Tuesday, August 27, 2019

What did Donald Trump do today?

He complained about Puerto Rico hurricane relief and cut FEMA's funding.

Trump's schedule was empty today as he recuperated from three days in France, but had plenty of energy for Twitter. He used it to comment on Tropical Storm Dorian, which is headed for Puerto Rico and could threaten the Florida coast:

Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in August 2017. As months passed without the restoration of even basic utilities like electricity and clean water, Trump began bashing the American citizens who live there as "politically motivated ingrates" and complaining about the cost of rebuilding. The $92 billon figure is a lie, although one Trump has told so many times he may actually believe it now. As this site noted in May:

In reality, only $11.2 billion has been spent, much less than the amounts allocated for Hurricanes Irma and Harvey. Future allocations are subject to future appropriations bills—and to Trump's veto, which he's threatened to punish Puerto Ricans critical of his administration's response.

Trump's tweet came on the same day that he was caught diverting funds from FEMA, which handles disaster relief, to detention centers on the U.S.-Mexico border. 

So what?

  • Disaster relief is one of the basic functions of a government, not an extravagance or a favor it does for its citizens.
  • Budget decisions reflect priorities.