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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

 
Trump's latest creative accounting proposal

by digby




Has there ever been anyone in government,much less a president, who is as blindly ignorant about the basic system of government as Donald Trump? Apparently, he thinks that because he got so much money for the military in his budget that he can just siphon off some to build his wall because well ... they have more than they need.Dear God.

Seriously, he is that dumb:

Trump, who told advisers he was spurned in a large spending bill last week when lawmakers appropriated only $1.6 billion for the border wall, has begun suggesting that the Pentagon could fund the sprawling construction, citing a “national security” risk.

After floating the notion to several advisers last week, he told House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) that the military should pay for the wall, according to three people familiar with the meeting Wednesday in the White House residence. Ryan offered little reaction to the notion, these people said, but senior Capitol Hill officials later said it was an unlikely prospect.

The individuals spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk freely about private discussions.

In another such interaction with senior aides last week, Trump noted that the Defense Department was getting so much money as part of the $1.3 trillion spending package that the Pentagon could surely afford the border wall, two White House officials said. The Pentagon received about $700 billion in the spending package, which Trump repeatedly lauded as “historic.”

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said the omnibus spending bill President Trump signed into law is a "down payment on a border wall system." (The Washington Post)

Meanwhile, the $1.6 billion in the bill for some fencing and levees on the border not only fell far short of the $25 billion that Trump was seeking, but it came with tight restrictions on how the money can be spent.

It would be unlikely for the military to fund the wall, according to White House and Defense Department officials. The president has suggested to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis that his department, instead of the Department of Homeland Security, could fund the construction, two Trump advisers said.

The Pentagon has plenty of money, but reprogramming it for a wall would require votes in Congress that the president does not seem to have. Taking money from the current 2018 budget for the wall would require an act of Congress, said a senior Pentagon official.

To find the money in the 2019 defense budget, Trump would have to submit a budget amendment that would still require 60 votes in the Senate, the official said.

No kidding!The budget of the United States of America is not like the Trump organization's monthly accounts payable. He can't just decide that paying for Ivanka's outstanding sweatshop bill is more important this month than paying his janitors like he usually does.

He's not getting any better, people. He is just as ignorant and obtuse as he was the day he was inaugurated.

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