Government Shutdown

Will Trump's Stubborn Demand for Wall Funding Keep the Government Shut Down Forever?

No, but it's nice to fantasize.

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Shutdown sign
Abaca Press/Douliery Olivier/Abaca/Sipa USA/Newscom

President Donald Trump is declaring that the federal government shutdown will last until he gets $5 billion for his border wall.

"I can't tell you when the government is going to be open," Trump told reporters on Christmas. "I can tell you, it's not going to be open until we have a wall, a fence, whatever they'd like to call it. I'll call it whatever they want."

Trump said many of the federal workers who were furloughed told him to keep the government shut down until he gets his wall money. He also claimed on Twitter to have handed out a contract to build 115 miles of a border wall in Texas, except the president doesn't award construction contracts. The Associated Press noted that Congress approved funding for 33 miles of border wall construction in Texas earlier in the year, and that might be what Trump is referring to. The "great price" Trump claims he got for that contract: $22 million per mile.

Trump has been quiet today so far on Twitter.

The government shutdown affects about 800,000 of the federal government's two million employees. Some have been furloughed, while others are still working without pay until the shutdown ends. The shutdown is the result of a failure to fund several agencies because Trump wanted $5 billion for his wall. Nearly $1 trillion of the budget for fiscal year 2019 has already been approved. But among the agencies that haven't been fully funded are the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, because Congress will not agree to include the $5 billion Trump is demanding.

As always, when the government shut downs, media coverage seems to focus entirely on people not getting paid and national parks being closed. This coverage creates the impression that the only thing the federal government does is pay hundreds of thousands of people to clean the bathrooms at Yosemite National Park.

Trump is now trying to pin the blame for the shutdown on the Democrats for not giving him the money he wants. The Democrats, meanwhile, do not seem terribly concerned. If the only reason the government shut down is over spending that Democratic voters don't support (polls show that most Americans don't think funding a border wall should be a high priority), it's hard to visualize how this is going to hurt the party.

If this shutdown rolls into January, when Democrats take control of the House, it seems very unlikely that Trump will get wall funding in 2019. But you can never be certain what lawmakers might agree to in exchange for some pork for the folks back home.

The best outcome for fiscal responsibility would be for Trump to give up, and he might! But a face-saving negotiation seems more likely. Trump gets some more border security funding, but no wall, and House Democrats get some spending they want in exchange.

Stay tuned.

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95 responses to “Will Trump's Stubborn Demand for Wall Funding Keep the Government Shut Down Forever?

  1. Tide pods + catsup = tasty snack.

    1. I am new here. How do I upvote you?

  2. There is no such thing as a government shutdown. Most of the government is still working, they only shutdown tiny bits that are completely unnecessary, but that people like to use (like public parks).

    1. Buuuuut – the longer its shut down the more likely that more and more of it gets furloughed. At least that’s my hope.

    2. Reminds me of Obama admin putting barriers around the WWII memorial only to have the Vets with canes and wheelchairs move them aside and visit just the same.

  3. Do I think the wall will be 100% effective, or even be built? Not so sure… However, he can try and make a stand for our country! I support his efforts and feel something needs to be done about illegals pouring in. If not the wall, then what else that has actually worked?
    https://aladyofreason.wordpress.com/

    1. So it probably won’t work but might as well do it anyway? Sorry, in the real world there are no medals for participation. Why don’t you use your money instead of everyone’s money to build the wall that will not solve it’s intended purpose. Your handle is a misnomer.

      1. Interesting how you turned not “100% effective” into “won’t work”. Nothing is 100% effective, so do you think we shouldn’t do anything?

        Walls DO work – take a look at Mexico’s southern border. They built a wall, and dramatically cut their illegal immigration problem.
        Or look at Israel. Israel’s walls work fairly well, even if not 100%. Do you think there would be fewer terrorist attacks if the walls were removed?

        1. So what is okay for you? 15% effective? 30% effective? The reality is that there is no way to know…..except any kid with a 6th grade education would realize that a wall is pretty easy to bypass unless it’s constantly monitored. Also, you seem confused about the purpose of the wall. Is it to keep illegal Mexican immigrants from coming in or prevent terrorists from coming in. If it’s the later, than there is a 4000mile wall you better build up North as well.

