Wimping Out On The Wall

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Ann Coulter, Mike Cernovich, James Woods, and other hard-right luminaries have voiced their displeasure with President Donald Trump for caving in on his demand that Congress fund the building of his “big beautiful wall along our Southern border with Mexico.

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Now please correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t our president claim ownership of the shutdown in the first place? Well, apparently the compassionate Trump just overruled the stern, patriotic Trump.

But what’s the next move of this master negotiator? Hadn’t Speaker Nancy Pelosi told him more than three weeks ago that the House would not give him even one dollar for his wall?

So it doesn’t look like there’s much room for negotiation. And if there’s another shutdown, most Americans will blame Trump – just like they have blamed him for the one that just ended.

Well, he does have a bit of wiggle room. Just as he has virtually conceded that Mexico may not actually pay for his wall, he has also agreed that it will not have to be exactly forty feet high, or even be made out of concrete. These are major concessions from the master builder.

Meanwhile, House Democrats are willing to allocate over $5 billion to provide for border security, but not a dollar of it will go towards paying for a wall. So Trump may be thinking about taking the money, and using it to build a wall and calling it a fence – or perhaps something more exotic.

The most important thing for the president is to get a win on this, whether real or imagined. So even if Coulter, Cernovich, and Woods call him a wimp, his legions of ardent supporters will hail his great victory.

About the Author

Steve Slavin has a PhD in economics from NYU, and taught for over thirty years at Brooklyn College, New York Institute of Technology, and New Jersey’s Union County College. He has written sixteen math and economics books including a widely used introductory economics textbook now in its eleventh edition (McGraw-Hill) and The Great American Economy (Prometheus Books) which was published in August, 2017.

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