Author Topic: Live It Off the Wall  (Read 1232 times)

Wayward Son

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Live It Off the Wall
« on: February 14, 2020, 11:38:46 AM »
The Trump Administration has announced the diversion of another $3.8 billion from the military to build his wall.

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The Trump administration plans to sap money intended to build fighter jets, ships, vehicles and National Guard equipment in order to fund barriers on the U.S.-Mexico border, the Pentagon told Congress on Thursday, a move that has agitated Democrats and even drawn condemnation from a top House Republican.

The surprise reprogramming of another $3.8 billion, transmitted to Congress and provided to POLITICO, means the Pentagon will have forked over nearly $10 billion since last year to help pay for President Donald Trump's border wall.

But this shift in funding marks a new phase for the administration, which until now had used money set for military construction and counterdrug operations, not combat equipment. The fiscal 2020 money will be moved into drug interdiction accounts that the Pentagon tapped last year to fund border barrier projects...

The money will be drawn from a host of procurement accounts, many of which are popular on Capitol Hill. The move includes a cut of two Marine Corps F-35B fighter jets at a cost of $223 million; $100 million from the Army National Guard's Humvee modernization program; $650 million cut from the Navy's amphibious assault ship replacement; and $261 million from the Expeditionary Fast Transport ship. The reprogramming also trimmed two Air Force C-130J transport aircraft for a cut of $196 million and $180 million from the service's light attack aircraft program.

The Pentagon also sapped an extra $1.3 billion from National Guard and Reserve equipment accounts, for which Congress has typically sought to allocate increased funding.

One could argue that these pieces of equipment weren't really needed and are just boondoggles to bring money to Congressmen's states (although some would assert that the military actually needs that equipment, and is less-prepared without it).  OTOH, one could also argue that spending it on a wall that can be climbed over, dug under, cut through or blown over by the wind is as much a boondoggle, if not more.

But however you slice it, Trump is taking fighting equipment away from our military to fund his pet project.

One wonders what gives him the right to reallocate funds from Congress as he sees fit.  Doesn't the Constitution give Congress the power of the purse?  At this rate, Congress might as well just write him a check and tell him to spend it as he will.  It doesn't matter how Congress intended the funds to be spent.  :(


Seriati

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Re: Live It Off the Wall
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2020, 11:47:17 AM »
It'd be nice if Congress actually funded the border wall in the amount needed to secure the border.   Or you know actually worked on bi-partisan legislation to control the border and rationalize immigration.

Hardly going to get bent out of shape over this, I'm assuming notwithstanding the gripes, that it's actually permitted under the relevant rules.

Crunch

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Re: Live It Off the Wall
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2020, 12:02:56 PM »
It's amazing to see Trump turn the left into pro-military, war hawks.

LetterRip

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Re: Live It Off the Wall
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2020, 12:17:24 PM »
It'd be nice if Congress actually funded the border wall in the amount needed to secure the border.

Asylum seekers already predominantly tunnel or go over existing walls.  More wall isn't needed in locations they aren't already at because it is too inconvenient to go to those locations to cross, and asylum seekers only need to enter the US and then wait for customs and border control.

Also illegal immigrants can largely do visa overstays, or fly north and then enter via the northern border, or simply pay to go through a tunnel.

So it is completely pointless to add more border wall.


yossarian22c

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Re: Live It Off the Wall
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2020, 12:24:35 PM »
Hardly going to get bent out of shape over this, I'm assuming notwithstanding the gripes, that it's actually permitted under the relevant rules.

I think Trump is using his national emergency declaration in order to reallocate funds. Congress voted (by a majority) to nullify it but Trump vetoed it and there weren't enough votes to override the veto.

So Trump is opposing the will of a bi-partisan majority of congress but is basically exploiting a loophole in existing law to get this done this way. But you are correct in that it is technically legal.

Crunch

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Re: Live It Off the Wall
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2020, 12:38:56 PM »
Congress has spent decades ceding its authority to the executive branch. If Trump can get them to pull it back, that would be another great win for him and America.

NobleHunter

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Re: Live It Off the Wall
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2020, 12:47:57 PM »
Congress has spent decades ceding its authority to the executive branch. If Trump can get them to pull it back, that would be another great win for him and America.

Yes it would, too bad so much of the GOP and their supporters are busy cheering for everything Trump does.

Wayward Son

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Re: Live It Off the Wall
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2020, 01:24:00 PM »
Congress has spent decades ceding its authority to the executive branch. If Trump can get them to pull it back, that would be another great win for him and America.

