There was always a risk of replacing The Swamp with members of the business elite. They’re out of touch with the plight of the common man. Arguably the most obvious example of this detachment from the “lower classes” is Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.
The man that’s worth around $700 million doesn’t understand why government employees affected by the partial government shutdown are going to food banks and other poverty service providers when their pay is guaranteed. This guarantee can translate to bank or credit union loans to any federal employees in Ross’s mind.
“As I mentioned before, the obligations that they would undertake, say borrowing from a bank or a credit union, are in effect federally guaranteed,” Ross said on CNBC’s Squawk Box.
. @CommerceGov Secretary Wilbur Ross on federal workers going to homeless shelters for food during #shutdown: “Well I know they are and I don't really quite understand why” suggesting gov't employees take out loans through banks or credit unions pic.twitter.com/QFs4UySNcH
— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) January 24, 2019
The Secretary also noted that the 800,000 affected federal employees only account for “a third of a percent of our GDP,” insinuating they were statistically insignificant in respects to the nation’s economy.
The last few days has seen a shift in sentiment about the shutdown. Throughout, the President has taken the bulk of the blame from the press and in the polls. But his nationally televised speech in which he offered to make a deal with Democrats and revelations that Democrats voted against paying the affected federal employees have improved their optics on the matter.
Wilbur Ross’s comments effectively negate any gains the President has made or ground the Democrats have lost recently in shutdown optics. It came across as pompous, out of touch, elitist, and dismissive.
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