Berman calls Trump's bluff about border wall

CNN's John Berman says President Donald Trump agreeing to sign a bill to keep the government funded seems odd because it does not include money for a border wall, which he previously said he would shut down the government to fund.

Posted: Dec 20, 2018 4:54 PM
Updated: Dec 20, 2018 5:04 PM

During his campaign for president, Donald Trump had a common refrain -- he was going to build a wall, and Mexico was going to pay for it. Since taking office, he has reiterated this same sentiment many, many times.

And yet now, through a GoFundMe page, Trump supporters are volunteering to pay for the wall. It's a horrific bait-and-switch that, ironically, is symbolic of much of Trump's presidency.

The very idea of a border wall between the United States and Mexico is a foolish endeavor, designed to gin up anti-immigrant fear and resentment.

Mind you, I'm a bleeding-heart liberal whose patriotic heart grows fourfold when I think about the sacrifices my immigrant ancestors made to come to this country, sacrifices others are making today only to be turned away at the border. And not because they're breaking the rules, but because President Donald Trump changed the rules that previously allowed certain groups of migrants to seek asylum at the US border. (A court has since blocked some of his efforts.)

And while a lot of Trump supporters want a wall because they blame immigrants for their economic hardships, the fact is immigrants don't "steal jobs." They actually boost economies through spending and paying taxes. Plus immigrants generally take on jobs that citizen workers don't want to fill.

But the other fact a wall ignores is that most undocumented immigrants do not cross the southern border. Rather, they overstay their visas after arriving at American airports.

So, instead of building a pointless wall, we could spend money on the things that are actually hurting all Americans -- opioid addiction, stagnating wages, crumbling roads, failing public schools and lack of access to affordable health care.

Even if you think it's a good idea because you've bought into generations of anti-immigrant scapegoating, wasn't Mexico going to pay for it? Wasn't that Trump's promise? "Mexico will pay for the wall!" Trump tweeted on September 1, 2016.

But Trump broke that promise when he realized that he had not been elected emperor of the universe and couldn't force a foreign government to pay for much of anything, let alone a wasteful wall. So, he tried to get the United States taxpayers to foot the bill. And even with his own party in control of both houses of Congress for two years, he has to yet to get the money he wants to build the wall.

Which means now Trump supporters are pouring donations into a viral GoFundMe campaign that aims to raise at least $1 billion of the $5 billion price tag Trump has set. As of this writing, they have only raised a little over $7 million -- far short of their goal.

But this is hardly Trump's first deception of his base.

Trump promised tax policies that would help his largely white working-class base -- and while some less affluent people received modest benefits, the law gave the biggest breaks to big businesses and the super rich. Worse yet, by 2025, the bottom 20% of Americans will actually see their taxes increase under the plan.

Meanwhile, his trade wars, including with China, have driven up the cost of raw materials and arguably led to layoffs, including 14,000 GM workers just before Christmas. Trump's trade policies have also harmed rural farmers, because China, for a period of time, halted its buying of soybeans and more from US farmers. To mitigate this, Trump has given farmers $9.5 billion in subsidies, but that's less than the amount he originally promised and less than farmers say they've lost because of Trump's trade war.

And Trump's various rollbacks of environmental health and safety have had little to no effect on expanding industry -- but are expected to pollute air and water, especially in communities where Trump voters live. Trump's deregulation of the coal industry alone, centered in rural America, is expected to lead to as many as 1,400 more heart and lung disease deaths per year.

Trump campaigned on fearmongering and empty promises. And that's how he's governing as president. When will his voters realize they're the ones, over and over again, paying the price?

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 37624

Reported Deaths: 1503
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin12150785
Ramsey4805226
Stearns234519
Dakota228690
Anoka2180107
Nobles16626
Olmsted110115
Washington106940
Mower9452
Rice8357
Scott7004
Clay58538
Kandiyohi5701
Wright4565
Blue Earth4532
Todd4002
Carver3641
Lyon3092
Sherburne3075
Freeborn2900
Steele2281
Watonwan2160
Benton2143
St. Louis17715
Martin1635
Nicollet15912
Cottonwood1340
Goodhue1298
Winona12215
Crow Wing10612
Pine1030
Le Sueur981
Chisago971
Otter Tail931
McLeod880
Carlton850
Dodge840
Polk812
Chippewa781
Unassigned7637
Isanti720
Itasca6412
Waseca640
Douglas620
Meeker611
Morrison591
Murray580
Becker550
Faribault550
Jackson550
Sibley542
Pennington500
Pipestone371
Mille Lacs342
Renville322
Wabasha310
Brown302
Rock300
Yellow Medicine300
Beltrami290
Fillmore280
Houston250
Swift211
Norman200
Wilkin203
Redwood180
Cass152
Wadena150
Aitkin140
Big Stone140
Kanabec141
Koochiching141
Roseau130
Marshall120
Grant100
Lincoln100
Pope100
Mahnomen81
Clearwater70
Hubbard60
Lake60
Traverse50
Lac qui Parle40
Stevens40
Red Lake30
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 30377

Reported Deaths: 720
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk6332179
Woodbury320644
Black Hawk219658
Buena Vista170711
Linn124282
Johnson12388
Dallas123529
Marshall104119
Story7513
Pottawattamie71911
Scott71910
Wapello70530
Crawford6752
Muscatine62444
Dubuque62122
Sioux4600
Tama46029
Wright3771
Louisa36013
Jasper32117
Plymouth3135
Warren2641
Dickinson2602
Washington2349
Hamilton1871
Webster1712
Cerro Gordo1471
Boone1451
Clarke1292
Clay1280
Allamakee1264
Mahaska11517
Shelby1140
Clinton1051
Poweshiek1048
Carroll931
Pocahontas931
Bremer916
Des Moines862
Henry863
Franklin840
Cedar811
Emmet800
Taylor790
Cherokee751
Monona740
Floyd702
Marion680
Hardin670
Guthrie644
Sac630
Benton621
Jefferson590
Osceola590
Jones560
Harrison530
Humboldt531
Lee532
Butler522
Iowa510
Buchanan501
Monroe506
Hancock490
Calhoun482
Delaware481
Madison422
Lyon410
Clayton403
Davis391
Fayette370
Mitchell370
Winneshiek370
Mills360
Palo Alto360
Grundy350
Kossuth330
Lucas304
Greene290
Howard290
Chickasaw280
Jackson270
Union270
Winnebago270
Ida230
Cass210
Appanoose203
Keokuk201
Page200
Van Buren190
Worth170
Audubon161
Adair150
Ringgold150
Decatur110
Montgomery102
Wayne100
Adams80
Fremont70
Unassigned70
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