So you consider abusing Presidential authority to the point of nearly breaking the Constitution, so much so that Congress is forced to take away authority from the Presidency (if they can! ::) ) as a "win" for Trump??  :o

No wonder the Republican party is so screwed up!  ::)

TheDeamon

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Re: Live It Off the Wall
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2020, 01:49:02 PM »
The Trump Administration has announced the diversion of another $3.8 billion from the military to build his wall.

Quote
The Trump administration plans to sap money intended to build fighter jets, ships, vehicles and National Guard equipment in order to fund barriers on the U.S.-Mexico border, the Pentagon told Congress on Thursday, a move that has agitated Democrats and even drawn condemnation from a top House Republican.

The surprise reprogramming of another $3.8 billion, transmitted to Congress and provided to POLITICO, means the Pentagon will have forked over nearly $10 billion since last year to help pay for President Donald Trump's border wall.

But this shift in funding marks a new phase for the administration, which until now had used money set for military construction and counterdrug operations, not combat equipment. The fiscal 2020 money will be moved into drug interdiction accounts that the Pentagon tapped last year to fund border barrier projects...

The money will be drawn from a host of procurement accounts, many of which are popular on Capitol Hill. The move includes a cut of two Marine Corps F-35B fighter jets at a cost of $223 million; $100 million from the Army National Guard's Humvee modernization program; $650 million cut from the Navy's amphibious assault ship replacement; and $261 million from the Expeditionary Fast Transport ship. The reprogramming also trimmed two Air Force C-130J transport aircraft for a cut of $196 million and $180 million from the service's light attack aircraft program.

The Pentagon also sapped an extra $1.3 billion from National Guard and Reserve equipment accounts, for which Congress has typically sought to allocate increased funding.

One could argue that these pieces of equipment weren't really needed and are just boondoggles to bring money to Congressmen's states (although some would assert that the military actually needs that equipment, and is less-prepared without it).  OTOH, one could also argue that spending it on a wall that can be climbed over, dug under, cut through or blown over by the wind is as much a boondoggle, if not more.

But however you slice it, Trump is taking fighting equipment away from our military to fund his pet project.

One wonders what gives him the right to reallocate funds from Congress as he sees fit.  Doesn't the Constitution give Congress the power of the purse?  At this rate, Congress might as well just write him a check and tell him to spend it as he will.  It doesn't matter how Congress intended the funds to be spent.  :(

A one yer funding delay for most of those procurement programs isn't going to make or break the US Military. If it continues for another 4 more years, that may be another matter.

That said, seems to be a calculated and well executed political move by the Trump Admin. He diverted funding from politically popular programs involving DoD, which will elicit commentary in the relevant districts, and commenting on it is unavoidable without bringing up border security as well. Something which polls well across party lines for both parties, but something the DNC does not support.

He just created a ready-made campaign issue for Republicans, they can campaign on funding both the border wall and the Military, not just one of them. While Democrats are stuck trying to explain why they don't want to fund either one of them(if not defund both).

Wayward Son

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Re: Live It Off the Wall
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2020, 02:02:46 PM »
What makes you think Congress will be able to fund either of them, once Trump gets his hands on the money?  ;)

Seriati

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Re: Live It Off the Wall
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2020, 03:24:07 PM »
It'd be nice if Congress actually funded the border wall in the amount needed to secure the border.

Asylum seekers already predominantly tunnel or go over existing walls.  More wall isn't needed in locations they aren't already at because it is too inconvenient to go to those locations to cross, and asylum seekers only need to enter the US and then wait for customs and border control.

Also illegal immigrants can largely do visa overstays, or fly north and then enter via the northern border, or simply pay to go through a tunnel.

So it is completely pointless to add more border wall.

I've refuted this more than once.  Suffice to say, Congress should allocate sufficient funds to secure the border, to provide adequate safe facilities to end catch and release and to remove the backlog on illegal immigration cases.

I'd also like to see them reform the process around legal immigration so it can be handled much more rationally than the semi-draconian process we run today.

But repeating nonsense about opposing the border wall isn't going to magically may it more true this time.

Congress has spent decades ceding its authority to the executive branch. If Trump can get them to pull it back, that would be another great win for him and America.

So you consider abusing Presidential authority to the point of nearly breaking the Constitution, so much so that Congress is forced to take away authority from the Presidency (if they can! ::) ) as a "win" for Trump??  :o

No.  He views Congress taking back authority it never should have delegated in the first place as a win for the country.  But it's only a win if we reduce the administrative state in toto, otherwise we end up with a President that can't control it and a Congress that won't and no political accountability from those who actually rule our lives.

