It looks as if a government shutdown is extremely likely to occur at midnight tonight. When that happens essential employees will continue to work, but will not be paid until the shutdown ends. Non-essential employees will be furloughed without their salaries. In 1996, when passing the new budget, the congresses authorized backpay for the employees that were furloughed. Whether or not that will occur for this shutdown is unknown. My question to you is should it be?
Going against the notion of back pay is a couple of things that I can think of. First and foremost, these individuals will not have worked adn thus shouldn't be entitled to pay. Additionally, as we know we're in a financially troubled time in this country and not paying them would mean more money to be used elsewhere.
On the flip side, these individuals are not striking. They are not choosing to not work. They are being forced out of their job because the Congress is not successfully doing theirs. They are already being punished by essentially having their salaries at the very least delayed, potentially causing issues for various bills and expenses, and by causing their workload to significantly pile up. Should they have extra punishment placed on top for Congresses ineptitude by not just delaying, but cutting, their salaries?
So what do you all say? Should there be back pay, should they be paid nothing, or some other alternative?