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Who Needs a Paycheck Anyway?

Thursday, January 24, 2019
Michelle Goldberg | New York Times
Diane Standaert

On Thursday morning, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross — a man whose extraordinarily shady financial history doesn’t get the attention it deserves — appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” to talk about the government shutdown. He expressed bafflement at the idea of unpaid federal workers suffering financial hardship, wondering why they don’t just take out loans.

“There really is not a good excuse why there really should be a liquidity crisis,” he said. “True, the people might have to pay a little bit of interest, but the idea that it’s paycheck or zero is not a really valid idea.” Told that some workers have been relying on food banks, he said, “I know they are, and I don’t really quite understand why.”