here that rely on a labor pool being decimated by the Trump administration’s crackdown on immigration, including programs that facilitate foreign workers to cross the border legally.
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The administration recently revealed new rules making it more difficult for legal immigrants to get green cards if they use, or are even likely to use Medicaid, food stamps and other safety-net programs.
As one might expect, California officials and business operators are not happy. Both Gov. Gavin Newsom and state Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra lashed out at the federal dictum, and you can bet the state will sue the Trump administration.
While this dust-up between the federal and state governments takes place, California businesses continue to struggle to find enough workers to get the jobs done. Our local agriculture has suffered for a couple of years, as seasonal workers are increasingly more difficult to find.
When coupled with the administration’s Trump-against-the-world trade wars, a clear picture — and concern — begins to emerge about the nation’s overall economic health. U.S. manufacturing has edged lower for the first time since 2016. Economists are sounding the alarm about an inevitable recession. U.S. consumers are beginning to feel the pain in the wallet caused by the tariffs-raising conflict between the United States and China.
Amid all these interlocking tensions, the Trump administration is pushing ahead to build the president’s wall, which every sentient human knows will do little to stem the tide of humanity surging north, many of them trying to escape the horrors of drug cartels that exist primarily because of Americans’ insatiable hunger for illegal drugs.
It is painfully ironic that $2.5 billion of the $3.6 billion being diverted from mostly military housing and school projects — at a time when decrepit military housing conditions are the focus of federal investigations — was to have been used by the Defense Department to counter illegal drug smuggling.
Another situation that doesn’t really make sense.