TTF: Totally Trump's Fault


Let's assume the wall is a good idea. How do we get there?

For a long time I was ambivalent about the wall. I thought it would help, but I thought other things would help more.

I still believe that shutting off benefits and e-Verify coupled with sever penalties for hiring illegal aliens would do more to stop illegal immigration than $7 billion walls scaled by ladders.

I am willing to admit that I may be wrong. Perhaps a wall would do more than e-Verify.

What ultimately turned me against the wall was underfunding coupled with a land grab. There is no way you can build a secure 2,000 mile wall for $7 billion and pay all of the existing landowners on the border a fair price for their land when they lose water rights for their cattle to the Rio Grande and an 18 foot high wall splits their property in half.

Unfortunately, that has already happened.

Love the Wall

But what about a negotiating a combination. Why not e-Verify coupled with a wall?

In case you don't know, I will tell you why not.

On January 24, 2018, Democrats offered Trump $20 billion for a wall. The Atlantic reported How Democrats Stopped Worrying and Learned to Accept Trump's Wall.

Senate minority leader Schumer went to the White House and told Trump he could have his wall. “The president picked a number for the wall, and I accepted it,” Schumer recalled in the midst of the shutdown. He had agreed to a significant sum of money for the wall—reported to be $20 billion, though the Democrat’s office will neither confirm nor deny that figure—in exchange for Trump’s support of permanent protections for the nearly 700,000 young undocumented immigrants covered under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The White House ultimately rejected the offer, and later that night, Senate Democrats withheld their votes for a stopgap spending bill, leading to the three-day shutdown.

What Might Have Happened

Trump might have said OK but we need to talk.

Consider the following negotiation points had Trump accepted the offer.

Negotiation Points

  • Dreamers need to verify address
  • Dreamers need to have no criminal background
  • Dreamers need to have been in the US for x number of years (x negotiable)
  • Dreamers need to apply for a Dreamer's Card and will immediately be accepted if they meet the above criteria
  • Dreamers not applying for a card and caught in a crime would immediately be deported
  • e-Verify tighetened

Instead of proposing negotiation on which Trump surely would have won some points, Trump got nothing.

You are free to disagree. It's a free country. But that was one hell of a great starting point that Schumer threw on Trump's lap.

Art of the Deal Master

Being the "master" of the Art of the Deal Trump had a major concession for $20 billion to fund a wall.

If $7 billion can build a wall then $20 billion could build a double wall of the same height for perhaps $12 billion. That would leave $4 billion for buying out land owners and an additional $4 billion for overruns.


The cost would be a number of dreamers allowed to stay.


  1. Alien address registration
  2. Criminal background checks
  3. Fingerprinting
  4. Immediate deportation of criminals caught
  5. e-Verification

Perhaps Schumer would not have agreed to all of those. I am certain he would have agreed to some of those.

I am not even positive Schumer even needed to agree. The could have all been worded into a bill, and as we all know, no one even read them anymore.

And of course, Trump could have mandated e-Verify and criminal deportation after the bill was signed. Who would have objected?

The benefits would have been enormous.

Fattest Pitch in Political History

Schumer made an amazing offer. In fact, it was the fattest pitch in political history.

Trump could have bragged about a wall, crime reduction, deporting criminals, giving rights to Dreamers.


See the Problem?

Trump's base would not have like that deal. But his base will never leave him no matter what. And his base won't like much of anything.

Trump would have appealed to 80% of the nation instead of to his "base".

How stupid.

Proven Deal Buffoon

  • Trump failed on NAFTA: The deal is essentially the same as before
  • Trump failed on the EU: He promised a deal and has none
  • Trump failed on China: The trade deficit has gone up at great expense to the US

Trump is no "Art of the Deal" master. Rather, Trump is a proven deal buffoon. The person who ghost-wrote his book says the same thing as well.

Unfortunately, we are where we are.

The amazing deal Trump had in his lap a year ago is no longer on the table. Even if by some miracle it is on the table, it will now look like a concession by Trump if he accepts it thanks to his blow-hard mouth. It won't be for $20 billion either.

Finally, this comes from someone who voted for Trump and would still do so again vs.Hillary, for numerous reasons. So don't accuse me of partisan politics.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (25)
No. 1-16

Walls don't work. I posted 2 articles on historical walls here a couple of days back. Suggest reviewing them. And if Pelosi sticks to her guns, which she had better if she doesn't want to alienate HER base, the House under her leadership will never accept a budget proposal that includes a wall.

