The latest utterance from Dear Leader:
The Democrats and President Obama gave Iran 150 Billion Dollars and got nothing, but they can’t give 5 Billion Dollars for National Security and a Wall?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2018
Presumably Trump is referring to a $400 million transaction which was the first payment of a settlement in the amount of $1.7 billion. Trump’s number is about 88 times the actual dollar amount. Moreover, this was Iran’s money. We owed this since 1979.
At the Hague, Iran was seeking $10 billion which could have been awarded. The United States respects international law (at least we used to) so Obama got a pretty good deal.
Equally important is the fact that these two things have nothing to do with each other.
The economic logic is non-existent. The US deficit in 2016 was $548 billion. In the current fiscal year, which began in October, the projected deficit is $1.1 trillion. Corporate tax revenues have declined about 30% since the last tax cut while revenues from individuals increased by about 8% as more people got to work.
We are much closer to the end of the economic cycle than the beginning. We could see pre-Obama unemployment rates. We are perilously close to a yield inversion (short term interest rates greater than long term interest rates). When the economy turns (which is inevitable — every cycle comes to an end), more Americans will require government assistance while tax revenues decline.
Building a wall to fulfill an idiotic campaign promise is a waste of billions of dollars. It serves no rational purpose. Most undocumented immigrants enter the country legally and overstay their visas. Trump’s own DEA claims that most drugs enter the country secreted in various vehicles.
I have to wonder if Trump has a personal economic interest in a wall.