Sunday, September 20, 2020

Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, and Wyoming

What did Donald Trump do today?

He stopped attacking federal workers long enough to demand that they vote for him.

Trump has virtually no chance to win Virginia, but he devoted a fair amount of his morning tweetstorm to the Old Dominion State. It included a strange demand, repeated from a Friday tweet, that the Washington D.C.-area federal workforce in Virginia vote for him because of a pay raise he claimed he'd gotten them.

Of course, politicians aren't supposed to literally try to buy votes like that, but in reality the federal payroll is set by legislation. Trump's most recent budget proposal was for a mere 1.0% pay increase, which means federal workers would lose money to inflation. (The leading Congressional proposal calls for a 3.5% increase.)

Otherwise, Trump's relationship to federal workers—or the "Deep State," as he's more likely to refer to them—is considerably more hostile. His administration has made no secret of its belief that federal employees are "disloyal" to Trump, although the vast majority of government jobs have no partisan function at all. He's called for pension benefit cuts, which would undercut one of the main perks to taking a government job over a private sector one. He's also attacked federal workers' rights to collective bargaining, which hasn't won him any fans. And as the COVID-19 pandemic exploded in March, Trump called for reduction in the number of sick leave days federal workers were entitled to.

Who cares?

  • It's wrong to take credit for things you didn't do.
  • Presidents owe loyalty to American workers, not the other way around.