The Atlantic

Trump’s ‘Down Payment’ Trick

The president’s use of the term draws on a long tradition—a way for commanders in chief to connect with people via kitchen-table economics.
Source: Jacquelyn Martin / AP

As the government shutdown meanders on with no clear end in sight, President Donald Trump’s proposals for ending the stalemate have been maddeningly imprecise. He says he wants Congress to earmark $5.7 billion for a wall on the border with Mexico, but the “wall” might just be barriers made of , and those barriers might just be in “.” (I that the nebulous nature of the border-security plan is evident in the way Trump and his administration often use as a mass noun, as in Homeland Security

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