Search This Blog

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Finally, a Declaration of War

Eight minutes ago, President Trump tweeted his explanation of the budget deal that is being passed now to fund the government through September.  That deal gives the Democrats most of what they wanted and provides almost no support for Trump's agenda.  Trump's response is a pre-emptive strike.  Indeed, it is a declaration of war.  I hope he means it.

Trump makes clear that the problem with passing a good budget is that there are not 60 votes in the Senate to pass it.  The Democrats will filibuster it.  Trump makes two points.  First, he suggests switching from 60% to 51%; in other words, he suggests using the nuclear option to pass legislation.  That's interesting, but then comes the main point.  Trump tweeted this:

Our country needs a good "shutdown" in September to fix mess!

Those are the words that needed to be said for a long time.  Let's expand on them a bit.

Trump is not actually rooting for a government shutdown.  What he is doing, however, is stating now that he is prepared to see one in order to get proper spending through the Congress.  For the last few years, most of the Republicans in Congress have run from any confrontation that might lead to a government shutdown.  That gave the Democrats a weapon that they did not hesitate to use.  Trump is trying to take that weapon away.  Remember, a government shutdown should be a much bigger worry to the Democrats than to the GOP.  In a shutdown, the President alone gets to decide which services are deemed essential and which must be funded.  You can be sure that the National Endowment for the Humanities or grants to college professors to research the sex lives of undergraduates will not be on that list.  Similarly, the giveaways to favored Democrat donors and constituencies will stop.  Indeed, funds to all of Trump's targets will not doubt stop.  On the other hand, cash to Homeland Security and Defense should flow unabated.  The Democrats will soon realize that shutting down the government with Trump as president is not the same as it was under Obama.  Hopefully, Trump now realizes this and is gearing up to get his way in the next fiscal year that starts in another 100 days.


No comments: