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.
@DanLamothe Shameful. We need the Coast Guard. And they devote their lives to defend our waters.— Martha Morkan Dennison (@Martha Morkan Dennison)1547081411.0
@DanLamothe @maggieNYT Absolutely a DISGRACE from ALL of our elected leaders that allowed this to happen! We have F… https://t.co/Lc7AKu237u— J (@J)1547088707.0
@DanLamothe @maggieNYT How patronizing & condescending to these CG staff and their families. Humor is an unacceptable response.— Jayne Englert-Burns (@Jayne Englert-Burns)1547088749.0
@DanLamothe @Susan_Hennessey They should be sued for lost wages and emotional abuse. This is crazy.— Fiona B 🌊 (@Fiona B 🌊)1547089183.0
And there was one person to blame.
Donald Trump was vilified for holding the pay of brave men and women hostage.
@DanLamothe @maggieNYT The brazen lack of understanding what “our fellow Americans” are enduring because Trump deci… https://t.co/HQyOByH5jb— Cassandra Healey (@Cassandra Healey)1547096063.0
@DanLamothe How about? -- Arrest Orange Taint in the White House and restore order to the United States.— Jeff Ralston 🥧🥧🍻 (@Jeff Ralston 🥧🥧🍻)1547079538.0
@DanLamothe @Fahrenthold I am thinking the Office of Personnel Management is a good place to cut costs.— Jerry C (@Jerry C)1547070098.0
@DanLamothe @DavidFutrelle How about a huge march on Washington that ends in front of wherever the big ugly heartle… https://t.co/GeDIVeCZHy— Jamie Schler (@Jamie Schler)1547100007.0
@DanLamothe @Fahrenthold The contempt Trump and adminstration show for working Americans makes me so angry— Groots (@Groots)1547069696.0
@DanLamothe The good news is, you can declare bankruptcy four times and still be president.— Doctor Handsome 🇺🇸 (@Doctor Handsome 🇺🇸)1547088719.0
Trump continues his refusal to reopen the government. We can only hope it's reopened soon and that brave Americans can get back to work.