He sent a statement to Congress on Thursday saying we can’t afford to give our people a measly 2.1% bump because — are you ready for this? — “We must maintain efforts to put our nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases.”
Donald Trump is now worried about the debt. Are you kidding me? That’s like John Dillinger worrying about gun violence. Like Kim Kardashian worrying about being overexposed. Like Donald Trump worrying about spray-tanning and pathological lying.
The President’s answer to the fiscal meltdown he is causing is not to ask those who’ve gotten the most to pay a little more. It’s to hurt the folks who are already serving us.
Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia, home to numerous federal workers, both in the D.C. area and the Norfolk naval region, called BS on Trump’s newfound fiscal prudence.
“Let’s be clear,” Warner wrote in a statement, “the President’s decision to cancel any pay increase for federal employees is not motivated by a sudden onset of fiscal responsibility. Today’s announcement has nothing to do with making government more cost-efficient — it’s just the latest attack in the Trump administration’s war on federal employees.”
I hope they win. After all, you get what you pay for. Do you want your overworked air traffic controller to be missing meals and feeling faint? Do you want your Social Security check being handled by someone who’s holding three jobs? How about bridge inspectors and meat inspectors and the folks who fight forest fires? Or the scientists and doctors who are working around the clock to find cures for Alzheimer’s and cancer and HIV/AIDS?
Should they get a pay cut? Do you want the men and women who take on the drug cartels to be worried about making their rent payment? Really?
Worse still, President Trump wants to end what’s known as the “locality pay increase” — an annual adjustment to assist federal workers in parts of the country where the cost of living is high — like, say, the neighborhood Trump Tower is in. So TSA agents at LaGuardia Airport in New York, medical researchers in Atlanta, Drug Enforcement Administration agents in Los Angeles, homeland security professionals in D.C. — all will suffer.
You might even say they’ve been forgotten.