In what is perhaps a nod of appreciation to the much-ballyhooed anonymous Trump administration official New York Times op-ed, another anonymous op-ed was published this week, this time in the Daily Caller.
In this latest op-ed, the author claims to be a senior White House official working without pay during the government shutdown. He has some fighting words for civil servants across the country:
“As one of the senior officials working without a paycheck, a few words of advice for the president’s next move at shuttered government agencies: lock the doors, sell the furniture, and cut them down. Federal employees are starting to feel the strain of the shutdown. I am one of them. But for the sake of our nation, I hope it lasts a very long time, till the government is changed and can never return to its previous form.”
One of the things that’s fascinating to observe is the way in which the gloves have come off during this shutdown and political leaders have made it abundantly clear in their own public comments that this is a political game of chicken, and no one wants to blink.
In the meantime, the American economy is facing the consequences, with Trump’s own economic advisers admitting they underestimated the impact of the shutdown on our GDP. Hundreds of thousands of everyday Americans are struggling in real ways.
Federal employees are either forced to work without a paycheck or sent home. Either way, mortgage and rent payments are still due and groceries and gas still need to be purchased for workers and their families.
Has the government’s bureaucracy become bloated? Hell yes. But do the American people deserve an honest and transparent conversation about how we ought to scale back government overreach? Also yes. Simply manipulating a melodramatic fight about the border wall to massively gut government functions may be a bridge too far.