Let them eat odd jobs.
The U.S. Coast Guard offered its employees a set of clueless tips Wednesday on how to deal with the crippling government shutdown that has cut off their paychecks, suggesting they walk dogs, throw garage sales or enlist as “mystery” shoppers.
“Other than cutting back on your expenses, the only other way to compensate for the loss of income is to add new income,” states a five-page tip sheet published on the Coast Guard’s Support Program website.
The document — which has since been deleted — then lists a string of “supplemental income” options, including “have a garage sale,” “offer to watch children, walk pets or house-sit,” “turn your hobby into income,” “tutor students, give music or sports lessons” and, last but not least, “become a mystery shopper.”
“Retailers are desperate to check how their in-store customer service is and will employ you to shop and rate their service,” the missive says.
The Coast Guard stripped the tip sheet from its website after The Washington Post first reached out about it.
Scott McBride, a spokesman for the naval service, said the suggestions don’t “reflect the Coast Guard’s current efforts to support our workforce during this lapse in appropriations.”
“As such, this guidance has been removed,” McBride added.
Roughly 6,400 Coast Guard members are not working while 2,100 are working without pay because of the shutdown, which grinded into its 19th day on Wednesday and will become the longest one in American history if it drags beyond Friday.
Some 800,000 federal workers in total are indefinitely furloughed because of the shutdown, which began on Dec. 22 after President Trump refused to sign any spending bill that didn’t earmark at least $5.7 billion for a border wall with Mexico.
Democrats are unanimously against putting up any cash for a border project they deem immoral and ineffective. They have also trashed Trump for demanding U.S. taxpayers be left on the hook for the wall even though he spent the entire 2016 campaign promising Mexico would pay for it.
The Coast Guard isn’t the first Trump administration agency to give oblivious advice to its shutdown-mired employees.
The Office of Personnel Management urged furloughed government employees on Dec. 27 to work for their landlords for free if they can’t pay rent.