I find myself in the ironic position of being disappointed that a federal judge says Trump’s national non-emergency to redirect military funding to his wall is illegal. Not because I want him to built a massive monument to his racism and narcissism — I’d just as soon not have my tax money wasted on an ineffective reaction to an actual problem. But because I see the judicial precedent this would set — Bernie Sanders’ first day in office involves not ceremonial signing of legislation but rather the issuance of several national emergency declarations. Unhealthy conscripts hinder troop readiness, so there’s the Medicare for All national emergency. Uneducated conscripts hinder troop readiness, so there’s the tuition-free state University national emergency. The military has published studies about how climate change impacts troop readiness, but also our reliance on foreign energy sources (fuel for military vehicles) and foreign manufacturing (who is making the electronic components in military equipment, networks, communication devices, etc) … there’s the New Green Deal national emergency and the domestic manufacturing national emergency. Look at Egypt, Greece, etc — underemployment is a national emergency unto itself. And suddenly the near 700 billion dollar military budget is redirected to Sanders’ platform.
Efficacy and waste of money aside, the best thing would have been to give him the cash. If Congress can pass one-off legislation on end of life care for a single individual, they could have one-off’d letting the GoFundMe buy a wall. And then the dude could have absolutely failed at building a wall because, well, he runs the government *just like* he runs his awful businesses. Hell, he *builds* the wall and we still have people overstaying visas, meth cooks out in Illinois, murders, and traffic accidents — bad PR for the wall, that.
This is the martyr path — no wall means no stats to show how ineffective it was, he can keep crowing about how amazing he is at building all sorts of things, we’ll be treated to endless bitching about how no other president has had to deal with this judicial intrusion into their agenda, the case becomes a rallying point for the base and yet another justification for activist judges. I was shocked he didn’t go national emergency before the shutdown — strategically, it really seems like the best solution (a priori assumption: everyone from the administration knows the wall is a heap of theater thus knows theater with no tangible artifacts is an improvement)
Good news — at this rate, they’ll have collected enough money for “the wall” sometime before the fourth millennium.
The wall costs 5 bill (ha!). They raised 6 mil between 16 Dec and 3PM today — which I’m calling three and a half days because today isn’t over & maybe he created it at 23:58 on the 16th. A five billion dollar wall would be fully funded in a mere 8 years — or the year 2026. But there’s also the half billion a year to maintain the wall — failing to maintain the thing creates a dilapidated monument to Trump’s … oh, wait, that’s fitting. Their daily contribution rate exceeds the estimated operating run rate, so they’ll need to keep raising funds until they’ve got a trust to cover the wall’s expenses.
And the whole thing is pointless since there’s a GoFundMe to buy ladders too 🙂
In all seriousness, *this* is the only way I’d be OK building the wall. In fact, I think government services should move into a new non-profit category where donations are exempted from AMT and offset tax dollars owed. I could give 10k to the EPA (provided they’re actually enforcing regulations to, ya know, protect the environment) and owe nothing else in taxes. Otherwise I’ll fund arts, broadcasting, WIC, civil rights … I’ll find some agency Trump doesn’t know exists to ruin.