Forty-two years ago, a local department store ran a full-page newspaper ad announcing their annual fur sale. You could get a $10,000 fur coat for $5,000!

I was in my early 20s with three small children and the idea of being able to present a $5,000 expense as a $5,000 savings struck my ridiculous bone. Thus it is with Mexico paying for the wall via the new and improved trade agreement.

Agreeing for the moment that the new trade deal will improve our lot by $50.6 billion as compared to NAFTA is not the same as agreeing that Mexico is paying for the wall. It means that we have $50.6 billion in the palm of our hand and instead of using it to ensure our elections are free of foreign interference or to provide adequately for our active military personnel or take steps to work against the veterans suicide rate, we are using it to build a wall.

If the party reviled as “tax and spend” had proposed such a structure, fiscal conservatives would be having an absolute field day. The notion that a wall can prevail against today’s interferences and tools, or the determination of people who know how to dig a tunnel, leaves me to believe that it persists because it has the emotional resonance of “talk to the hand.” What feels like a giant, firm gesture of rejection is actually, “Watch me shoot myself in the foot.”

What three things do you believe pose the most serious threat to our democracy? When you think about your quest to establish and preserve your financial security, what three things feel like they are most impacted by decisions made in Congress? Let your congresspeople know about those. You can probably update all three of them in less than 10 minutes.

Vickie Wyatt,