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The Mexican wall will come at great cost

Our view: Cutting other budgets to fund wall will prove unpopular

 

The swirl of controversy around the White House is so large and great that we sometimes wonder how new President Donald Trump can sleep, or even find his way out of the fog. Unfortunately, he continues to contribute to the whirlwind with his Tweets, but that’s another story.
Of course, the big controversy right now involves around the Russians. Amidst allegations that the Russians tampered with the 2016 presidential election here in the U.S., there also are allegations that Trump’s team — both during his campaign and after he attained the White House — have significant ties to the Russians.
That’s the hot-button topic for Congress right now, and it’s such a tangled mess of rumors, facts and allegations that it will take months to sort out, even if they find an impartial panel or agency to figure it all out.
That Russian mess tends to distract the Congress and the rest of us from another controversy: Trump’s proposed budget; in particular, his proposed funding for the wall he has promised to build between the United States and Mexico to stem the tide of perceived illegal immigration.
Trump promised in his campaign that not only would he build a wall, but that he would make Mexico pay for it.
The reality, of course, is that he cannot find a way to make Mexico pay for it, although he still contends that he will somehow get Mexico to reimburse the U.S. for the cost.
Now, Trump is proposing to pay for the wall’s construction with significant cuts to some pretty important budgets, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Homeland Security, not to make reductions in financial aid to infrastructure.
Even those who supported Trump’s wall are likely going to oppose his proposed financing for it. If one is faced with a choice between having a failing bridge replaced near one’s home, or building a wall along a distant border, most would prefer a safe bridge.
If we truly want to make America great again, we need to focus on improvements on our own soil, and that means adequately funding Homeland Security, FEMA and improving critical infrastructure.
Let’s hope Congress isn’t so distracted by what’s happening alongside or outside our borders that it fails to take care of our needs at home.
— L.C.