The only accurate part of this whole stream of consciousness post was where you wrote "Trump is a proven deal buffoon.".

As for "Finally, this comes from someone who voted for Trump and would still do so again vs.Hillary, for numerous reasons. So don't accuse me of partisan politics.". No, the only thing I would accuse you of for making that choice AGAIN is for being a fool if you honestly believe that all that Trump has done to country and to common decency over the past two years would be worse than what you IMAGINE Clinton might have done as president. Whew.



JoJo I respect your opinion. Why? It Rings like an honest one. You agree with some things I said and disagree with others.

Here is one thing I am certain of:

If ever the comes a time when everyone agrees with me economically speaking, it's 100% certain I will be wrong.

I happen to like some things Trump did. I happen to like one thing Obama did: The Iran deal.

Accuse me of what you want, but if it is partisan politics you are mistaken.


Trump is pushing a solution and not trying to solve a problem. No detailed proposal or research on border security ever produced. It's just a campaign slogan. And I'm convinced the wall most resonates with those people who most want to keep America White. And when Trump did have a deal to fund the wall in exchange for a permanent DACA fix he pivoted and started making demands to curtail legal immigration, end family reunification and make immigration 'skill' based, which is laughable since he made speak English the highest skill


Yes, Americans would rather have a war hawk getting the country into the next misadventure, and a friend of Wall Street refusing to prosecute financial felons, than someone who offends our sense of common decency. It's why they kicked the pilgrims out of England.

St. Funogas
St. Funogas

With all due respect, all talk of a wall is a good academic exercise but aside from that, a total waste of time. Nobody in Washington sees illegal aliens as a problem so, seriously, who does that leave to fix it? IF anyone wanted to fix it, and they clearly don't, requiring E-verify for all employment and all government handouts of any kind would take away the incentive for illegals to come here in the first place. The vast majority of employers who currently hire illegals aren't going to flat out break the law so if they swipe the workers credentials and e-verify rejects them, they won't get hired. Period. When such a cheap, simple solution is NOT being utilized, isn't that screaming to all critically thinking people that nobody in Washington wants to fix the "problem"??


What I don’t get is why any of this comes as a surprise. From the very beginning of his campaign, trump has clearly been nothing more than a bloviating moron, born on third base, bragging about how he hit a triple. Sure, he’s not Hillary, but how could you have expected any better from this circus clown?


No e-verify! As a principle, free people in a free country should not need the government's permission to work. As a practical matter, mistakes will be made and innocent people will be shut out of the job market for extended periods of time.


"There is no way you can build a secure 2,000 mile wall for $7 billion..."

Nobody said the 5.7 billion was for 2,000 miles worth of wall.


Mish, the $20 billion dollar deal was always going to fail, considering that the anti-immigration wing of the GOP wants an absolute cut in the number of immigrants to the US (both legal and illegal). In a sense, the GOP (and I suspect the Dems too) suspected that the exchange of the Dreamers Vs the wall was a nonstarter because the anti-immigration wing of the GOP doesn't believe in the wall. They think it is and will always be a Trump fantasy!


There is no one in congress willing to pass legislation to enforce current law nor cut off benefits to illegal aliens. Does no one understand that?? Until our citizens demand a change and the congress makes a change in the things that attract illegal aliens, nothing will change. There needs to be a development of a 'will' on our part. Absent that, it is all just words. Lets face it. We have become a weak nation.


What other countries allow illegals to become citizens? This should never get bundled into a legitimate budget item.



Mish if you are so concerned about private property being divided by an uncrossable barrier, how come I have never seen you complain about new highway construction, which does that all the time?


I think Trump is happy with the stalemate. The democrats are claiming victory, but it's way too soon to determine who won. All it will take is one illegal who came from Mexico to do something awful, like abduct and murder a child, for this to blow up in the democrats faces. Like what happened with Willie Horton.


"...sever penalties for hiring illegal aliens..."

I'd prefer the wall to that. I know plenty of nice people who hire illegals to take care of their children, clean, etc.

Even if people scale a wall, doing so looks like breaking & entering, whereas just walking across the border (in droves) still looks like - people walking. If caught, they can just say they didn't know where the border was.

In fact, my family and I once stayed on a guest ranch on the border where the was no wall, sign or other indicator of where exactly the border was. The ranch (Rancho De La Osa) guide even warned guests about the danger of wandering over it - arrest and a stay in a Mexican jail until you paid a hefty 'fine'.

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