Trump Attempts to Excuse Shutdown


Trump gives his Oval Office address on January 8.

Jack Ezell, Sports Editor

President Donald Trump addressed the public a few days ago on the subject of the recent government shutdown due to Congress’s unwillingness to pass his major ideas on border control. One such idea from these bills requires the funds for a 30-foot barrier across the Mexican-American border.

Because Trump misinformed the public, insisted for a barrier that could never live up to its purpose, and spewed ignorance towards government employees that suffer from the shutdown, Trump should end the shutdown, speak clearly and honestly on the subject of illegal immigration, and refrain from biased and misinformed language in his address to the nation on political issues.

The shutdown Trump imposed has taken away the paychecks of government employees. 420,000 federal employees currently work without pay. Because of this, these employees will technically count as part of the unemployment percentage, which increases it. Despite the unpredictability of the length of the shutdown, employees must still work to secure their career once the shutdown ends. Trump has recently insisted that “these people that aren’t getting paid right now are in total agreement with us.” Trump’s statement reflects his ignorance to the effect of his policies. One Security & Exchange Commission employee Drew O’Brien stated that “federal employees did not ask for [their] agencies to shut down, [and they] certainly do not want to be a bargaining chip in a parlor game for Congress or the administration.” It remains overly apparent that the majority of government employees do not support the shutdown, and they certainly do not put the blame on Democrats. As long as Trump remains uncooperative, these employees will suffer worse and suffer harder consequences for a choice they did not make.

Throughout the speech, Trump misinformed thousands of Americans watching. For instance, the statement that “there is a growing humanitarian and security crisis at the border,” remains one of the greatest examples of the address. Thanks to the increased security after the 9/11 attacks and decreased migration rates from Mexico, the number of border apprehensions across the border barely exceeded 300,000, which gives 2018 the lowest amount of apprehensions in the past 46 years. Trump also stated that 20,000 migrant children “are used as human pawns by vicious coyotes and ruthless gangs.” While the number of children remains correct, the fallacy lies in the “human pawns” statement. Border control usually finds them part of a measured family unit (one man, one woman, one child) or simply unaccompanied, which makes this statement a baseless claim meant to fuel his appeal to the public. One of the most untruthful statements from Trump claims that the wall “would very quickly pay for itself” and that the “cost of illegal drugs exceeds $500 billion a year, vastly more than the $5.7 billion we have requested from Congress.” Most studies show that it may take around 20 years to pay back the price of the wall, while others say only a few. No one has stated it would take less than a year. Trump’s calculations, while not entirely fallacious, fail to take into effect the number of immigrants that the wall will not stop.

Trump, in order to give government employees the pay they need to live and to properly address the problem (not crisis) of immigration, must stop the government shutdown so the United States Government can have proper discourse on the subject of illegal immigration.