In any event, hard to see why you'd be upset, nothing Trump has done remotely hits the level of creating DACA out of whole cloth and that still doesn't bother you.  Nor does any abuse of power by Trump come close to the abuse of power inherent in district court justices issuing national injunctions and orders whereby they personally usurp the power of the President.

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No wonder the Republican party is so screwed up!  ::)

Thanks for you concern, I think the party is doing fine, it's just most of the political class that is screwed up and ineffective (but thank goodness they're nowhere near as bad as the Dem's political class, which is treasonous to boot).

LetterRip

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Re: Live It Off the Wall
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2020, 04:00:03 PM »
I've refuted this more than once.  Suffice to say, Congress should allocate sufficient funds to secure the border, to provide adequate safe facilities to end catch and release and to remove the backlog on illegal immigration cases.

You've yet to do a 'refutation'.  I don't think you've even done basic attempts at refuting it, let alone made a solid arguement that would convince someone of reasonable skepticism.

Wayward Son

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Re: Live It Off the Wall
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2020, 04:30:39 PM »
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In any event, hard to see why you'd be upset, nothing Trump has done remotely hits the level of creating DACA out of whole cloth and that still doesn't bother you.

Which Constitutional power did Obama break by creating DACA (which comes down to not enforcing a law to its fullest extent)?

Now which Constitutional power did Trump usurp by taking money allocated for a certain program and using it for another?

Sorry, but usurping Congress' power of the purse is much worse than not fully enforcing a law against a group of people who were not responsible for breaking it.  I really have to wonder why you have the importance of these backwards.

Crunch

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Re: Live It Off the Wall
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2020, 04:50:12 PM »
Congress has spent decades ceding its authority to the executive branch. If Trump can get them to pull it back, that would be another great win for him and America.

So you consider abusing Presidential authority to the point of nearly breaking the Constitution, so much so that Congress is forced to take away authority from the Presidency (if they can! ::) ) as a "win" for Trump??  :o

No wonder the Republican party is so screwed up!  ::)

No. Of course you mischaracterize my words. Without straw man arguments, you got nothing.

Wayward Son

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Re: Live It Off the Wall
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2020, 06:00:14 PM »
Congress has spent decades ceding its authority to the executive branch. If Trump can get them to pull it back, that would be another great win for him and America.

So you consider abusing Presidential authority to the point of nearly breaking the Constitution, so much so that Congress is forced to take away authority from the Presidency (if they can! ::) ) as a "win" for Trump??  :o

No wonder the Republican party is so screwed up!  ::)

No. Of course you mischaracterize my words. Without straw man arguments, you got nothing.

Well, when there was nothing in the original post, you can't expect much more in the comment. :)

And although I know it is useless to say, why don't you explain to me what you thought you were saying, instead of just dismissing my understanding of your words.  Because I don't believe I mischaracterized the meaning of your words at all.

Seriati

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Re: Live It Off the Wall
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2020, 06:19:39 PM »
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In any event, hard to see why you'd be upset, nothing Trump has done remotely hits the level of creating DACA out of whole cloth and that still doesn't bother you.

Which Constitutional power did Obama break by creating DACA (which comes down to not enforcing a law to its fullest extent)?

By creation of DACA he refused to enforce the laws, created an entitlement program, created a status right  (which derivatively spent money on a host of other programs without Congressional approval).  he violated the separation of powers, he usurped the power of the legislative branch to make law, he ignored his oath of office by directly undermining the faithful execution of the law.  All of which is just off the top of my head, though the question you drafted is incorrectly about "Consitutional powers" rather than just the Constitution.

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Now which Constitutional power did Trump usurp by taking money allocated for a certain program and using it for another?

Probably none.  However, Congress could have limited his ability to act in such a manner had they not deliberately chosen to provide flexibility to reallocate certain funds within certain constraints.  Then he would have been violating their Constitutional control of the nation's purse.

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Sorry, but usurping Congress' power of the purse is much worse than not fully enforcing a law against a group of people who were not responsible for breaking it.  I really have to wonder why you have the importance of these backwards.

I don't.  You've just lied to yourself about what actually happened.  If Trump allocated $500 billion to build a giant statue of Trump, he'd be violating the Constitution.  If he uses a Congressionaly provided authority to discretionarily reallocate funds he hasn't.    He's literally just spending the money in the way Congress permitted.

There's no question that you'd flip your lid if he decided, for example, to declare that the DOJ would no longer be enforcing say laws against election interference.  There is no legitimate discretion to enact DACA, through which the President unilaterally rewrote and violated the laws of the US.

Kelcimer

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Re: Live It Off the Wall
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2020, 11:27:44 PM »
Hello LetterRip!

