National Security

Trump Wants to Cut Security to Boost Security. Or Something.

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

How will Trump pay for his fantasy border wall?

We already know the Department of Homeland Security was only able to identify a measly $20 million in funding that could be redirected to pay for the wall (or at least a Power-Point presentation on the possible design of a wall) and we know Mexico isn't going to pay for it.

According to internal documents obtained by Politico, the Trump regime will propose cutting vital, effective programs like the Coast Guard, the TSA, and FEMA to pay for his self-defeating border wall and deportation force.

The Office of Management and Budget is seeking a 14 percent cut to the Coast Guard's $9.1 billion budget, the draft documents show, even as it proposes major increases to other Department of Homeland Security agencies to hire more border agents and immigration officers and construct a physical barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Overall, DHS would get a 6 percent boost to its budget, to $43.8 billion. But to help pay for that, the administration would slice the budget of the Coast Guard and cut 11 percent in spending from the TSA — reductions that critics say would weaken safeguards against threats arriving by sea or air.

OMB also wants to cut 11 percent from the budget of FEMA, which oversees the national response to disasters such as floods and hurricanes.

It's not a very a long limb I'm stepping out on, but I doubt even our Republican-controlled Congress will approve budget cuts for the Coast Guard and the TSA. These are the kinds of proposals that rile up lawmakers at the local and federal level in every single state who will be asked to explain why security in their district has been cut.

And, to be clear, this will require congressional approval. Trump's budget proposal is just that -- a proposal. It's a fantasy document, but not a pleasant fantasy, more like a Tim Burton funhouse filled with killer clowns from outer space.

Trump's apparent desire to cut other programs to pay for his border wall and deportation force may be an indication that Congress will not appropriate new funds to pay for it. I think we can safely assume that at least for the time being. The continuing resolution that currently funds the federal government will expire next month and congressional Republicans are currently busy trying to take healthcare away from tens of millions of people.

  • Aynwrong

    I still think this is what Trump has in mind.

  • ninjaf

    I like Tim Burton’s aesthetic better than Donald Trump’s, though. At least Burton leaves some whimsy and a glimmer of hope in dire circumstances.

    • Herr Drumpf wouldn’t know whimsy if it walked up and slapped him in the face.

  • muselet

    It’s very simple.

    Donald Trump can’t make money off the Coast Guard or TSA or FEMA (or EPA or CDC or …). He can make money off building a useless wall.