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Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

Getting Paid for Not Working

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As Kellie Lunney notes, there's no guarantee that federal employees will get back pay if they end up getting furloughed in a government shutdown.

But some folks seem to be assuming there's nothing to worry about. Here's what one commenter had to say about a previous Fedblog item on the possibility of a shutdown:

Close the Government down. I was in the last close down and it was terrific. Unlike regular holidays this was unplanned so I had time to wax my car and do those other things that never get done. Ultimately, we got paid for not working.

Isn't that the supreme irony of shutdowns? History shows that in the event they happen, federal employees are made whole, and you have a situation in which would-be budget-cutters create the ultimate in government waste: actually paying people not to work. Which begs the question of whether this time around, the Tea Party folks will take a harder line on retroactive pay.

Tom Shoop is vice president and editor in chief at Government Executive Media Group, where he oversees both print and online editorial operations. He started as associate editor of Government Executive magazine in 1989; launched the company’s flagship website, GovExec.com, in 1996; and was named editor in chief in 2007.

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