The government shutdown has stretched into its 20th day and President Donald Trump seems less and less amenable to relinquishing a $5 billion dollar allocation for a wall at the southern border—one that most Americans don’t want and a tactic that has proven to be ineffective.
As a result, 800,000 federal employees have been furloughed or continue to work without pay. Among those are members of the United States Coast Guard. Unlike other military factions—which are funded by the Department of Defense—the Coast Guard is funded by Homeland Security, whose budget expired with most other departments on the first day of the shutdown.
The Coast Guard released a memo for its service people on how to cope with the absence of a paycheck. Seeing as members of the Coast Guard are often the first to respond during national disasters and other domestic emergencies, some of the suggestions are insulting, and highlight just how unstable livelihoods have become in the wake of the Trump shutdown.
The tip sheet—which has since been removed—urges servicemen and women to begin having garage sales, babysitting, and becoming “secret shoppers” to offset the lack of pay.
The document even goes on to present bankruptcy as a final option.
Americans everywhere were outraged.
Shameful. We need the Coast Guard. And they devote their lives to defend our waters.
— Martha M Dennison (@mmdennison) January 10, 2019
Absolutely a DISGRACE from ALL of our elected leaders that allowed this to happen! We have Feds who are vital to National Security and THOUSANDS of Law Enforcement and Military Veterans professionals NOT getting paid…that’s a CRISIS…
— J (@RowdyJT) January 10, 2019
So stupid. Coast Guard personnel often live on bases w/ other Coast Guard personnel. Are they supposed to sell stuff to each other?
— Petunia Clemons (@PetuniaPolitics) January 10, 2019
How patronizing & condescending to these CG staff and their families. Humor is an unacceptable response.
— Jayne Englert-Burns (@englertj) January 10, 2019
They should be sued for lost wages and emotional abuse. This is crazy.
— Fiona B 🌊 (@Feebeekiwi) January 10, 2019
And there was one person to blame.