While the USS Trump maneuvers through the political shutdown swamp, here are some things to know and some to remember from previous swamp trips.

1. Democrats last year offered $25 billion in wall funding in return for legalizing the Dreamers. Trump said no.

2. The most vulnerable parts of the border already have 700 miles of fencing.

3. The number of illegal boarder incursions has fallen with almost two-thirds of illegal immigrants entering legally but most do overstay their visas. Perhaps the problem may be more an enforcement problem not a border problem.

But I believe the bigger problem now (not the wall) has become the emotional cost of the shutdown on government employees, the financial cost to government contractors, and maybe even the long range impact in some form on our economy.

Regardless of how the shutdown ends, I believe the damage to the president and the GOP will be impossible for the involved public to ignore in 2020. But that is of little consequence at this time.

Rick Theken

Barre Town

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