While on the 2016 campaign trail a common quote of Candidate Trump was, “Mexico is going to pay for the wall.”
Yet, President Trump has reneged on that promise. If he were to speak truthfully, he would be saying that U.S. taxpayers and states will pay for the wall. Sadly, Wisconsin is one of the states paying the most. In order to build his vanity project, Trump has repeatedly shifted appropriated funds away from key sectors, including the military. This week was no different.
Earlier this month, President Trump issued a ‘reprogramming notice’ that stated he will shift nearly four billion dollars from the Pentagon to funding the border wall. Included in this funding shift was $101 million that was earmarked for Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
Oshkosh Defense, a tactical vehicle manufacturer located in Oshkosh, was slated to receive the money in order to build heavy wheeled defense vehicles for the U.S. Army.
Manufacturing is one of the most important sectors for economic growth in Wisconsin. By reversing funding for Oshkosh Defense, Trump has once again hurt local employment, the Wisconsin economy and trampled over his predecessors’ norms.
He has also hurt his credibility. One statement this article intends to fact check is his campaign slogan — “Promises made, promises kept.”
President Trump, on several occasions, declared Mexico would be paying for the wall. Yet U.S. taxpayer money is being shifted to pay for the wall, while Mexico has rightfully declared they will do no such thing.
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This latest funding shift highlights the fact that President Trump does not have the best interests of Wisconsin, or the United States, on his mind. President Trump has repeatedly disregarded budget deals to funnel money towards his grand vanity project.
Republicans claim to be the party of fiscal responsibility. Yet, in an effort to fund the border wall, President Trump has seemingly abandoned all fiscal responsibility — hurting local communities, workers and taxpayers with reckless abandon.
While $101 million may seem like a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of things, $101 million to local communities like Oshkosh ensures that Wisconsinites have jobs, can afford to pay their bills and have an opportunity to grow. This latest attempt to shift money goes to show that this President seeks to grow his ‘legacy’ at the expense of local communities and states.
The money that was earmarked for the Pentagon had been debated, researched and agreed on by military leaders, contractors and various experts. For a President who is seemingly concerned with national security, moving billions of dollars away from national security to a wall makes little to no sense.
Oshkosh Defense is just one of many businesses in the state that have been negatively impacted by Trump Administration policies. The dairy industry, one of the key sectors for the state, has been ravaged by the ongoing Trade War with China, as nearly 10% of dairy businesses have shut down in 2019. President Trump does not have the same set of values or policy goals as when he was a candidate.
Trumpian policies or decisions never seem to be rooted in sense, logic or thought. This has cost Wisconsin dearly — $101 million and 10% of dairy farms are already down the drain. Wisconsinites must realize the danger they are in and start holding this Administration in check. Otherwise, affairs will only worsen for local communities such as Oshkosh, Wisconsin at-large, and the United States as a whole.
William Keenan ([email protected]) is a senior studying political science.