Kuhner’s Corner: Did Trump Sign His Political Death Warrant?

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If Republicans get wiped out in November, the reason will be the massive $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill. By signing it, President Trump has committed the greatest mistake of his presidency—one he will bitterly regret.


The spending package will create a nearly trillion dollar deficit this year. Next year, it will add another trillion dollars to the debt. The deal is spending America into oblivion, threatening to crush us under a mountain of debt. The national debt is already approaching $21 trillion. By the time this spending spree is over our debt will skyrocket to $23 trillion—Greece-like levels. Thanks to the Republican-controlled Congress, our nation is sitting on a ticking debt bomb. It’s only a matter of time before the bond markets revolt, demanding much higher interest payments on America’s soaring debt. Once that kicks in, other key items in the budget—Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and military spending—will have to be slashed. And taxes will have to be significantly increased. The GOP can kiss away their tax cut.


Runaway spending, big deficits and high debt—didn’t the Republicans vow to end all of this? Instead, this is a spending bill Barack Obama could have signed. The GOP promised that, after winning control of Congress and the White House, Obama-era trillion-dollar deficits would be a thing of the past. That was then. This is now. The Ryan-McConnell Republicans are committing the same unforgivable sins as the Obama-Pelosi Democrats: mortgaging the future on the backs of our children. This omnibus monstrosity puts trillions of dollars of debt on our kids’ credit card. It is inter-generational theft. We are robbing from our children (and grandchildren) to pay for our reckless, wasteful spending. The bill is not just corrupt and irresponsible, but immoral.


Moreover, every special interest had a lobbyist except our kids. This bill represents the priorities of the Democrats and the GOP establishment. No wonder Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer couldn’t contain their glee, bragging how liberal Democrats got “80 percent” of what they wanted. There was only one thing they didn’t get: amnesty for the Dreamers. Otherwise, the Democrats got the best of the deal; the Republicans could only point to boosting military spending and a pay increase for service members.


Democrats got almost everything they wanted: Planned Parenthood, sanctuary cities, Obamacare, social welfare programs, Head Start, massive pork barrel projects—all receive full federal funding. Schumer even got his bridge. The bill provides money for his Bridgewater Project, a $30 billion boondoggle (which nobody wants) to build a bridge and a tunnel that will link Newark, New Jersey to New York City. Trump’s base, however, got the shaft.


Think about it: Schumer gets his bridge, but Trump doesn’t get his wall. In fact, the bill only allocates $1.6 billion for border security. About $680 million will be directed toward bolstering existing fences on the U.S.-Mexican border. The rest will be spent on improving sensory technology and erecting fences along the Rio Grande. No money is spent on hiring extra ICE or border patrol agents. The legislation specifically bars any funding—not one cent—going toward Trump’s promised wall or a concrete barrier.


The bill reveals the powerful, vested interests controlling our ruling class. Washington is dominated by a political cartel. There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between Ryan Republicans and Pelosi Democrats. Both want open borders, unlimited immigration, and massive cheap foreign labor. And both have succeeded in blocking Trump’s America First agenda—especially, the construction of the wall along our porous southern border. Call them the uniparty.


Trump should have vetoed the bill (as he threatened to do), shut the government down and demand Congress appropriate $25 billion for his wall. His message should have been clear: no wall, no bill. Instead, he delivered a news conference trying to defend the indefensible. The president admitted it was a bad bill, which was over 2,000 pages, contained a lot of “wasteful spending” and was rammed through Congress. In other words, it was the very thing Republicans used to excoriate Obama and the Democrats for doing. Trump vowed this will “never happen again.”


He’s right. This is because Trump is getting impeached. The central plank of his populist platform, the one that got him elected, was the wall. More than any other issue—slashing taxes, repealing Obamacare, defeating ISIS—his promise to build a massive wall to stem the invasion of Third World illegal immigration is the one that Trump voters (myself included) care about the most. By failing to deliver on the wall, with Republicans in control of both the House and Senate, Trump is demoralizing and disappointing his base. He was supposed to be the brilliant negotiator, who would run circles around the “stupid politicians.” Yet, the politicians—the swamp—seem to be outmaneuvering him. The anti-Trump resistance will be fully mobilized in November. The political tides are surging toward a blue wave that threatens to sweep away Republican rule in Congress. He cannot afford for his base to be fractured or to stay home.


Unless Trump has a secret plan, such as taking funding for the wall from the vast military budget, he may have signed his political death warrant. Make no mistake about it: Trump must start building a wall before November. Otherwise, the Democrats will recapture Congress and they will impeach him, plunging the country into a constitutional crisis. Trump then will not only never get the wall. He will be fighting for his very political survival.                       



-Jeffrey T. Kuhner is host of “The Kuhner Report” on WRKO-AM in Boston.



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