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So it is completely pointless to add more border wall.

I think it is effective, but, putting effectiveness to one side, there is still reason to do it. The American people have been promised a wall for decades and we need comprehensive immigration reform. In order to have the credibility with the American people to do comprehensive immigration reform, then we need a wall.

There is also a dilemma for the left between an unlimited welfare state on one hand and unlimited illegal immigration on the other. Unlimited illegal immigration helps flood our welfare state and makes it more unsustainable (than it already is). By controlling our southern border we make the welfare state more sustainable. If you lean left, then you should really decide which one is more important to you.

Crunch

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Re: Live It Off the Wall
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2020, 07:47:58 AM »
Congress has spent decades ceding its authority to the executive branch. If Trump can get them to pull it back, that would be another great win for him and America.

So you consider abusing Presidential authority to the point of nearly breaking the Constitution, so much so that Congress is forced to take away authority from the Presidency (if they can! ::) ) as a "win" for Trump??  :o

No wonder the Republican party is so screwed up!  ::)

No. Of course you mischaracterize my words. Without straw man arguments, you got nothing.

Well, when there was nothing in the original post, you can't expect much more in the comment. :)

And although I know it is useless to say, why don't you explain to me what you thought you were saying, instead of just dismissing my understanding of your words.  Because I don't believe I mischaracterized the meaning of your words at all.

Seriati got it, please read his post. Then, make up whatever you want again so you have something easy to respond to. You’re gonna do that anyway. It’s logical fallacies all the way down with you.

Fenring

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Re: Live It Off the Wall
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2020, 11:37:25 PM »
But however you slice it, Trump is taking fighting equipment away from our military to fund his pet project.

Not that I agree with Crunch's general comments in this thread, but the one thing he did mention is the first thing I thought of as well, which is that we have come to a bizarre place where a left-leaning person is upset that the military is having its budget reduced. Not that every liberal is required to believe precisely what every other one is, but it strikes me as historically standard for liberal people to prefer peaceful international relations, while right-wing people believe more strongly in the strong military to create the peace. Both sides may have their strengths, but adopting a position that the military's budget must not be touched for new projects feels like an ad hoc position to me. Can you really say you generally believe this proposition, or is it only in this case because it's Trump doing it for a project that you think is stupid?

If you really are for reducing the military's budget, shouldn't you be happy for this to happen for any reason at all?

Crunch

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Re: Live It Off the Wall
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2020, 07:41:06 AM »
No, because this whole thing is through the lens of orange man bad. If Trump discovered the cure for cancer, a thread would be immediately started about how Trump has denied us the right to die from cancer and we should all be outraged that Trump would do such a horrific thing.

Trump Derangement Syndrome is a form of insanity.

yossarian22c

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Re: Live It Off the Wall
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2020, 08:29:07 AM »
It'd be nice if Congress actually funded the border wall in the amount needed to secure the border.   Or you know actually worked on bi-partisan legislation to control the border and rationalize immigration.

This happened about 2 years ago - I think there was 25 billion on the table for boarder security with bi-partisan support but then Trump pulled the plug at the last minute.

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Hardly going to get bent out of shape over this, I'm assuming notwithstanding the gripes, that it's actually permitted under the relevant rules.

Would you get bent out of shape if instead of a border wall the money was being redirected to build rehap centers for opioid epidemic? What about affordable housing to eliminate homelessness? There are lots of things that can be declared a national emergency. I'm hoping both sides in congress get their act together and remove that power from the president (or at least change the law where the president doesn't get to veto their override of an emergency declaration.) Even when used to do "good" things this kind of national policy making and spending is not in line with the intent of our constitution.

Seriati

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Re: Live It Off the Wall
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2020, 10:58:50 AM »
It'd be nice if Congress actually funded the border wall in the amount needed to secure the border.   Or you know actually worked on bi-partisan legislation to control the border and rationalize immigration.

This happened about 2 years ago - I think there was 25 billion on the table for boarder security with bi-partisan support but then Trump pulled the plug at the last minute.

At this point $25 billion wouldn't be close to enough to do what I said.  And I got no problem with Trump not buying poison pills from the Democrats, even if Republicans in Congress get on board (in limited numbers).

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Hardly going to get bent out of shape over this, I'm assuming notwithstanding the gripes, that it's actually permitted under the relevant rules.

Would you get bent out of shape if instead of a border wall the money was being redirected to build rehap centers for opioid epidemic?

I'd like us to fund rehab centers, but not the ones where they give free drugs, which I've seen operate and they only make the problem worse.

Not sure if defense department funds make sense to allocate that way, but happy to see federal funds that can be reallocated from waste to fund those.

