This is the second in a series of blogs, published with the intent of critically examining Donald Trump’s more significant campaign promises and; this one focused on his “high, beautiful wall” along the US-Mexican border that the latter will be made to pay for.
Primdonald has categorically stated that the wall will be too tall to climb over, and presumably, buried too deep to tunnel under. It will be a wall “so beautiful” that people will want to name it after him. This, of course, is fanciful thinking. Folks with a combination of energy, imagination and determination always find a way. Just ask the citizens of what was East Germany who lived behind the Berlin Wall. Or, alternatively, check with “El Chapo” Guzman, the Mexican drug cartel chief, who found his way out of prison thanks to an elaborate tunnel.
Then there are the physical dimensions of the wall, whatever they might be. On that score, we can be certain that it will stretch to approximately 2,000 miles which is almost exactly the length of the US-Mexican border (1). Next, would a 20-foot wall be “unscalable”? buried to a depth to a depth of 10-feet, sufficient? Ah well, we need not deal with such details because, after all, the Mexican government will be leveraged into paying for it as a result of Primadonald’s self-proclaimed hard bargaining. Pressed to provide specifics on how that will be possible, the candidate asserted that he will slap a tariff or tax on every vehicle and type of merchandise that is traveling south to north, up from Mexico, entering our country.(2)
There are so many things wrong with this idea that it is hard to know which one to address first, But, here’s just a sampler: First, historically, tariffs often start trade wars and have a chilling effect on the economy. (3) Second, they usually create job losses in both the country sending the goods and the country receiving them. Third, any cooperative efforts towards problem-solving on other issues sget shelved or abandon. Fourth, no president has the Constitutional authority to levy a tariff or tax. That prerogative resides solely with the Congress.
Taking all this into account, it is hard to view Primadonald’s wall and Mexico’s footing the bill as anything but more of his bluster that reflects little deep thought or planning. There is no better evidence of this then the “fourth” item cited in the preceding paragraph. This and closely related matters will be covered in Part III of this series; “Trump’s battle with our Constitution”.
Lastly, there is this: No matter who ends up paying for the wall, let us engage in pure fantasy and assume it gets built. In that event, it should be adorned with a commemorative plaque with this inscription….
TRUMP’S LAST ERECTION
He finally got it up!!
- The border is 1,954 miles long to be precise.
2. The tariff would be applied to goods entering the US from any country, not just Mexico. Japan and China would most certainly be targeted.
3. The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 set off a trade war that slowed economic activity world-wide and nudged the US deeper into our Great Depression. Given present uncertainties about the global economy, it is hard to imagine a worse time to run the risk of repeating that history. Since Primadonld has said nothing reflecting a knowledge of this past, we are left to wonder if he is even aware of it.