That was not a real “deal”. Although Trump ends the longest household lock in US history to date, it continues to do so much damage that there are no winners, says Michael Knigge.
US President Donald Trump waited 35 days to sign a law he could have had before Christmas. Before leaving the negotiations, there was already a similar agreement involving the proposal for temporary budget financing. What was missing, however: Trump’s beloved border wall. At this point in time, the acting dealmaker in an interview at the Oval Office said he was proud to paralyze the government if he did not get the money for the Wall.
Finally, after 35 days of budget freezing, he announced an agreement that Democrats had already offered him last year: a temporary separation of the budget from the wall to discuss border security. Trump locked himself against it – until he finally gave in on this Friday.
Michael Knigge, DW correspondent in Washington
For some of his opponents, it would be tempting to look forward to making fun of the defeat of the “world’s best negotiator”, but with the suffering that so many suffered during the country’s longest budget freeze, glee is inappropriate ,
800,000 government employees and their families had to go without pay for more than a month because of Trump’s reckless behavior just before Christmas. Quite apart from the more than one million workers without a contract, who had no income and – unlike the employees – not even paid in retrospect.
To date, Trump and his cabinet of billionaires, such as Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, have not realized how disastrous their frivolous games have been for many low-income workers among government employees and temporary workers. Many had to resort to food donations and seek other jobs – while often being forced to continue their regular service without pay.
Not to forget: The longer Trump’s paralyzing took the more he endangered millions of small aspects of everyday life. These included, for example, food controls, customs controls, airport security and air travel – and national security as a whole. Exactly the security that Trump supposedly wants to increase with a border wall.
It should also be remembered that Trump’s caprices have worsened the government’s reputation as an employer. Salaries are generally lower than in the economy, but were always considered safer.
The millions who are now affected are facing only a temporary solution, because the next “shutdown” could start in just three weeks. All this is nothing new to Trump, who throughout his career has had no trouble playing with the money and well-being of other people, if it brings him benefits.
The game with the lives of other people
One could speculate now, what made Trump break down: the cancellation of his speech on the state of the nation, the impending collapse of air traffic at the country’s junctions, or simply that he needed a distraction from the charges against his ally Roger Stone , the pressure of some Republicans – or all together. But these considerations are futile. Nobody knows what’s going on in Trump.
Instead, we want to make better use of the short breather and to thank the people who work for the government and were hit by the budget freeze because they have helped keep the country running. And hopefully – if there is anything like a positive long-term effect of “shutdown” – Americans, especially those who have been directly affected, will not forget who said he was proud to paralyze the government.
Hopefully, all Americans will remember this callous, cruel president who has no problem putting other people and their livelihood on the line for a pointless boundary wall that he has not even gotten in the end. Is there any better evidence of lack of character?