Beyond the Cusp

January 31, 2018

Who’s Really to Blame for Government Shutdown?

 

Next time the government, meaning Congress, cannot find some compromise on Immigration and the Budget and the government is shuttered again, who will be to blame? That appears to be one of the big questions in the minds of the media. They have an obvious answer, an objective for making this the pinnacle of political prognostication. They know they have three paltry weeks to turn this entire mess around in the minds of the people. They will have plenty of assistants on social media and across the Internet to repeat the mantra that all government shutdowns throughout history have been the fault of the Republicans. Back in the 1980’s the government shutdowns, and there were more than one, were all the result of Ronald Reagan refusing to sign a very proper and reasonable budget bill. Reagan received so much bad media that he finally caved and it was over budget and immigration where he gave in on amnesty in exchange for border enforcement to be discussed in the new Congress. Somewhere on the way to the next Congress that promise fell through the cracks and enforcement never happened. Then in the 1990’s it was about the budget and Newt Gingrich battled with President Clinton and in the end it was Gingrich, the Republican Speaker of the House who refused to play ball and shut down the government. So this last shutdown was placed on Chuckie Schumer so we have circled from the President to the House and the Senate so reason would say the next shutdown should start the cycle over and be the President, it is only fair, right? Well, that will be the story, it is the Republican refusal to be reasonable and accept that we cannot afford to build Trump’s wall. These shutdowns should be called the Great Wall of Trump shutdowns. That should sell, the Great Wall of Trump shutdowns.

 

The facts do not matter and the reasonable offer by the Republicans to grant the DACA young adults et al a reprieve as has been offered as a way of addressing their individual cases and allowing those who meet certain expectations to stay and those who have criminal records and other problems and do not speak English being deported was not sufficient. The fact that President Trump insists that his wall be at the very least initiated as the prototypes were impenetrable by special forces who were used to test their effectiveness. We know, totally unreasonable as obviously they could always just blow the wall up or tunnel deep and go under them as they are only going down six feet or thereabouts under the ground. Anyway, walls do not work, history has proven that. Just let us go through some of the great walls built from past to a few present day walls and we will see they failed, and more importantly, how they failed. The most famous of all walls, the Great Wall of China, was build to keep the Mongol tribes from invading from the north. The Great Wall kept the border so peaceful that the Chinese society grew exceedingly wealthy from a century plus of no wars. The Chinese people became soft and refused to have their children taken to guard the wall so the Chinese hired Mongols to guard the gates and that also worked for a few more decades until finally one Mongol warlord forced his tribe’s guards to open one of the gates and raiding parties poured in. Other Mongols saw this and the wall failed. The Roman Empire built walls to keep the Germanic tribes from raiding the norther edge of their empire. Eventually, they ran out of slaves and hired Germanic tribesmen to guard their wall and repair the wall. For some reason this led to the wall failing. Romans also built Hadrian’s Wall to keep the Celts out and it remained a working barrier even after they put British tribal members from the south guarding the wall. Rome stopped paying these guards as they retreated from the British Isles finding them too expensive and not worth retaining and the wall failed.

 

Border Wall Prototypes

Border Wall Prototypes

 

But what about more modern walls? More modern was the Berlin Wall which was torn down after twenty-eight quite effective years being built overnight on August 12, 1961 and fell on November 9, 1989 and thus the wall failed. Even the Israel Terror Wall, sometimes misrepresented as an Apartheid Wall, has made suicide bombing a rarity but it is still extremely porous as walls go. Hundreds upon hundreds, possibly over one thousand, of Palestinians with proper identification each day pass through to go to work and the occasional terrorist does make it past the border wall officers who check identity cards so it has not been perfect. Should Hamas ever take over the Palestinian authority areas the wall will become relatively worthless, as Hamas prefers rockets to having people carry the explosives. Hamas has made the real wall, the Gaza Wall compromised with who knows how many tunnels and they regularly cross the wall simply by firing rockets over it. India and China have a wall on their border as well as India and Pakistan; and in these cases it is the fact that both nations have military guarding these walls that makes them work. The same goes for the DMZ Wall between North and South Korea where workers are permitted to cross and should North Korea ever fire the artillery and rockets they have poised just on their side of the wall, that wall too would prove worthless. So, we have seen that walls work great until they don’t work and then they fail catastrophically often just being torn down, breached or the gateways left open. What a surprise, walls need to be guarded by the people who built them or those with common fears; and if you allow your potential enemies to guard your wall, no matter how much you pay them, they will betray you and your wall will fail, we are simply stunned.