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What about affordable housing to eliminate homelessness?

That's based on a false premise.  There's plenty of affordable housing and we have homelessness.

I do not support creating artificially underpriced housing in the most expensive areas in the country, which has never worked to reduce homelessness. 

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There are lots of things that can be declared a national emergency. I'm hoping both sides in congress get their act together and remove that power from the president (or at least change the law where the president doesn't get to veto their override of an emergency declaration.) Even when used to do "good" things this kind of national policy making and spending is not in line with the intent of our constitution.

Which oddly, was Crunch's point, so you should agree with him.  Congress over delegated to the President.

ScottF

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Re: Live It Off the Wall
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2020, 11:17:43 AM »
What about affordable housing to eliminate homelessness?

It's nuts how many people think that the answer to homelessness is affordable housing, or that homelessness could ever be "eliminated" in a free society. There's a huge portion of homeless (over 60% from some of what I've read) who refuse to live in shelters or other housing. Mostly because they are either A. substance abusers who can't/won't abide by rules, or B. have mental illness and choose the street/tent.

I think there's definitely a discussion to be had around affordable housing, but offering rows and rows of lovely little homes to the homeless wouldn't eliminate anything other than the aesthetics of the neighborhood.

Seriati

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Re: Live It Off the Wall
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2020, 02:04:24 PM »
I remember taking the train into Baltimore and passing through an entire neighborhood where less than 1 in 10 houses was occupied.  The affordable housing was so unsafe that almost no one would live in the neighborhood.  It's kind of hard to solve that problem, when you also oppose things to make those neighborhoods safe.

Wayward Son

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Re: Live It Off the Wall
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2020, 04:47:52 PM »
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Now which Constitutional power did Trump usurp by taking money allocated for a certain program and using it for another?

Probably none.  However, Congress could have limited his ability to act in such a manner had they not deliberately chosen to provide flexibility to reallocate certain funds within certain constraints.  Then he would have been violating their Constitutional control of the nation's purse.

Really?  He had the "flexibility to reallocate certain funds within certain constraints?"

What were those constraints?  What was the authorization that Congress had given him to reallocate the funds?

Certainly not 10 U.S. Code § 2808, which only allows him to reallocate military construction projects.  So what is it?

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If Trump allocated $500 billion to build a giant statue of Trump, he'd be violating the Constitution.

And what makes you think this isn't just a monument to Donald J. Trump?  After all, it won't prevent illegal immigrants from entering the country.  So what else is it good for?  ;D

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There's no question that you'd flip your lid if he decided, for example, to declare that the DOJ would no longer be enforcing say laws against election interference.  There is no legitimate discretion to enact DACA, through which the President unilaterally rewrote and violated the laws of the US.

I assume (hope?) that you'd flip your lid, too, if laws against election interference were ignored.  I just hope we won't have to test that theory. :(

But, once again, he didn't "rewrite" laws.  He decided not to fully enforce an unjust law.  The laws are still on the books.  Trump can enforce those laws whenever he pleases.  (Or at least when the courts, the final arbiters of the laws, decide he can. :) )  So while you are quite certain Obama broke the law in enacting DACA, the courts have not agreed so far.

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Not that every liberal is required to believe precisely what every other one is, but it strikes me as historically standard for liberal people to prefer peaceful international relations, while right-wing people believe more strongly in the strong military to create the peace. ... Can you really say you generally believe this proposition, or is it only in this case because it's Trump doing it for a project that you think is stupid?

If you really are for reducing the military's budget, shouldn't you be happy for this to happen for any reason at all?

To answer your second question, no, I am not happy and shouldn't be.  Misusing his power to re-appropriate funds is a bad precedent, especially to use for a pet project that has very little benefit.  I would also object if money allocated by Congress for military equipment was used to build a high-speed railway.

What amazes me is that no one seems to mind when Trump does it.

And, personally, I do believe a strong military is necessary to keep the peace.  But it is not sufficient in and of itself to keep the peace.  Diplomacy and soft-power are also necessary, and better used.  But we need a strong military for last-ditch defense of our country.

It's when it's used as or considered to be the first response that I object to.

Wayward Son

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Re: Live It Off the Wall
« Reply #25 on: February 18, 2020, 04:48:45 PM »
No, because this whole thing is through the lens of orange man bad. If Trump discovered the cure for cancer, a thread would be immediately started about how Trump has denied us the right to die from cancer and we should all be outraged that Trump would do such a horrific thing.

Trump Derangement Syndrome is a form of insanity.

You have said that I have TDS in the past, Crunch.  Do I understand you to mean that I am insane?  ???