December 21 is the deadline to fund the federal government or it will be "shut down." Of course, a government as large as ours cannot truly shut down completely, and despite attempts to gin-up fear about a shutdown, essential services will continue and benefit checks will continue to be sent, regardless of a shutdown status because statutory safeguards were put into place decades ago to continue such services.

At issue is that President Trump is asking for $5 billion in funding for "border security" to build a wall on our southern border with Mexico to help prevent illegal immigration. I lived in Los Angeles for 17 years and saw first-hand the negative effects of illegal immigration and how a Sanctuary City operated to the detriment of legal tax-paying citizens.

Democratic leaders have said that a wall is "immoral, ineffective and too expensive."

The purpose of this letter is to focus on the issue of the wall being "too expensive." For most people, $1 million seems like a ridiculous amount of money, so when you see a $5 billion price tag that must be outrageous, right?

For 2018, the federal government has a budget of approximately $4.1 trillion dollars. Here is the math on "too expensive" in a few intuitive steps: (1) $5 billion is 5 percent of $100 billion; (2) there are 10 $100 billions in $1 trillion, so $5 billion is .5 percent of $1 trillion; and (3) with a budget of $4.1 trillion, that means $5 billion is .12 percent of the total budget. Putting this math into monetary terms to which all of us can relate, compared to $100, what is being opposed is 12 pennies, which is the monetary equivalent of .12% of $100. Opposition to the President's request based on a "too expensive" standard is outrageous and ridiculous.