Over the last few days, the QAnon crowd has been super excited over a new theory that’s risen from the fever swamp of stupiditiy that is the right wing fringe: Donald Trump engineered the shutdown so he could fire hundreds of thousands of government workers using something called a “Reduction In Force” or “RIF”:
There’s more but you get the point. There’s a slew of people salivating over the prospect of upwards of half a million people losing their jobs all at once. One is forced to wonder if they’ve considered the consequences that such an action would have on the economy. We would be looking at an immediate recession as rents and mortgages went unpaid. A massive uptick in unemployment benefits and other public assistance requests. School loans would go into default. Credit cards, as well. Financial institutions would take an enormous hit and the domino effect would be impossible to predict.
And that’s before we even get to the far more important human cost of hundreds of thousands of families suddenly being thrown into various levels of poverty, food insecurity, and desperation.
But, you know, fuck the evil government and, hahaha, Trump owned the libs.
So where is this all coming from? A serious misreading of U.S. Office of Personnel Management policies (emphasis mine):
An agency is required to use the RIF procedures when an employee is faced with separation or downgrading for a reason such as reorganization, lack of work, shortage of funds, insufficient personnel ceiling, or the exercise of certain reemployment or restoration rights. A furlough of more than 30 calendar days, or of more than 22 discontinuous work days, is also a RIF action. (A furlough of 30 or fewer calendar days, or of 22 or fewer discontinuous work days, is an adverse action.)
Well, that’s it, right? Once the shutdown gets to 30 calendar days, which will be Tuesday, Trump can fire all of those worthless government employees just like he’s been planning this whole time! 4D chess, baby!
NOTE: Reductions in force (RIF) furlough regulations and SES competitive furlough requirements are not applicable to emergency shutdown furloughs because the ultimate duration of an emergency shutdown furlough is unknown at the outset and is dependent entirely on Congressional action, rather than agency action. The RIF furlough regulations and SES competitive furlough requirements, on the other hand, contemplate planned, foreseeable, money-saving furloughs that, at the outset, are planned to exceed 30 days.
“…not applicable to emergency shutdown furloughs…” Darn it! Trump‘s brilliant plan foiled by literally 6 words in a massive OPM document! It’s not fair! The grandmaster chess player brought low by a technicality!
But, really, who are we kidding? Trump didn’t know about this. He never knew about RIF. There was no master plan. There was no plan at all. He shut down the government on a whim because Fox News told him to. He had no idea what would happen and he thought the Democrats would cave. But they didn’t.
Now that Nancy Pelosi keeps repeatedly stomping on his face, he has no idea what to do except blindly lash out and hope no notices how lost and confused he looks. Clearly, he doesn’t have to worry about that with his most loyal (and clearly fucking insane) supporters because even though Trump is sitting in a corner in a dirty diaper throwing poop at the wall, all they see is that four dimensional chess. Presumably, when Tuesday comes and goes with no mass layoffs, the imbeciles of QAnon will blame the Deep State for thwarting Trump somehow or simply claim he’s playing an even longer game blablabla.
It would be funny except for the malicious glee on display at the idea of destroying hundred of thousands of lives. These are not people who care about this country or their fellow human beings. They only care about sowing discord and misery because “owning the libs” gives their empty lives meaning. If the media that insists “both sides” work together can explain how we can reach people whose greatest goal in life is to burn America to the ground to spite liberals, I’d love to hear it.
Until then, we should consider these people little more than brain damaged toddlers with a loaded gun and act accordingly.