Top White House Advisor: The Shutdown Is Basically a Paid Vacation for Furloughed Workers

Photo: Chip Somodevilla (Getty Images)

If you ever wondered how out of touch the stars of the hit reality show The Real Beverly Hillbillies of the White House is with the American people, look no further than Kevin Hassett, the chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

On Thursday, as the longest government shutdown in American history continues and federal workers try to figure out how to try to make ends meet with no pay, Hassett told PBS’ NewsHour that employees who are struggling to survive with no end in sight were doing ok because they essentially got a free vacation.

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“A huge share of government workers were gonna to take vacation days, say, between Christmas and New Year’s,” Hassett said, Talking Points Memo reports. “And then we have a shutdown, and so they can’t go to work, and so then they have the vacation, but they don’t have to use their vacation days.”

He added: “And then they come back, and then they get their back pay. Then they’re in some sense they’re better off.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) condemned the comments Friday afternoon:

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Hassett also noted that slavery wasn’t that bad because it included food, lodging and a free exercise regimen.

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Stephen A. Crockett Jr.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.