As the 2020 election grows nearer, Donald Trump becomes more and more desperate to throw up something, anything, that he can claim as his infamous border wall. The man is terrified that his supporters will see him as weak if he fails to deliver his signature campaign promise which, most will remember, he originally claimed Mexico would pay for in full.
Of course, only the most gullible of voters ever believed for even a second that our southern neighbor would pay for Trump’s xenophobic vanity project. Now, we know for sure who will be paying for it: American taxpayers.
The Daily Beast reports that the Trump administration released a report yesterday showing exactly what programs the DOD will have to drain funding from in order to pay for the president’s wall.
In total, over $1 billion in previously scheduled domestic programs will be put on hold as well as $1.8 billion in planned projects abroad. $700 million will also be sidelined from programs in the American territories in Guam, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico, the latter of which it should be noted is still struggling to recover from devastating hurricanes after Trump failed to devote adequate resources for preparation and response.
Betsy Woodruff, Sam Brodey, and Sam Stein pointed out some of the major funding cuts in their article for The Daily Beast:
“Among the notable items now on the backburner include $62 million for a middle school at Ft. Campbell in Kentucky, $13 million for a ‘child development center’ at Joint Base Andrews near Washington, more than $40 million to replace a hazardous materials warehouse in Virginia, nearly $11 million for a fire station replacement in Beaufort, South Carolina; nearly $95 million for an elementary school at Camp Mctureous in Japan; and nearly $80 million for an elementary school replacement project in Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany.”
Making our children suffer by harming their education would be bad enough, but the cuts also include numerous programs intended to safeguard the United States, including one designed to prevent missile strikes from North Korea and another aimed at solving the problem of a worsening sinkhole at a pivotal U.S. drone base.
Democrats who feared that the administration would seek to direct the lion’s share of the cuts at blue states have unfortunately seen these concerns realized to some extent. New York, a reliable Democratic stronghold, will endure the largest slashes. That said, not even Republican states will escape completely unscathed, so demanding are the financial requirements for the president’s wasteful wall.
There is simply no legitimate defense to be made for these cuts. The border wall is completely unnecessary and Trump is forcing its construction for the sole purpose of pleasing his racist, reactionary base. In the process, vital programs are being cut. We are wasting colossal sums of money on a bigoted fantasy project and Republicans must be held accountable at the ballot box.