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Letter: President is nonsensical in insisting on costly wall

Donald Trump is “proud” to be responsible for the partial shutdown of the federal government because Congress won’t pass a spending bill that includes $5.7 billion to build a “big beautiful wall” on our southern border.

Since when is Congress – one of three co-equal branches of federal government – obliged to approve funding to fulfill a campaign promise, no matter how ludicrous it is? Politicians make all kinds of promises while campaigning. Some they keep, some they don’t. That’s on them.

What if Trump had promised that if he were elected president, he would see that every household in America had a firearm? And that the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence would pay for them?

And then the Brady Campaign said hell no, we don’t want a gun in every household – why would we pay for that? – much the way Mexico refused to pay for a wall it never asked for and doesn’t want.

So then Trump decides that the Department of Defense will pay for all those guns, and somehow the Brady Campaign will reimburse the government. And he demands that Congress authorize the funds so that he can keep an inane promise and keep his base happy. And when Congress refuses, Trump allows for the shutdown of the government and, well, you know the rest.

Or suppose someone on the campaign trail promises a Bible in every classroom, or maybe a Koran, in an effort to appeal to his or her base? If that candidate wins an executive office, must the corresponding legislative branch authorize spending to make that dream come true?

Trump can, and does, say any crazy thing he wants, including promising the moon to his base, but that doesn’t mean taxpayers have to pay for it. Nor should innocent federal employees be furloughed or working without pay over such childish obstinance. Rather than holding the federal budget and the country hostage, perhaps the Tweeter-in-Chief should instead try holding his breath until he turns blue.

Jill Monacelli


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