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为何川普不惜代价一定要修墙?因为他知道时间不多了




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12/26/2018

为何川普不惜代价一定要修墙?因为他知道时间不多了

美国总统特朗普为了50亿美元美墨边境墙预算,不惜让政府关门,是有民意基础的。据彭博援引12月中旬进行的Quinnipiac调查显示,尽管54%的美国选民反对修建美墨边境墙,但86%的共和党人赞成这样做。

特朗普希望在1月3日民主党入主众议院之前,利用共和党掌控参众两院的优势,抢时间通过建墙预算。为此,特朗普已经放话不惜让政府关门。为何这堵边境墙如此重要?因为边境墙事关移民问题,而移民问题对特朗普2020年能否连任总统至关重要。

移民是美国繁荣的重要因素,但也被认为是美国严重社会问题的根源。不受控制的移民,衍生了一系列复杂的问题:失业、犯罪、毒品泛滥……支持特朗普的选民对社会堕落现象深恶痛绝,对遭受的经济不公待遇极度不满,特朗普能当选,正是因为有这个社会基础。

更关键的是,随着移民的不断涌入,非西班牙裔白人在美国总人口的比例不断下降,预计到2050年将低于50%,民族、种族融合产生了严重的身份认同危机,“我们是谁”是未来美国社会必须要回答的问题,尤其是共和党的核心支持者。

2016年,13%的选民将身份认同危机列为首要关切的问题,到了2018年中期选举这一比例上升到23%,帮助共和党在印第安纳州、密苏里州和北达科他州的参议员选举中获胜。

如果特朗普不能履行建墙承诺,连任前景将受影响。彭博社援引克莱蒙特麦肯纳学院(Claremont McKenna College)政治学教授 Jack Pitney 说,对于特朗普的支持者来说,这堵墙是有形的,可以隔绝犯罪、毒品和廉价劳动力。

但是,在11月中期选举中,特朗普希望借拉美北上的非法移民——“大篷车”来吸引选票,并没有达到预期。



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当初,特朗普靠着总共80,000普选票的优势,赢得了宾夕法尼亚州、威斯康星州和密歇根州的选举人票,但是,这一次民主党人在这三个州的参议员和州长选举中获胜,还获得了多个众议院席位。民主党主攻郊区和种族多样化的众议院选区,重新夺回众议院的控制权。

对于特朗普来说,拿到预算修好美墨边境墙,是2020年大选获胜的重要前提。一来,是为了防止更多的移民涌入,这些移民一般而言不会是特朗普的基本盘;二来,履行选举承诺,巩固支持者。

同时,特朗普还希望在2020人口普查中加入国籍问题,这是70年来首次,特朗普政府这一举动,已经遭到数十个州和城市的反对。

这一调查将可能导致无证移民及其亲属因此避填普查表格,以免被联邦政府获取他们并非美国公民的资料。如果这些移民都回避人口普查,共和党将获得更大的政治好处,将政治权力转给了更偏远、历史上更保守的地区(这些地区主要支持共和党)。结果就是,像加州和佛州等移民人口越来越多的州,其国会席位数反而会减少。

所以,无论是修建边境墙还是人口普查中加入国籍调查,核心还是选票,特朗普剩下的两年任期里尽可能为连任增加胜算,巩固自己的基本盘,同时减少对手的选票,这堵墙至关重要。






    
   
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12/26/2018

The Key to 2020: Trump's Border Wall

By Rovvy Lepor

In the final weeks of this Republican-controlled Congress, likely the last significant accomplishment will be passage of the remaining seven spending bills in the 2019 budget.  Notably, this includes funding for the border wall.  The Republican Party and leadership must choose whether to embrace conservative values or irrationally and unnecessarily capitulate to a liberal agenda wholly at odds with what Republicans campaign for when running for office.  If the remaining spending bills are faithful to conservative values, they could be a catalyst for a successful 2020 election for Republicans.  If they are a capitulation, it could be the impetus for failure.

President Trump's centerpiece in his successful run for president was his no-nonsense position on serious immigration reform and building the border wall.  In fact, the border wall was – and remains – a rallying cry for many millions of his supporters.  These supporters were unhappy with the way both Republicans and Democrats have engaged on the issue of immigration reform and border security – effectively pushing a liberal agenda on these important issues, or alternatively, all talk and no action to properly address the gaping holes in our immigration system.  Then-candidate Trump electrified the issue in the eyes of the public as no other of his fellow Republican candidates managed to do (although a number of Republican candidates, such as Senator Cruz, had also put serious focus on immigration and border security).  Border security with Donald Trump really resonates.

