The news is just beginning to convey the extent of the damage caused by Trump’s shutdown. More than 800,000 people who work for the federal government have not been paid in weeks, producing ripple effects that could hobble or potentially decimate our economy.
Half of these people, those who defend Americans from threats everyday are being told to work without pay: TSA and Coast Guard workers, food safety inspectors and public health officials. Imagine for yourself being told to continue performing your job for an indefinite period of time for no money. It’s a businessman’s dream. Except that it doesn’t take a degree in economics to know that our economy will grind to a halt as 800,000 wage earners and thousands of additional Federal contractors start losing their homes, to say nothing of not having money for vacations, dinners out, movies or cars. So whose dream is this?
I can’t help wondering what Vladimir Putin and other hostile actors in the world might do to take advantage of us while we openly drop the protection of TSA at our airports, the Coast Guard on our shores and Cyber Security online.
For the American public, this unprecedented situation is happening just as decisive evidence comes to light about Trump’s collusion with Russia, shifting many of us out of the anxiety of the last few years in which we wondered how bad the Trump administration might become, into facing the reality that Trump is indeed a Russian co-conspirator who is acting now to bring economic ruin upon Americans.
As I talked about my wife about some home repair decisions yesterday, we ended up instead talking about Sarah Kendzior’s tweet yesterday about how we feel like we are in parallel worlds now, one in which candidates are getting ready to run for office in a flawed but workable system, and, quote, “the current reality, where we are in a constitutional crisis, a catastrophic federal shutdown and an existential threat to our country’s survival.” The upshot? We can’t make the assumption that we’ll have years ahead of us to pay off renovation work. We are mobilizing to pay off every debt we can while we can.
The Trump crisis has moved from a potentiality to reality.
This can also be a time when people who had decided to ‘wait and see’ what would happen with Trump can now see that it is going to live up to some worst case scenarios. Maybe these folks will stop waiting and take action.
We still have options and a wide open path for demanding accountability to the rule of law and our expectations that our government actually work to protect us. I’ll talk about that more at the end of the show.