Federal workers were due get their paychecks by the end of January. Our government is working again.

          But, wait. President Trump threatens to close the government again at the end of the three-week funding period. He ruined Christmas for federal workers; lookout Valentine’s Day.

          Ylan Mui of CNBC reported Jan. 26 that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates the recent shutdown cost our economy $11 billion and that, “Although most of the damage to the economy will be reversed as federal workers return to their jobs, the CBO estimated $3 billion in economic activity is permanently lost after a quarter of the government was closed for nearly 35 days.”

          But such losses do not affect Republican oligarchs such as Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. His estimated net worth is $700 million. TSA employees make about $30,000 annually.

          Huffington Post’s Hayley Miller reported Ross was dumbfounded (instead of the more accurate “found dumb”) that federal workers were seeking help from homeless shelters and food banks.

          Responding to this news from Andrew Ross Sorkin on CNBC, Ross offered, “Well, I know they are but I don’t really quite understand why because … the obligations that they would undertake say borrowing from the bank or credit union are in effect federally guaranteed. So the 30 days of pay which some people will be out ― there’s no real reason why they shouldn’t be able to get a loan against it.”

          Taking out loans against their wages would effect a pay cut as they paid back the interest. Leave it to a former banker to see the opportunity to make a buck off people struggling to stay economically afloat.    

          Equally clueless (though care-less is more accurate) was presidential daughter-in-law Lara Trump who commented: “Listen, it’s not fair to you and we all get that,” she said in an interview with the digital news network Bold TV, and reported by CBS.  “But this is so much bigger than any one person. It is a little bit of pain but it’s going to be for the future of our country.”

          Well, as the late, great Steve Goodman observed, “…it ain’t hard to get along with somebody else’s troubles / And they don’t make you lose any sleep at night / As long as fate is out there burstin’ somebody else’s bubbles / Everything is gonna be alright./ And everything is gonna be alright.”

          That’s Republicanism 101.

          The Jan. 29 Daily Kos featured the following headlines:

           – “Shutdown pain drags on for federal contractors, who won’t get back pay unless Democratic bill passes”

          – “The workers disproportionately hurt by Trump’s shutdown are people of color and the disabled”

          – “The damage Trump created with his shutdown won’t soon be repaired”

          Meanwhile, Moscow’s Washington Bureau (the Trump Administration)lifted sanctions against a comrade oligarch in Russia; presidential daughter Ivanka scored five more trademarks from the Chinese during trade talks and Bloomberg reported that the $13 billion in tariffs on Chinese products are being paid by U.S. importers of record, “and ultimately U.S. businesses and consumers could pay through higher costs.”

          Jeff Stein of the Washington Post reported earlier this month that, “U.S. taxpayers will buy about $5 million in pork products from a Brazilian-owned meatpacking firm under President Donald Trump’s bailout program, which was designed to help American farmers hurt by the administration’s trade war.”

          At a time when 40 percent Americans struggle to pay for at least one basic need like food or rent –  MarketWatch Aug. 28; 40 percent of Americans can’t cover a $400 emergency expense – CNN May 22 and 65 percent Americans save little or nothing, it is obscene to see the Republicans taking care of the rich – even if they have to cross national borders to do so.

          (Gary Edmondson is chair of the Stephens County Democratic Party: scdpok.us)

Trickle-down economy; flash-flood suffering

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