Submitted By Tom H. Hastings
“They’ll make adjustments. They always do.”
So said Donald Trump when a reporter asked him about the millions of people directly affected by his shutdown.
Yes, millions. Nearly 400,000 federal workers are not being paid and an equal number of workers who were fulfilling government contracts are also not being paid. Most of those 800,000 have dependents. So millions of Americans are going without a paycheck. Trump says they’ll adjust.
Wait–his shutdown? Yup. “I’m proud to shut down the government…I’m not gonna blame you for it” (Trump, on camera, to Senator Chuck Schumer in December). As with so many things (Mexico will pay for the wall, I’m ordering the troops home from Syria now, I will push for term limits on Congress, I’ll make sure taxpayers can fully deduct health care insurance payments on their taxes, as soon as the audit is finished I will release my tax return, and many more buck-naked lies), Trump makes a promise and denies it. The Promise breaker.
Back in the day, when I was a young single Dad–just me and my two sons–I missed a paycheck once. It was a catastrophe. A crew of us were working construction and the contractor bailed on all of us. Three of us were family men and two were single guys. All of us were panicked and scrambling. Yeah, we all “made adjustments.” It was hellish.
Now Trump has created a fake crisis on the border–even though there are fewer migrants with problems coming in than ever. The National Security Council and the State Department both issued reports that list improvements that might be made in border security and neither recommends a wall.
The crisis is the shutdown itself and the millions of Americans thrown to the wolves by Trump–even though the new Congress has already passed a bill that would reopen the government and sent it to the Senate–which Trump says he’ll never sign. To compound Trump’s crisis, the government workers and contractors will likely soon not be able to keep any semblance of safety net in place because they are themselves furloughed–when will Social Security checks stop? Food stamps for 39 million Americans who depend on them even more acutely now?
I’m sure Trump is fantasizing that if he shuts it all down, the judicial system will not be able to continue to investigate the mounting evidence that his campaign conspired with Putin’s Russian operatives to steal the 2016 election. It was just revealed that his campaign manager, convicted felon Paul Manafort, admitted to sharing Trump campaign data with the Russians. We’ll see if Trump gets indicted by all this or if his dream of shutting down the third branch of government buys him some time.
Or maybe Pelosi and the new House head of the Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler–and even Ken Starr– are right that it may be possible, if evidence is strong enough, a sitting president can be indicted. Maybe Trump should get fitted for a big orange jumpsuit.
I’m sure he’ll adjust.
Dr. Tom H. Hastings is PeaceVoice Director and on occasion an expert witness for the defense in court.
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