President Trump today said he has the power to declare a national emergency and simply order the construction of his wall.
The real national emergency, however, is not terrorists and criminals crossing the U.S. border illegally. Rather, it's what will happen if the 800,000 federal employees now out of work from his government shutdown decide to quit and find other jobs.
Wouldn't you do that if you discovered that your job was so insecure that your paycheck depended upon somebody else satisfying the ego of your big boss to make him happy? How many ordinary people, especially those with families, can survive financially if their salaries are arbitrarily stopped for reasons unrelated to them and for who knows how long?
Of course, Vice President Pence and other government bigwigs are not affected. They're getting ready to bank nice fat pay raises -- $10 grand in Pence's case. All this while thousands of government employees, including Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers, are working without pay. They are people upon whom every single person who flies depends to keep them safe.
Trump said today the shutdown could last for months or even more than a year if he doesn't get his great wall. That's the one he said Mexico would pay for, but isn't. Now, he says he could declare a national emergency sto get it built.
“We can do it. I haven’t done it. I may do it. I may do it,” Trump said of the possibility of declaring a national emergency to build the wall.
While all of this drama was taking place, CNN reported that hundreds of TSA officers, who are required to work without paychecks through the shutdown, have called out from work this week from at least four major airports.
"This (the shutdown) will definitely affect the flying public who we (are) sworn to protect," Hydrick Thomas, president of the national TSA employee union, told CNN. TSA spokesman Michael Bilello said the agency is "closely monitoring the situation" and that while "screening wait times remain well within TSA standards," that could change if the number of call-outs increases.
A union official told the network the problem will only get worse as employees miss their paychecks. "TSA officers are telling the union they will find another way to make money. That means calling out to work other jobs," he said.
What if that strategy of desperation spreads to other employees in other agencies? The Department of Homeland Security is now without funds and border agents are required to work without pay. What happens if they all "get the flu" so they can go earn money to feed their families?
Then, Trump will need more than a wall to protect our borders and keep those hateful immigrants from entering the U.S. because the current ports of entry will be like a sieve.
Way to go, Trump. America is, indeed, facing a national emergency. It's a human emergency, and you created it.