A year after the US Supreme Court overturned a stay on border wall construction opponents are back. They are worried that “the Trump administration could finish the wall before the court even decides whether to take up the case on the merits. “
Almost a year ago to the day, the US Supreme Court rescinded a stay on building America’s Souther Border wall. A lower court had blocked construction until the legal matters were resolved. SCOTUS voted to let it continue until the case was resolved. On Friday, they doubled down. Construction can continue using unspent funds diverted by DHS from other divisions within its oversight.
Those dollars are the appropriated billions languishing unused in budgets. Money that would have been spent by someone on something, even if we didn’t need it, to ensure they didn’t get their budget cut. The rule for all government-funded agencies or entities is to spend it all. Buy warehouses full of widgets if you must. You’ll never be able to make a case for an increase if you don’t use up the money they sent you already.
And so we watch as budgets bloat with calls for level funding harped and hawked as draconian cuts.
Yes, the Left hates the border wall and not just because Trump promised it. It physically interferes with their open borders, flood the US with future Dem voter-strategy. But it also messes with the bloat. If presidents can freely reallocate unspent resources (your money) between agencies to cover real costs (emergencies) or to backstop personal priorities, the endless budget bloat could suffer. Or?
While some might think Trump’s move is okay because they like the outcome, the precedent emboldens all future chief Executives to do the same thing – for any reason they could imagine – to fund things advocates of the current allocation could find abhorrent. A move they might use to justify new and improved bloat alongside replacing the dollars they took.
While I like the idea of stemming illegal border crossings (and every other nation in the world agrees with me when it is their borders), I’m inclined to oppose reallocation. It is the same thinking that informs many of my objections to how New Hampshire (and other states) used the COVID19 scare to deny citizens their constitutionally protected rights arbitrarily. Just because you agree (or want to defend the official doing the deed or the deed itself) does not make it right or even legal.
The rule of law, and all that.
Our state constitution does not recognize public health as a right to be protected. It, therefore, follows that any emergency order based on a desire to protect it that infringes on other rights is unconstitutional. And any law crafted as an end-around would be unconstitutional as well. Not that we have a shortage of those or of people who are indifferent to such infringements.
We should write down what we’re going to do, and then do that. If we decide that we should be doing something else, we should write that down instead, and do it. But what we should never do is write down that we’re going to do one thing, then do something else, and pretend that they are the same.
There is a lot of make-believe in government at every level, with a people increasingly indifferent to the problem. The logical conclusion to this is a government that does whatever it wants at the expense of a people with no means to stop it. A government that controls its people instead of a people that controls its government.