Trump reveals his utter ignorance of real life by claiming unpaid federal workers can get groceries without any money
On Thursday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was roundly excoriated for saying on CNBC that he doesn't understand why federal employees can't just take out short-term loans to pay for food while they go unpaid due to President Donald Trump's government shutdown, apparently either not aware that 80 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck.
But later that day, Trump somehow managed to come up with an even more ridiculous idea when questioned by a reporter about Ross' remarks.
"I haven't heard the statement, but I do understand that perhaps he should have said it differently," said Trump. "Local people know who they are when they go for groceries and everything else, and I think what Wilbur was probably trying to say is that they will work along — I know banks are working along, if you have mortgages, the mortgagees, the mortgage — the folks collecting the interest and all of those things, they work along. And that's what happens in a time like this, they know the people, they've been dealing with them for years, and they work along, the grocery store. And I think that's probably what Wilbur Ross meant, but I haven't seen his statement. But he's done a great job, I will tell you that."
Donald Trump, defending Wilbur Ross, says government workers not receiving a paycheck because of the #TrumpShutdown can simply convince their local grocery stores to “work along” with them. pic.twitter.com/bIvu2CJxHb
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) January 24, 2019
First of all, that is not what Ross was trying to say — he was proposing that federal workers pay interest to banks to take out loans to get food while being forced to work for free. Trump seems to be proposing that grocery stores somehow loan food to federal workers, which is just not a thing. And second of all, even if it were a thing, many grocery stores are probably taking a financial hit themselves, because with the government shut down, they can't renew their licenses to process food stamp benefit cards.
Trump seems a little confused on the concept of how grocery stores work in general. Last year, he tried to justify restrictive ID requirements to vote by claiming that people need to show photo ID to buy groceries — which, unless you're buying alcohol or cigarettes, is emphatically not true.
Rather than offer advice about trying to borrow from grocery stores, it might be more beneficial to federal workers if Trump simply reopened the government.