          1. Hey idiot. Trump isnt just asking for a wall. He has also requested mandatory e verify, end to chain migration, an exit visa tracking system, etc.

            Again I ask… why are open border lovers so god damn stupid?

            1. Hey assface, get fucked. I have no problem with e-verify, ending chain migration and exit visa tracking. I do have a problem with spending billions of dollars on a fucking useless wall.

        2. They built a wall, and dramatically cut their illegal immigration problem.

          Not by much if 5,000 person caravans can come ambling through it.

          1. Tijuana is wondering how they can get that caravan through. Do you need me to tell you the definition of ambling?

            1. am?ble
              /?amb?l/
              verb

              walk or move at a slow, relaxed pace.

              And yes, that is how they moved through Mexico’s southern border, replete with a WALL supposedly. Not sure what point you were trying to make but you failed.

        3. Well, the absolute max is 40% ? because only 40% of illegal aliens even cross by land now.

          At $22 million a mile, that’s an initial capital investment of $42 billion. It seems really unlikely that a $42 billion investment will cost less than $4 billion a year to maintain.

          Keep in mind that:

          The fence built so far obviously has been in the places where building is easiest, or at least most cost-effective. Building in the middle of nowhere, on property that already belongs to private parties, or even to Mexico, is going to be much more expensive.
          ICE’s budget is only $9 billion a year now. Would the wall be more effective at keeping out illegals than doubling that budget?
          There have been a lot of jokes about hiring Mexicans to build that wall ? but it’s not wholly unreasonable. A lot of the building trade in the Southwest is Mexicans. Do we really think that the same people who have the skills to build the wall will be utterly unable to cut holes in it, tunnel under it, prop ladders against it? We aren’t trying to keep out rabbit or deer: these are intelligent and motivated people, who stand to benefit from getting through (or over or under or around) the wall.

      2. Drugs and medicine isnt 100% either, so let’s stop funding those too. You open borders people are quite stupid.

    2. Actually, Trump’s emphasis on The Wall is proof that he’s not serious about checking the flow of illegals into the United States.

      A wall can easily be got over, under, around, or through. Persons determined to get across the border can tunnel under, ladder over, or knock down sections of the wall; or they can avoid the wall altogether by rushing the border and overwhelming the agents present, or by entering legally and then ignoring the departure date on their visa. A wall will also have zero effect on illegals already in the country.

      No. If Trump were serious about cutting illegal entry, and promoting the departure of illegals already present, he’d be pushing for stiff penalties on the employers who hire them. However, that might prove inconvenient to certain hotel and casino moguls…

      1. You got that! The biggest difference in having a wall is the extra expenditure to build and maintain it. It won’t reduce how many soldiers still have to watch the border. if anything, the false sense of security will encourage laxity and increase the efficiency of crossing illegally.

        1. The wall is a symbol that the media focuses on. Trump has requested changes to immigration law as well. But some of you seem incapable of anything past a headline.

          1. The wall is a symbol that Trump focuses on. But he seems incapable of anything past a headline.

            TDS works both ways, bud.

          2. ” Trump has requested changes to immigration law as well.”

            I have, too. The reason neither of us has gotten the results we asked for is that neither of us has bothered to do any analysis of the costs of making the change(s) requested, nor found a way to make the change palatable to a majority of each house of Congress.

        1. and by ^ this, I meant,

          “If Trump were serious about cutting illegal entry, and promoting the departure of illegals already present, he’d be pushing for stiff penalties on the employers who hire them. However, that might prove inconvenient to certain hotel and casino moguls…”

          It bears repeating.

          1. “It bears repeating.”

            Black bear, grizzly bear, or polar bear?

          2. Except he is pushing for those things…

            1. Which he should. E-verify will be/has been much more effective than a wall to deter illegal immigration. If you live in Az, as your handle would indicate, then you already know this. The wall is just pissing in the wind, but stupid people like the idea. If Trump spent 1/4 of his hot air directed towards solutions like e-verify as he did about his stupid wall, I would be a bit more supportive.

              1. ” If Trump spent 1/4 of his hot air directed towards solutions”

                The people in the audience cheered when he talked about building a wall. If the audence had said “no, you twit, give us something that works and is cost-effective” then maybe he’d have kept looking.

