Top Trump Adviser: Shutdown Is Just a Nice Vacation for Federal Workers

Screenshot: PBS Newshour

Are you a glass half-full or half-empty sort of person? If you’re a Negative Nancy, you might think about this government shutdown in terms of the 800,000 federal workers currently missing their paychecks, some of whom are putting up GoFundMes and selling their children’s toys to scrape by. You might be livid on behalf of the millions of ordinary people affected by Donald Trump’s soup-brained need to build a dumbass wall.

Or maybe you’ve got a more positive outlook, like the chair of the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers, Kevin Hassett, who said this on PBS Newshour last night (via the Atlantic):

Right now about 25% of government workers are furloughed. Which means that they are not allowed to go to work.

But then when the shutdown ends, they go back to work, and they get their back pay.

A huge share of government workers were going to take vacation days, say between Christmas and New Year’s.

And then we have a shutdown, and so they can’t go to work. So then they have the vacation, but they don’t have to use their vacation days. And then they come back, and they get their back pay.

Then in some sense they’re better off.

Video of the comments below:

Get it? Yes, right now this minute workers might be struggling to pay for “food” and “medicine,” but on the other hand, think of the sweet vacation they’re getting. They’re probably having a great old time catching up on Netflix, if they haven’t had to cancel their subscription and the power is still on. And then they get all that money back when the shutdown is over, whenever that is!

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If you can’t see how that’s a good thing, maybe you’re just a hater. Or, I dunno, maybe you’re just not rich. Have you tried being rich? That always helps.

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Libby Watson

Splinter politics writer. libby.watson@splinternews.com