Photograph from AP Photo/Elliott Spagat
Dear fellow American taxpayer,
Spending money is about priorities. We, like our government, deal with it every day of our lives. Some things are clearly mandatory spending and many things fall into discretionary spending. Our president is trying to convince us that his border wall is mandatory when it’s closer to discretionary. It’s actually even less than discretionary; it’s more knee-jerk and juvenile than anything — like when your six year-old has a nightmare and asks if you could build a moat around the house to keep out the bogey monster. Trump’s fears have become enmeshed with what our country supposedly “needs.”
This week, President Trump linked the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) bill with the border wall saying the wall “must” be a part of the bill. He mentioned in his statement that we all want security. I happen to think that the billions of dollars we are spending for our nation’s defense are enough security. The Congressional Budget Office says we spend one-sixth of the federal budget on defense and that it will be rising under Trump’s budget; my gut tells me it’s more like two-sixths….There’s no way to really know and there’s no way to feel completely secure.
When thinking about the issue as looking at our priorities, I hope we all think about what we value; there are many other more worthwhile programs that $18+ billion could be used to fund: doing more to end homelessness, putting more money into assisting Puerto Rico to re-establish its power grid, or showing that we truly value education by funding our schools so that they can incorporate examples of cutting edge curriculum and genuinely pay their teachers what they are worth.
Every day, we get to decide what is important to us as a country. The thousands of people affected by DACA are contributing members of our society. Whatever happens to DACA in the future, our country needs to speak up and support these people. Here, at Letters2Trump, we have written about it several times lately (January 7, January 9) and last year (June 20). So read up on it and make your voice heard. President Trump seems to think that since he holds the veto pen, he can hold the Senate and the House ransom, getting only what he wants. It seems, though, that some Republicans don’t think we have the money to spend on the border wall. And other Republicans want a stronger, more invasive immigration plan. Democrats are getting their voices heard and are trying to separate out DACA from any border wall funding. So it seems unlikely that any bill will get passed anytime soon, especially before the January 19th deadline when government spending expires.
I’m sure by now you have your Representative’s contact information and your Senator’s contact information. Since we are called Letters2Trump, I’ll throw in President Trump’s address for the heck of it:
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
There’s also the White House Comment line at 202-456-1111 if you’re a fan of speaking into the ether. (The hold music is jazzy, like elevator music, and I got a lot of writing done while listening to it on speaker…so you have that going for you if you call.)