                The problem with relying on e-verify is that it incentivizes identity fraud, and it does so specifically among a group of people who are already demonstrated to be willing to break the law to stay in the U.S.

      2. So, as a business owner, I’m a mite curious — when, exactly, did the libertarian position become that it was my job to police your restrictions on my freedom of contract for you?

        1. When you chose to operate in a welfare based system. A tru libertarian is fine with open borders sans a welfare system. we dont have that. You dont have to be stupid and be single topic solely.

          1. Cerabrate chose a welfare based system? So you can conscript him to fight your border war? Fuck off slaver.

          2. It’s really disturbing how conservatives loooove welfare ? it gives them an excuse to enlarge government to fight the damage that big government has caused.

            “When you chose to operate in a welfare based system”? Seriously, you think any businessman chose this system?

            Sorry but if you didn’t want to be tortured to death, you shouldn’t have chosen to be born in North Korea. It’s your own fault really…

        2. Thanks. Funny how libertarians turn into statists when it comes to immigration. If someone is qualified and wants to work I’d hire them. If they’re illegal send your LEOs. I’m not a cop.

          1. Do you enforce your own property rights and contracts or are you only in favor of the Rule of Law when it suits you?

            1. I’m in favor of not being a slave of the state. The state can enforce it’s laws or not. I’m not paid to be a immigration cop.

      3. If you’re serious about illegal immigration, cracking down on employers won’t hurt, but its a drop in the bucket.

        But I’m sure it sounds good to you since it would put the onus of enforcement on someone other than you – you hope.

        If you want to stop illegal immigration the only way to do so is to implement mandatory ID, remove the 4th amendment, require internal travel visas, and start implementing checkpoints at all city, county, and state borders. Along with that, the ID must be RFID tagged so you can put out RFID checkpoints to nab anyone walking by who isn’t carrying their mandatory ID. Periodic (but unpredictable) sweeps of neighborhoods will be necessary – door-to-door searches.

        Once biometric ID is at a better place you can start implementing facial and iris/retina scanning – you can nab those without registered biometrics or are registered as not allowed in the country (so you can nab repeat immigrators).

        *That* will end illegal immigration once and for all – you just have to ask yourself if that’s a country you’d want to live in and is the ‘harms’ of illegal immigration greater or lesser than the cost of implementing that police state?

        1. And what exactly are the harms of illegal immigration?

          I mean, I don’t like the idea of people breaking the law, but every interaction I have had with an actual illegal immigrant has been him doing some task for me, at a price far below what someone lawfully in the country would ask.

          1. Well, one of the major problems has to do with the fact that illegals often bring their many offspring along with them. Since the Supreme Court ruled that public schools couldn’t refuse to educate children based on their illegal presence in the country, this throws a considerable burden on local taxpayers, who wind up footing the bill for the considerable cost of bilingual education.

            Moreover, while those who entered the country illegally as adults seeking jobs generally have a good work ethic, their children, repeatedly assured by public-school teachers and random activists that they’re the victims of institutionalized racism, tend to believe that honest employment is the system’s way of screwing them, and that their only hope of getting ahead is to push for expensive social programs.

          2. “I mean, I don’t like the idea of people breaking the law”

            If you’re employing illegal immigrants, you’re breaking the law. Guess you’re not as opposed to it as you say/think.

        2. “*That* will end illegal immigration once and for all – you just have to ask yourself if that’s a country you’d want to live in and is the ‘harms’ of illegal immigration greater or lesser than the cost of implementing that police state?”

          You’re going to far.
          All you really have to do is crush the cash economy. Right now, cash transactions of more than $10,000 have onerous bureaucratic paperwork associated with them, to help find and fight the drug traffickers. So… change the reporting limit from $10,000 to $10. Every time somebody wants to spend more than $10 in cash, they have forms to fill out. Once you put this in place, you’ll be able to find all the people employing illegals with cash payroll, and as a side bonus you catch up the drug dealers and sex traffickers, too.

          It still comes down to your final question, of course, but at slightly less inconvenience to the average American… they just have to switch to debit card payments, and letting the feds check their bank statements every month.

      4. Trump is pushing for mandatory e verify, exit visas, etc. Sorry that the AP isnt including those facts in the headline. Shame you have to go do actual reading of his policies and DHS statements.

