Samson in the Temple

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Trump has painted himself into a corner on the government shutdown. Pundits are bloviating on how he might conceivably cut his losses and extricate himself. (See, for example, How does Trump escape the trap he laid for himself?) But the above tweets tend to confirm my biased view that he won’t work out a deal with Congress, but will instead do the Samson-in-the-Philistine-temple routine.

The Hill sums up the damage this would do:

The U.S runs a trade deficit with Mexico, but outside observers have said that closing the border could cause economic chaos given the amount of trade and people who legally cross the border every day.

According to a report earlier this month by CBS News, about $558 billion in goods flowed across the border in both directions last year. It found that the U.S. exported $243.3 billion in goods across the border along with $58 billion in services.

Nearly a half million people enter the US. each day at various entry points on the southern border, according to a Wilson Center report cited by CBS.

Duncan Wood, director of the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, told CBS MoneyWatch that shutting down the border would cost “hundreds of millions of dollars a day” or “maybe a billion.”

When someone threatens to commit suicide, it may be a mere cry for attention. When someone threatens to kill you, it may be just a bluff.

But prudence demands that you proceed on the working hypothesis that the person making the threat may well actually carry it out.