During a debate with George H.W. Bush in New Hampshire in 1980, the moderator asked that Ronald Reagan’s microphone be “turned off for the moment.” Reagan was angry and said something that might be applied to the failure of the Biden administration to use materials lying unused in Texas paid for during the Trump administration for the purpose of constructing the border wall. Said Reagan, “I paid for this microphone.” The clear implication was that since he paid for it, he ought to be able to use it.

Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas is making a similar argument. He believes the Biden administration, either to spite Trump, or because it is not interested in securing the border, refuses to use materials already paid for by taxpayers for the purpose of resuming construction of the wall. As a result, Abbott has ordered that construction resume, using state taxpayer funds and new materials.

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Readers may email Cal Thomas at tcaeditors@tribpub.com. Look for Cal Thomas’ new book “America’s Expiration Date: The Fall of Empires and Superpowers and the Future of the United States” (HarperCollins/Zondervan).

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