      5. Yeah businesses should be immigration cops because the government is incapable of enforcing it’s laws. They’re already forced to be tax collectors. Maybe they should be patrolling the border too.

      6. “No. If Trump were serious about cutting illegal entry, and promoting the departure of illegals already present, he’d be pushing for stiff penalties on the employers who hire them. However, that might prove inconvenient to certain hotel and casino moguls…”

        If there were an easy solution to the immigration problem (or more correctly, the cluster of immigration problems), one of the parties would have implemented the easy solution during the period when they controlled both halves of Congress and the Presidency, cashed all the political capital for solving a long-standing problem, and then gone looking for something else to worry about.

        Since the only solution(s) to the problem(s)… if there are, in fact, any… are difficult and involve serious tradeoffs with desired goals, the only way a solution will get implemented is if both parties work together to solve it. Or, to put it another way, in the current political climate it ain’t gonna happen.

        Anyone whose “solution” to illegal immigration fits on a bumper sticker is a fool, straight up.

    3. If not the wall, then what else that has actually worked?

      Easy access to work permits and visas allowing people who’ve passed a basic criminal and health check to come here and work and then go home – which then removes the incentive to sneak across.

      Couple that with a dismantling of the welfare state so the hope of a free ride stop incentivizing people to come north.

      Those things work. And they’re a lot cheaper than stealing land from innocent people to build a wall – which will also be a massive ongoing expense since it will need to be maintained.

      And the thing about walls – they always end up with guns on top. And those guns always end up pointing *inside*.

      1. “Couple that with a dismantling of the welfare state so the hope of a free ride stop incentivizing people to come north.”

        It isn’t the welfare that draws people to come here. It’s the opportunity to find paying work.

  4. There is a law of declining returns from the Democrat perspective.

    At some point, even stupid people will start to notice that cutting a third of the government doesn’t make a whole lot of difference in their lives. And once that sort of reality starts to set in . . .

    Besides, it’s not like the Democrats are about to stand on principle, here. Who genuinely believes that the Democrats are so committed to the principle of not building a wall that they would refuse to spend money?

    When have the Democrats ever refused to spend money on principle?

    1. The ones who voted against the Iraq debacle? The ones who voted against the Bush and Trump tax cuts? That would be the principle that the government ought to pay for the things it buys, which is a principle traditionally and erroneously applied to Republicans.

      1. The principle should be the government only spends what it gets. Even with no tax cuts last year the deficit would have increased. Its the spending you moron. Baseline budgeting being a 3.5% growth every year, more than average GDP growth. Pass high school algebra to learn why spending growth rates cant be higher than economic growth rates and be sustainable.

        1. ” Pass high school algebra to learn why spending growth rates cant be higher than economic growth rates and be sustainable.”

          Pass high-school economics to learn why they can.

      2. That would be a small minority of democrats as over 70% supported the Iraq war including Hilary, Kerry and most of the prominent democrats. Kerry even pounded the table saying we had to take out Saddam.
        As for the tax cuts revenues increased after both of the tax cuts.

        “If you cut taxes and revenues rise you have not cut taxes enough” Milton Friedman

    2. Democrats would be willing to spend $5 billion+ per second on Single Payer healthcare.

      1. Would the D’s pay $5 bil on single-payer? Yeah, they probably would. They would get something close to $5 bil worth of healthcare for people for it. Now, with some health issues, the person who is sick is the only person who benefits. But some health issues spread when untreated, to other people. Speaking as a people, I’d rather than other people who are sick get treatment before they spread those communicable diseases to other people, by which I mean me.

        I know, selfish.

        Now, if Trump gets his $5 bil to build a wall, wall-building contractors get close to $5 bil, and it has no effect on illegal immigration, meaning I get no side benefit unless I move south and start a wall-building contractor business.

        So my preference is not a toss-up.

  5. The best outcome for fiscal responsibility would be for Trump to give up, and he might!

    Oh, come on! The words “fiscal responsibility” and “Congress” haven’t had anything to do with each other since about the Coolidge administration. Don’t pretend your opposition to the wall has anything to do with fiscal responsibility.

    1. Shutting down the government costs more because the workers get back pay; in effect, they are on paid vacation right now.

      That’s the fiscal responsibility.

