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The Boston Globe


Furlough pay would negate shutdown savings

Added expenses contrast with talk of fiscal restraint

WASHINGTON — The conservatives who propelled the first federal shutdown in 17 years have argued they are fighting for smaller, less costly, less-intrusive government. But a vote over the weekend to grant back pay to furloughed federal workers would negate any savings from a government shutdown and is more likely to raise net costs to taxpayers, according to government and outside estimates.

The move highlights another peculiarity of shutting down the government: under Washington’s political calculus, sending employees home for an indefinite period does not save money.

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