 

There are less than twenty days before the continuing resolution runs out and the government faces another shutdown. It is time to assess who is really to blame? On one side, we have President Trump who is insistent that his wall begin to be financed and built, period. The President is refusing to budge. The Democrats in the Senate are demanding that the DACA illegal immigrants be granted total amnesty, all of them with one blanket amnesty with no restrictions. The Republicans want a system by which these illegal immigrants must meet some minimal qualification which includes speaking English and a clean record of no criminal activity since breaking the law being smuggled into the United States. This would include drug possession and any felonies being disqualifying them from receiving amnesty and each case be reviewed independently. The Democrats also want extended amnesty for all illegals in the country now for a decade until they can be fairly assessed for citizenship. They do not want even those with criminal records or multiple deportations already to be excluded, blanket that all illegals remain in the country completely free from government harassment in any way. The President insists that any illegal found guilty of a felony being deported permanently, no exceptions.

 

And the final sticking point is the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 (H.R. 2580), also known as the Hart–Celler Act. This law completely revamped the National Origins Formula for having quotas based on needs and compatibility with American culture which had been in place since the Emergency Quota Act of 1921. Representative Emanuel Celler of New York proposed the bill, Senator Philip Hart of Michigan co-sponsored it, and Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts helped to promote it and thus the quota system was abolished and replaced with a lottery system where people from nations less represented were granted entry. This law has some of what you might call unintended consequences though many believe these were more accurately to be called intended consequences. This might have also been called the future will belong to the Democrat Party as these unassimilated people living off the government will be loyal Democrat voters. This was the program which gave start to the lottery visa program which would bring in immigrants by lottery from largely third world countries and this was how Sayfullo Saipov, a 29-year-old Uzbeki national entered the United States. ‘The Diversity Visa Lottery Program is a Chuck Schumer program resulting from The Immigration Act of 1990. This modified the Hart–Celler Act so as to make the system even more fair balancing the entry into the United States from its former unfair Eurocentric systems. Sayfullo Saipov, a 29-year-old Uzbeki national who entered under these programs would become the Bicycle Terrorist who plowed a rented pickup truck into a crowd of pedestrians and cyclists in lower Manhattan on Oct. 31, 2017. President Trump wants this program killed until it can include a more strict vetting of the applicants as currently vetting is minimal. Chuckie Schumer is fighting for this wonderful idea he promoted and refuses to have someone as ignorant as Donald Trump to alter his hard work.

 

Those are the sticking points over which the war of words is over though the media will spend all their time covering the personal attacks and ignore the actual reasons that the government may again face a shutdown. But is a shutdown really all that horrible? It is if you reside in Washington D.C. area as that is the economy as the government and servicing the government is almost all that area does. That even includes the stores, restaurants and everything else you might imagine even to bowling alleys. The Federal Government employees will collect unemployment while they are otherwise on vacation and when they come back, they will be given a nice large payment to cover the time they were “out of work.” They are not required to return the unemployment so they make out fairly well, all things included. Some miss the overtime they used to get but the unemployment should cover that nicely. The Democrats always threaten to shut down the payment of welfare, food stamps, Social Security and other such but President Trump can order these be paid as they are a function of the Administration and he can claim them as vital interests. Many such payments are actually done by State government employees such as unemployment. Most of our readers are probably too young to remember the heady days when President Willian Jefferson Clinton and Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich were at war over the budget and from December 16, 1995, to January 6, 1996, they shut down the government completely for a total of 27 days. The world actually managed to continue to spin, the United States was not invaded as the military were considered essential personnel, crime waves did not develop as the Federal Agents were also considered essential and the Post Office is a supposedly independent agency and not directly run by government so the mail continued, and the nations did not grind to a halt. Other than the hyperventilating media, the entire three weeks and six days passed and nobody died as a result, not even a single hyperventilating media type, as they are practiced at that art. President Trump should challenge Chuckie Schumer and allow the government to be shuttered for as long as Senator Schumer can take the heat. We would bet that providing President Trump can still Tweet to his little heart’s content (not to imply he had a little heart as he is rumored to be a generous individual) then he will be able to continue and hopefully be persuaded to watch the goings on with an unattached glee and amused viewing port. The media will of course cast such blame predicting the end of the world, as we know it. If he can manage to allow the government to remain shut down with just the essential personnel and all government checks to the citizens continuing on schedule but with over three-quarters of the government on extended vacation, as that will be what it will be in the end, then he can easily make a speech during ‘prime time’ to the American people to apologize for the extended government shutdown and then propose that each department of the government be required to freeze hiring until further notice with the administration setting up a panel which will mediate any hiring needs during the period in order to make limited exceptions if a position is truly essential, which they will advise that the agency usually fill it from within. If President Trump can keep such a freeze in place his entire presidency and be reelected, perhaps government might finally be parsed to a more manageable size. Just a closing crazy idea.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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