It is now up to congressional Republicans, and particularly Senate Republicans, to decide whether they will allow President Trump to fulfill his oft-repeated commitment to fund the border wall or whether they will cave to Senate Democrats by withholding most of that funding – or even make a foolhardy deal with Democrats on immigration before getting full funding for the wall.  Especially in light of increased threats to the border, evidenced by the hundreds of migrants who rushed the border this week, ensuring proper border security with construction of the completed border wall is a paramount national security concern.

President Trump is asking for five billion dollars to fund the border wall, which is far less than the desired $25 billion he previously requested.  So far, only about $1.6 billion has been allocated for the border wall's construction in the 2018 budget.  The House and Senate are at odds over how much additional funding to allocate to the border wall.  The House version of the 2019 spending bill allocates the requested additional five billion dollars, while the Senate's version allocates only an additional $1.6 billion.  The Senate's version would pay for only 65 miles of pedestrian fencing along the Rio Grande Valley.

To put things into perspective, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate for the president's budget for Fiscal Year 2019, discretionary spending will be about $1.324 trillion, while the total budget – including mandatory spending (which includes Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid), discretionary spending, and net interest – is estimated at $4.448 trillion.  In other words, President Trump is requesting only 0.38% of the 2019 discretionary budget (i.e., five billion dollars) for the border wall (that's 1/265 of the discretionary budget) or 0.11% of the total 2019 budget (that's 1/890 of the total budget).  The Senate version would grant only 0.12% of the discretionary budget (i.e., $1.6 billion) for a border partition (or 1/828 of the discretionary budget) or 0.036% of the total budget (which is 1/2,780 of the budget).  A Homeland Security report had estimated the total cost for the border partition – comprising fences and walls – to be $21.6 billion.  The report estimated that it would take 3.5 years to build.




At a minimum, it is incumbent on the Senate Republican leadership to ensure that five billion dollars is allocated to the border partition.  It is particularly important that Republicans achieve this goal without any concessions – or at least without any significant concessions – to Democrats.  It is important to keep in mind that Fiscal Year 2019 may be the last opportunity for any border partition funding until at least after the 2020 elections.  This is because Democrats will control the House for the next two years and will almost certainly prevent funding for the border partition – unless President Trump makes unwise and painful concessions to Democrats on immigration.

Without substantial progress on the border wall, many 2016 supporters of President Trump may feel let down by Republicans, which may lead to depressed voter turnout in the critical 2020 election year.  It should be assumed that Democrat voters will come out in droves to win the presidency, retain control of the House, and gain control of the Senate.

Another appealing option – that may be even more rewarding for Republicans – would be to use reconciliation to fully fund the border wall.  This process would allow Republicans to allocate $20 billion to fully fund the wall prior to losing control over the House.  In fact, in October, Rep. Bradley Bryne introduced legislation in the House to use budget reconciliation to garner $25 billion in funding for the border wall.  This would allow President Trump to triumphantly tell his supporters that the wall has been fully funded and will be completed in short order.  This would importantly energize the Republican base to come out in 2020, leading to a successful election cycle for President Trump and Republicans.

Reconciliation has been recently used by Republicans to pass tax cuts and has been attempted toward passage of Republican health care legislation.  Reconciliation has been used since 1980.  Prior to passage of the tax cuts, twenty bills were passed using reconciliation (four were vetoed).  In May, the Heritage Foundation recommended that Congress use reconciliation for the 2019 budget.

While five out of twelve spending bills for 2019 were signed into law in September, funding for the border wall remains outstanding and will be included in the Homeland Security spending bill.  These remaining seven bills need to be signed into law by December 7.  It is imperative that Republican leadership in the House and Senate work together to adequately fund the border wall – and they should seriously consider using reconciliation to this end.

President Trump is intent on following through with the centerpiece of his 2016 campaign by fully funding the border partition.  It is high time that Republican leadership in Congress  – and particularly in the Senate – step to the plate and work to fully fund the southern border wall.  If Republican leadership allies with President Trump, it can expect a victorious 2020 election season.  If it instead capitulates to Democrats in the name of "bipartisanship" now, it will likely mean defeat in 2020.

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