Berman calls Trump's bluff about border wall

CNN's John Berman says President Donald Trump agreeing to sign a bill to keep the government funded seems odd because it does not include money for a border wall, which he previously said he would shut down the government to fund.

Posted: Dec 20, 2018 4:38 PM
Updated: Dec 20, 2018 5:04 PM

During his campaign for president, Donald Trump had a common refrain -- he was going to build a wall, and Mexico was going to pay for it. Since taking office, he has reiterated this same sentiment many, many times.

And yet now, through a GoFundMe page, Trump supporters are volunteering to pay for the wall. It's a horrific bait-and-switch that, ironically, is symbolic of much of Trump's presidency.

The very idea of a border wall between the United States and Mexico is a foolish endeavor, designed to gin up anti-immigrant fear and resentment.

Mind you, I'm a bleeding-heart liberal whose patriotic heart grows fourfold when I think about the sacrifices my immigrant ancestors made to come to this country, sacrifices others are making today only to be turned away at the border. And not because they're breaking the rules, but because President Donald Trump changed the rules that previously allowed certain groups of migrants to seek asylum at the US border. (A court has since blocked some of his efforts.)

And while a lot of Trump supporters want a wall because they blame immigrants for their economic hardships, the fact is immigrants don't "steal jobs." They actually boost economies through spending and paying taxes. Plus immigrants generally take on jobs that citizen workers don't want to fill.

But the other fact a wall ignores is that most undocumented immigrants do not cross the southern border. Rather, they overstay their visas after arriving at American airports.

So, instead of building a pointless wall, we could spend money on the things that are actually hurting all Americans -- opioid addiction, stagnating wages, crumbling roads, failing public schools and lack of access to affordable health care.

Even if you think it's a good idea because you've bought into generations of anti-immigrant scapegoating, wasn't Mexico going to pay for it? Wasn't that Trump's promise? "Mexico will pay for the wall!" Trump tweeted on September 1, 2016.

But Trump broke that promise when he realized that he had not been elected emperor of the universe and couldn't force a foreign government to pay for much of anything, let alone a wasteful wall. So, he tried to get the United States taxpayers to foot the bill. And even with his own party in control of both houses of Congress for two years, he has to yet to get the money he wants to build the wall.

Which means now Trump supporters are pouring donations into a viral GoFundMe campaign that aims to raise at least $1 billion of the $5 billion price tag Trump has set. As of this writing, they have only raised a little over $7 million -- far short of their goal.

But this is hardly Trump's first deception of his base.

Trump promised tax policies that would help his largely white working-class base -- and while some less affluent people received modest benefits, the law gave the biggest breaks to big businesses and the super rich. Worse yet, by 2025, the bottom 20% of Americans will actually see their taxes increase under the plan.

Meanwhile, his trade wars, including with China, have driven up the cost of raw materials and arguably led to layoffs, including 14,000 GM workers just before Christmas. Trump's trade policies have also harmed rural farmers, because China, for a period of time, halted its buying of soybeans and more from US farmers. To mitigate this, Trump has given farmers $9.5 billion in subsidies, but that's less than the amount he originally promised and less than farmers say they've lost because of Trump's trade war.

And Trump's various rollbacks of environmental health and safety have had little to no effect on expanding industry -- but are expected to pollute air and water, especially in communities where Trump voters live. Trump's deregulation of the coal industry alone, centered in rural America, is expected to lead to as many as 1,400 more heart and lung disease deaths per year.

Trump campaigned on fearmongering and empty promises. And that's how he's governing as president. When will his voters realize they're the ones, over and over again, paying the price?

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 270476

Reported Deaths: 5945
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto18020198
Hinds17192342
Harrison14654214
Rankin11404225
Jackson11146194
Lee9160149
Madison8736173
Jones6934120
Forrest6324126
Lauderdale6212198
Lowndes5623124
Lafayette5295102
Lamar515565
Washington4984125
Bolivar4187111
Oktibbeha413686
Panola390784
Pontotoc383461
Warren3766103
Monroe3746112
Marshall362273
Union361966
Pearl River3578107
Neshoba3528160
Leflore3148110
Lincoln311489
Hancock304263
Sunflower296079
Tate282964
Alcorn276257
Pike275985
Itawamba272665
Scott268055
Yazoo259956
Prentiss257255
Copiah254649
Coahoma253656
Tippah252652
Simpson246072
Leake239367
Marion230774
Covington226173
Grenada225874
Wayne219337
Adams218172
George211041
Winston208971
Newton202748
Attala198265
Tishomingo197861
Chickasaw191546
Jasper185839
Holmes173268
Clay169538
Tallahatchie158835
Stone154727
Clarke151062
Calhoun143122
Smith134226
Yalobusha125435
Walthall116638
Greene115930
Noxubee114726
Montgomery113136
Lawrence109317
Carroll107722
Perry106431
Amite103829
Webster99024
Claiborne90426
Jefferson Davis90231
Tunica89722
Benton87423
Humphreys86225
Kemper81820
Quitman71611
Franklin71517
Choctaw64914
Wilkinson60325
Jefferson57521
Sharkey45917
Issaquena1616
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 449086

Reported Deaths: 7172
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson656061094
Mobile32260595
Madison28795237
Tuscaloosa21859277
Montgomery20388348
Shelby19707139
Baldwin17629217
Lee13482112
Morgan12795154
Etowah12265213
Calhoun11730228
Marshall10543133
Houston9221182
Limestone849485
Cullman8412143
Elmore8379123
Lauderdale8049121
DeKalb7985122
St. Clair7985144
Talladega6637114
Jackson611557
Walker6078185
Colbert5650104
Blount556895
Autauga549967
Coffee473471
Dale418692
Franklin380153
Russell364216
Chilton351379
Covington347986
Escambia343446
Tallapoosa3228111
Dallas3164105
Chambers313775
Clarke311139
Pike269435
Lawrence259759
Marion256667
Winston236443
Bibb226151
Geneva217151
Marengo213332
Pickens203031
Barbour189840
Hale189748
Fayette183534
Butler176660
Cherokee167333
Henry162229
Monroe154221
Randolph149536
Washington144727
Clay131650
Crenshaw127048
Macon124638
Cleburne124128
Lamar122024
Lowndes118637
Wilcox110022
Bullock107429
Perry100819
Conecuh99123
Sumter91228
Greene78624
Coosa66119
Choctaw52424
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 27°
Columbus
Partly Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 31°
Oxford
Cloudy
34° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 25°
Starkville
Partly Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 32°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather