The National League of Cities estimates that between 300,000 and 1 million public sector workers are in immediate danger of losing their jobs or being furloughed without pay. Dayton, Ohio’s Democratic Mayor Nan Whaley says the city it has furloughed 470 workers so far out of 1,900, including in the water department. She’s looking at an additional 18% reduction in every department for the next fiscal year, barring federal assistance. That means EMT and 911 and cops and fire departments and “slow response times,” she said. “It will fundamentally change how we do business long-term.”
Where Donald Trump sees opportunity, like punishing sanctuary cities, and Mitch McConnell sees a hostage, hundreds of thousands of people see their jobs. Millions more will see the cut in the invisible services like garbage collection, water supply, and their kids’ schools.
Here’s the chance, Republicans think, to finally get rid of the moochers and leeches that make everything run. Here’s the chance for the entire nation to be just like Kansas under the utter disaster former Gov. Sam Brownback engineered. There’s a reason, however, that Kansas now has a Democratic governor. There’s a reason teachers’ strikes across the nation in some very red states have resulted in higher pay and new protections for them.
People like having their garbage collected, their roads plowed, and their 911 calls answered. They want their cities to function. They like their kids’ teachers. They know all these people in their communities. That’s the fire Mitch McConnell is playing with, and you can bet more than one vulnerable Republican senator recognizes that.