Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Thursday on CNBC that government employees affected by the shutdown should simply take out personal loans to cover their expenses. That advice is "completely out of touch with reality," wealth manager and bestselling author David Bach tells CNBC Make It.
Around 800,000 federal employees face the prospect of missing yet another paycheck Friday as the partial government shutdown will enter its 35th day. Each employee has already missed more than $5,000 in wages on average, The New York Times estimates, so many have had to get creative to meet their financial responsibilities. Some have opted to cancel autopay on their bills, skip seeing the doctor, or even sell their car.
Hundreds are also turning to local food pantries and shelters to feed their families. One Chicago-based food pantry told the Chicago Tribune it had helped 130 federal employees since the shutdown started, while a Utah-based organization estimated it had given out supplies to 280 federal employees.
Ross told CNBC he didn't get why federal employees would need to visit food banks.
"I know they are," he said, "and I don't really quite understand why because, as I mentioned before, the obligations that they would undertake – say, borrowing from a bank or credit union – are in effect federally guaranteed."
Workers could be visiting real banks instead, he said: "The 30 days of pay that people will be out – there's no real reason why they shouldn't be able to get a loan against it, and we've seen a number of ads from the financial institutions doing that."