(NaturalNews) Most Americans work in the private sector, and many find the pay and benefits lavished upon federal government employees as unfair and inappropriate, especially since they know that government pay and benefits are supplied, by and large, by taxpayers.
So it's not likely they will be happy with a decision to pay some federal employees in Oregon who were furloughed double.
As reported by Fox News:
Some federal workers who were furloughed in Oregon could be getting paid twice, with a state official confirming ... that those workers who received state unemployment benefits during the partial government shutdown will not have to re-pay the money.
Unemployment benefits, too, are paid by taxpayers.
Millions spent in double-dipping: Thank you, taxpayers
A spokesman for WorkSource Oregon Employment Department, the state's unemployment benefits division, told Fox News the workers in question received, "at most," only a week's worth of unemployment benefits. The spokesman went onto say he did not how many federal workers received the benefits. And he said the furloughed federal workers who double-dipped, compliments of the taxpayer, won't have to re-pay the state unemployment benefits.
More from Fox News:
The employees will receive double pay because the budget bill approved by Congress provides that all furloughed government workers will receive back pay for the days they did not work under the partial government shutdown.
According to Richard Hobble, of the National Association of State Workforce Agencies, if federal employees get paid double, then states should force them to repay those unemployment benefits once they get their back pay.
"The states will be expected to collect back from the claimants who received those benefits when in fact they were compensated for those weeks," he told Fox News Oct. 11.
During the 17-percent shutdown of the government, one-third of unemployment claims that were filed in the state of New Mexico came from federal workers. Fox News said it was not clear if they would also be paid twice, under the terms of the federal budget agreement provision, if their claims got approved.
"Washington D.C. and Maryland also both paid millions in unemployment benefits to about 24,000 furloughed workers during the budget crisis," Fox News reported.
It's not just Oregon
Other states also allow federal employees to double-dip by receiving state benefits as well.
According to USA Today, "Several states are expected to allow federal workers who collected unemployment insurance during the government shutdown to keep both those benefits and the back pay they're set to receive, according to the Labor Department."
The double-dipping is expected to add millions more to the shutdown's overall costs, which are still being calculated. Included already are billions of dollars in federal workers' lost productivity, as well as lost fee income and other government revenue from services and functions that went unfulfilled.
Some economists say the overall hit to the economy will be north of $24 billion - a substantial amount but far less than what the furloughed federal agencies lose annually in waste, fraud and abuse, which amounts to hundreds of billions every year. And that doesn't count the money spent to close open-air memorials or lost due to closure of federal parks, all of which came at the direction of the White House.
Some 400,000 federal workers were furloughed for nearly three weeks during the shutdown.
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