Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,… Robert Frost
Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!–Ronald Reagan
“Berlin — the city which stands for the separation of Europe as well as the freedom of Europe — cannot watch silently as another country plans to build a wall,” — Berlin Mayor Michael Müller
From The Hill:
“I think the president is using every tool available to him to make sure that, as we put this wall up, he honors his commitment he made to the American people that it’s going to be paid for and that Mexico will pay for it,” Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), a close Trump ally and member of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, told The Hill at the GOP retreat in Philadelphia.
“As we have been dealing on the committee on tax reform, one of the key components of tax reform is called border adjustability. That is a 20 percent tax on imports and a zero percent tax on exports.
“Anything that is going to promote American manufacturing, make American competitive, I’m going to be supportive of.”
Tom’s comments raise more questions than they answer:
- Should Trump “keep his commitment” even if Congress and the American people don’t approve of it? Really, Tom?
- Why should Mexico be forced to pay for a border wall? What would be the consequences of that?
- What are the consequences of a tax on imports? One is higher prices here. Other countries are sure to retaliate. Would we withdraw from the WTO?
- Reed begs the question by assuming that a wall promotes American Manufacturing. Would it? It certainly wouldn’t make America competitive, but it might do the opposite.
Will Congress really spend $15 billion on a wall because it was Donald Trump’s campaign slogan. I think we could find a better use for $15 billion.
Without batting an eye, McConnel and Ryan are willing to appropriate $12 billion for a wall that the majority of America does not want. Meanwhile, social security and Medicare is being eroded away, government hiring positions are frozen, planned parenthood defunded, the affordable care act is repealed with no replacement, and we are losing our protections with the environment and clean renewable energy. Do not even get me started on immigration. $12 billion does not even cover a third of the wall’s cost not to mention ongoing maintenance and personnel costs, What will it take to understand the needs of Americans?
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These questions should be asked at Reed’s Town Halls. I would like to have him point out on his circle graph which sector will be expanded by $12-$15 billion or more for the wall. Is it really going to be in the budget or is it, like President George W. Bush, put off paying for it until a Democrat gets back into office?
It will be difficult to frame these questions advantageously in the context of a town hall meeting. Reed will claim that the wall is necessary to keep out illegal immigrants, and the cost will be borne by Mexico. Sadly, these facile arguments will be difficult to counter, even if one has the opportunity.
Consider Aretha’s concern over costs. In the case of the Keystone Pipeline, even though the number of long term jobs created was minimal, opponents had difficulty countering contrary “alternate facts.” Aretha may be right about the final cost, but Reed would likely “agree to disagree.”
It would be interesting to try to find instances in the videos of past meetings when a constituent clearly succeeded in making a point in spite of Reed’s hostility.
Tom Reed was prepared to leave any morals he had left, at the door when he allowed himself to serve Trump’s agenda. The problem with confronting Tom Reed is that we are told to be polite in town halls and other communication. We are told we must honor the office and the man in it.
I disagree with has become a platitude. This not to say that screaming and calling names is appropriate; it is to say that people can stand in these meetings, and with a civil tone say ” Tom Reed, you are lying, and here’s how I know it.”
Attendees or those who write letters, can take or send copied sheets of proof that Reed has manipulated and lied his way into office, and once there, has served no one but those who pay him for it.