      Don’t let your man-crush on Trump cloud your thoughts. Oh wait…..

      1. You’re citation fell off.

        1. And your citation fell off.

          1. And your dismal knowledge manifests itself.

          2. You’re unfamiliar with how salary works?

        2. You’re dismal knowledge manifests itself.

        3. You still fail to explain how people get paid more while on furlough than they would if they worked normally.

          Your citations continue to fall off.

          1. “You still fail to explain how people get paid more while on furlough than they would if they worked normally.”

            Maybe he didn’t explain that because he didn’t make that claim?

      2. Doesn’t cost *more* – just doesn’t cost less.

        At the same time we get a slight reprieve from the Federal government.

      3. They get back pay only from a post shutdown congressional action. Blame them, not trump moron.

        1. It has always been thus in every previous government shutdown. Sometimes past performance is a good indicator of future performance.

        2. Meh. Blaming trump moron for trump moron’s actions is just the sort of knee-jerk reaction I’m prone to.

  6. I don’t know if The Art of the Deal actually has a chapter on throwing a tantrum until everyone is so annoyed that you get your way if only you’ll just shut up, but I have seen small children make it work.

    1. It does. Its called “How to send the Lefties into a crying fit”.

      1. It apparently makes you quite pleased to imagine the lefties in crying fits.

        Why don’t you just keep doing that?

    2. Are you kidding? That’s the whole book. Trump’s whole thing is to be a massive asshole who keeps changing his demands – and as much as I don’t like that, its been amazingly effective for him.

      1. ” Trump’s whole thing is to be a massive asshole who keeps changing his demands – and as much as I don’t like that, its been amazingly effective for him.”

        Has it? You only have his word for that. And his word…

    3. Yes small children can make it wirk.

      Then you give them a popsicle.

      Trump needs a popsicle.

  7. The house already passed the funding bill, and the senate republicans should just pass it using reconciliation, the same exact way the senate democrats rammed through Block Yomommacare.

    But if they won’t do this, then Trump should publicly proclaim that he won’t authorize back pay for any furloughed government employees. That will ramp up the pressure on the senate to do it.

  8. So, for the federal government, its entire near-term fate is in the hands of Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh.
    Not that orange pussy in the White House.
    As long as Putin agrees.
    Got it,

  9. one can only hope

  10. Trump is awesome!

    Another campaign promise accomplished.

    1. Which promise was that?

      1. LC1789 was staring at his big, beautiful bathroom wall and got a little confused.

        1. I do drop a Tony or two a day into my toilet.

    2. SHUT THE FED DOWN!

      SHUT IT DOWN!

  11. Trump said many of the federal workers who were furloughed told him to keep the government shut down until he gets his wall money.

    Well, *duh*.

    I mean, I’m in a position where I have enough independent income to cover my mortgage and bills and enough savings to live several years frugally even with no income. If I were one of those ‘non-essential’ workers on ‘furlough’ I’d love it if the government shut down for an extended period of time. Long enough to get a ‘second’ job and then when the government shutdown ends, get all that back pay – while spending the whole time on vacation or light work elsewhere? Hell yes Mr President.

  12. That’s the dream!

    Either we get a wall or we get less government. WIN WIN.

  13. “Some have been furloughed, while others are still working without pay until the shutdown ends.”

    How does that second one work, exactly, in line with the 13th amendment.

  14. I think we’ll see some movement when the Secret Service detail in Mar-a-Lago stays home rather than report for (unpaid) work.

    1. There would be thousands of dedicated Americas to protect Trump from Lefties.

      1. You mean, Internet loudmouths would actually get up and DO something? What planet are you calling in from?

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  16. “The shutdown is the result of a failure to fund several agencies because Trump wanted $5 billion for his wall. ”

    And because the Dems are opposed to funding a wall.

    Grownups know that the lack of a deal is a choice of both sides.

  17. “Grownups know that the lack of a deal is a choice of both sides.”

    In this case, a bill was passed by Congress without the funding for the wall, and Trump refused to sign it. So… the lack of a government is because of the choice of one person.

    1. “I am a child”

      1. Does your mommy know you have unrestricted Internet access?

        1. “I don’t know what quotation marks mean.”

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  19. Yeah, every time somebody wants to spend more than $10 in cash, they have forms to fill out.

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