USA Today has never been a “must read” publication for me, but the title of an article listed at the top of the Real Clear Politics home page happened to catch my eye. So I clicked.
The op-ed, written by Paul Brandus, was entitled “6 Real Emergencies That Should Be More Important To Donald Trump Than The Wall.” Brandus’ point is that Trump doesn’t need to “manufacture” a border crisis because “there are real crises we need solved.” I found his “real emergencies” to be rather weak tea, better than Nancy Pelosi’s “a border wall is immoral” mantra perhaps, but not by much.
As yet another caravan of migrants from Honduras targets our southern border, allow me to present to you the “real” emergencies our great nation faces today.
1. The first crisis he cites is that “800,000 government workers are not getting paid.”
These workers will receive back pay when the shutdown ends. Mr. Brandus, may I remind you that President Trump has offered to compromise with Democrats several times to end the shutdown. It is the Democrats who have closed the door. They will not give an inch. Considering that compromise has always been the way anything gets accomplished in a divided government, each side must give up something to reach an agreement that is acceptable to both. No party can expect to get everything they want in a negotiation.
As long as Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi flatly refuse to negotiate, the workers will not get paid.
2. “Teachers are quitting in record numbers. The reasons are many, including low pay and poor working conditions. Who will teach kids science, math and all the other things they’ll need to compete in an ever competitive global economy?”
I agree that teachers are underpaid for the very important role they play in our children’s lives. This has been a persistent problem in the American public education sector and it may never be solved to the satisfaction of all. The federal budget provides roughly $70 billion in discretionary spending on education each year and employs countless experts to seek solutions. This is more a bureaucratic failure than an “emergency.”
3. “Empty piggy banks. What’s in your wallet? Perhaps nothing: Four in 10 Americans couldn’t cover an unexpected $400 expense, according to the Federal Reserve. If this isn’t a crisis, I don’t know what is. Policymakers, employers and others must find ways to bolster the financial security of tens of millions of Americans who are living on the brink.”
Then maybe we should stop sending so much aid to foreign governments, many of whom hate us, and start taking care of our own.
Why would Democrats choose to send over $10 billion to bolster the economies of central American countries when Americans are suffering? Why should we continue allowing illegals to pour into our country who will require food and shelter and medical care and stretch our limited resources even further?
Ever since FDR’s New Deal, the government has recognized this problem and has tried to meet this challenge. The government provides an infinite number of resources for the poor and Americans are the most charitable people on the planet. Again, poverty is an enduring problem in every society. It is a fact of life, not an emergency.
4. “Fiscal crisis. Remember all the talk about the $20 trillion national debt that Trump inherited and how it would ruin us? It’s now $22 trillion and projected to soar to — get this — $33 trillion by fiscal year 2028, now nearly eight years and nine months away.”
This is a national crisis for which both parties are to blame. Politicians need to stop wasting our tax dollars. Clearly, we need to reduce the size of our government. We should start right away.
President Trump is asking for $5.7 billion to reduce an ever deteriorating and deadly situation caused by the porousness of our border. $5.7 billion works out to be 0.14% (0.0014), which is a small fraction of one percent of the 2019 US fiscal year budget, and 0.025% (0.00025), which is 2.5% of 1%, of our national debt.
But let’s not pretend it’s about the money. It’s about destroying Trump. Haven’t Democrats figured out yet that he is immune to their tactics?
5. “Foreigners fleeing. You might not know that nearly 7 million Americans work for foreign employers. This is hardly a token number.”
The current US unemployment rate stands at 3.9%, the lowest number in decades. Enough said.
6. “U.S. life expectancy is falling. New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show 2017 was the third consecutive decline. The drops have been small — a 10th of a year to 78.6 years in 2017 — but that’s enough to set off alarm bells among health and policy experts, who consider it a shocking reversal for a “wealthy” first-world country.”
I would hardly call a 10th of a year an alarming drop. That said, I would attribute the 10th of a year drop in US life expectancy to the sharp rise of drug overdose deaths among American youths. The construction of a border wall would significantly reduce the massive amounts of dangerous drugs flowing into the US from central America, and we would see a decline in the number of drug overdose deaths.
Mr. Brandus, you have presented a very unpersuasive case. I suppose it’s because you have so little to work with. The problems you cite in your article are not crises, they are the same difficulties that every modern society must wrestle with. Life is not problem-free for anyone. Similarly, no nation will ever be problem-free. I would argue, however, that America works harder to address these challenges and comes closer to that ideal than any other nation.
Whether you acknowledge it or not, the vast numbers of illegals crossing into the US have created a humanitarian and a security crisis. Trump stated some irrefutable facts in his address to the nation. Although every liberal media outlet tried to discredit those facts, they could not. Because he spoke the truth. Trump said:
Our southern border is a pipeline for vast quantities of illegal drugs, including meth, heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl. Every week, 300 of our citizens are killed by heroin alone, 90 percent of which floods across from our southern border.
In the last two years, ICE officers made 266,000 arrests of aliens with criminal records, including those charged or convicted of 100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes, and 4,000 violent killings.
I call this a crisis. The Democrats are denying it exists for political purposes. By doing so, they have placed themselves into a precarious and indefensible position.
The Democrats are playing politics while Trump is trying to protect Americans.
The Democrats will not win this fight.