Charlie: Those of us who voted in 2016 were told unequivocally by candidate Donald J. Trump, that if he was elected, he promised that he would build a wall along the Mexican-American border, and, that the cost would be totally funded by the Mexican government. Some of the electorate believed that, and accordingly they voted for Trump.
Bill: Many times we vote for the candidate that tells us what we would like to believe is possible. Often what we think is possible turns out to be impossible, even at the local level. This is the year that we will pick who will be the Huntingdon County Commissioners for the next four years.
County Commissioner candidates are visible enough to the voters in the county that most people can talk to them face to face. They can ask them what they mean by their campaign slogans and specifically how they plan on fulfilling their campaign promises. If you do talk to them, listen carefully to what they say. Better yet, listen carefully to what they don’t say.
Charlie: Ever since his election, Trump has talked and tweeted about the wall, but his ability to live up to his promise to fund the cost of that wall through the Mexican government has disappeared. Trump told us that he was a canny businessman, and that despite his four bankruptcies and other financial fiascos, he can make deals that would conform to his promises. As of today, no one, including Trump, has provided us with any information about the deal he was to make with the Mexican government to fund the wall Trump told us he would build.
Bill: Even at the local level we often hear candidates tell us that they will prevent an increase in taxes by cutting the waste, fraud and abuse in spending our tax dollars. They never seem to give any details as to what they think the waste, fraud and abuse is they are planning on cutting. It does sound convincing on the ads and their handouts that we read that finally someone will stop the wasteful spending of our tax money.
Charlie: Now, we are being told that he has applied to the United States government for the funding.
And, at least so far, no one who works for us has responded that our government would do so. Thank goodness, since none of us, including those who voted for Trump, wanted us to have to pay for this. He was elected to fund the wall by getting the money from Mexico, not the U.S. Trump is now doing is what is called in the consumer fraud world, as “bait and switch”—which is illegal. And we all know from Trump’s sterling reputation that he would not want to do anything illegal. Right?
Bill: Not many years ago we heard a candidate for county commissioner tell us during the campaign they would not go back to the taxpayers for more money. That lasted until the next budget year and then they voted for a tax increase. There have also been county commissioners spend millions of dollars on new projects without spending cuts in other areas and would not increase the tax revenues to cover the costs.
That puts the county in the fiscal position of borrow and spend, which is worse than tax and spend.
Charlie: We now hear there is a last-ditch effort to highjack the money from the pockets of the gullible.
Trump is starting a fundraiser so that those who want the wall must make a direct contribution to that fund. Fortunately, that means those of us who are smart enough to not fall for this bait and switch, will not have to contribute—only the gullible. Of course, we all know what became of the Trump Charity Fund which was recently closed-down by New York state. He had pillaged it and used the fund to pay off shady dealings, and, support his presidential campaign. That money must be paid back, just like the money he had to pay back for the fraudulent Trump University situation.
Bill: I doubt if many would make a voluntary contribution to the county or the state or the nation to help cover the cost of operating the government. Unless a majority of the voters are willing to accept a significantly smaller government that provides fewer services for “We the People,” we need to be ready for one of two things to happen. We need to be willing to pay the total cost of operating the government or we need to be willing to continue passing the cost of operating the government onto our grandchildren.
If anyone is wondering why I would say something like that, they should look at the increasing amount of debt at the different levels of government. The debt is increasing, something needs to change. Who will win this standoff?
Charlie: For those of you who still want to contribute, please make sure that at the time you send your check or cash you are wearing your Make America Great Again ball cap. Those of us who adhere to the mantra of the late P. T. Barnum, want to know who the suckers are. It appears the Mexicans are smarter than we are!
Charles Bierbach can be reached at email@example.com.
Bill Hoover can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.