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The Almighty Buck United States

Shutdown Cost the US Economy $24 Billion 767

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the congress-blames-lazy-workers dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Time Magazine reports that according to an estimate from Standard & Poor's, the government shutdown, which ended with a deal late Wednesday night after 16 days, took $24 billion out of the U.S. economy and reduced projected fourth-quarter GDP growth from 3 percent to 2.4 percent. The breakdown includes about $3.1 billion in lost government services, $152 million per day in lost travel spending, $76 million per day lost because of National Parks being shut down, and $217 million per day in lost federal and contractor wages in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area alone. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers bore the economic brunt of the shutdown but small businesses also suffered from frozen government contracts and stalled business loans. With the deal only guaranteeing government funding through January 15, the situation could grow worse. 'This is a real corrosion on the economy,' says Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody's Analytics. 'If we have to go down a similar road in the near future, the costs are going to continue to add up.'"
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Shutdown Cost the US Economy $24 Billion

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  • Re:Really? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DaHat (247651) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @02:39PM (#45156255) Homepage

    That's a whole lot more than "not one dime"... granted plenty of us also haven't been able to keep our health insurance plan & doctor as promised... so what do I know?

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by beatljuice (735526) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @02:44PM (#45156337) Homepage
    First off, I don't want ObamaCare. But the fact is it was passed 3 YEARS ago and then vetted by the supreme court (I disagree with that decision by the way). The fiscal conservatives have had plenty of time to make changes to, or eliminate ObamaCare and haven't been able to. While I agree with the conservative stance on ObamaCare I also think the Republicans were basically throwing a temper tantrum here. I think they need to get some work done on small changes that might really happen instead of these big impossible tasks to make headlines. The government has grown unwieldy over the last century. We're not going to shrink it to a proper size in one election cycle.
  • by PoliTech (998983) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @02:55PM (#45156519) Homepage Journal
    Another fun fact is that there's no actual "debt ceiling" right now. At all.

    The fiscal deal passed by Congress on Wednesday doesn't actually increase the debt limit. It just temporarily suspends enforcement of it. [dailycaller.com] We the people just gave a bunch of politicians a blank check.

  • by dgatwood (11270) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @02:56PM (#45156527) Journal

    40% is still low [wikipedia.org] compared with most of the civilized world. Most of the countries that are significantly lower on the list also have a significantly lower standard of living than the U.S. The few exceptions almost all have either no military or a U.S.-supported military.

  • by s.petry (762400) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @03:09PM (#45156747)

    Lost productivity? Those are non essential people, there was no productivity lost in reality. Are you going to make up something about how they were spinning gold or some such to claim that "no really they are very productive people"? Don't get me wrong, I'm sure every one of those people do the best they can at their jobs, so I don't mean that as a personal insult to them. My claim is that those people are non essential people. They are not required for defending our borders from a massive invasion, they are not required to judge legal matters, they are not required to mitigate our laughable trade imbalance, and they are not required for other members of society to perform their daily activities.

    There is of course a red herring where you could claim that a service industry that relies on that many Government workers suffered. It's a false argument of course, because if we took away those non-essential jobs and returned the tax money to those of us that pay, that service industry would make the same amount of money.

    Now to the other point you made in "Considering that we have to pay 800,000 people for time they didn't (couldn't) work", this is another line of crap from politicians. We don't "have" to pay them! This was a politician's decision to GIVE them money. Many of them are going to get Unemployment in addition to getting PTO. We didn't have to give them anything, but a politician chose to give them YOUR TAX MONEY! Makes you feel good don't it?

  • by HockeyPuck (141947) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @03:14PM (#45156797)

    I've got some friends who work for the Fed and they loved the shutdown because they a) didn't have to go to work, b) weren't using up vacation days and c) were guaranteed backpay for the days the gov't was shutdown.

    Nothing like a paid vacation.

  • Re:Really? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cold fjord (826450) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @03:21PM (#45156905)

    This isn't an obscure fact, and the news doesn't get better with a different source.

    Administration Still Double-Counting Medicare Cuts [theatlantic.com]

  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @03:32PM (#45157075)

    Libertarian kookiness. You realize that gold doesn't have much intrinsic value, right? And look at how much volatility there is in gold by convincing other libertarians that the world is going to explode.

  • Re: Really? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SirGarlon (845873) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @03:32PM (#45157077)

    Many Americans pay a comparable amount, but don't realize it because the full costs of health insurance are hidden. Employers pay a big portion of the health-insurance premium. If you combine the premiums, the portion of premiums that employers pay (~80% in my case), out-of-pocket costs like deductibles, plus the Medicare tax, it adds up to more than 20% of my gross income.

    I personally think it is crazy to have employers responsible for their employees' health plans, but that's the way we do things here and no one is seriously talking about changing it.

  • Re:Let me guess (Score:3, Interesting)

    by _xeno_ (155264) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @05:06PM (#45158211) Homepage Journal

    If the GOP is so smart and the president built this as a trap for them, why have they been planning for months to throw themselves into the pit?

    What trap? It's not 1995. The Democrats just think it is. The only fall-out the GOP can expect from this is that Boehner might lose his speakership, and even that's somewhat unlikely.

    Why do you think the Democrats did nothing to seriously try and prevent the shutdown? Why do you think Obama made the shutdown as painful as possible, closing things that neither Clinton nor Regan felt the need to close? Because they're convinced that they're going to repeat 1996 in 2014 that way.

    It's not that hard. Both parties are playing politics here. You can't assign blame to just one, both are to blame. Both parties wanted the shutdown. The Democrats just hoped that they'd be able to pretend that it was all the GOP's fault.

    Don't fall for that trick. The government shutdown was entirely avoidable, if only either party wanted to actually avoid it. Neither did - both were hoping to score political points through the shutdown.

  • Re: Really? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Dare nMc (468959) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @09:12PM (#45160249)

    > If you ask for proof I give you the VA.
    I would be interested in what is wrong with the VA healthcare? Everyone I know loves it, Vet was helping me and broke his fingure, was from out of town, he was back in 1 hour after paying $10, when I broke my finger I was in the waiting room for 4 hours before seeing a Dr. Only complaint I have heard of, is getting disability pay from the VA, otherwise it is great, and the taxpayer cost per person seams better than private.

    Until the last sentence I thought you were pro government. Similar with Social security, the program would be self sufficient and a great idea, other than the general deficit. The fact we spent the $1 trillion dollar surplus from SSN on a dumb war, and the bush tax cuts, it would be doing great on it's own.

    >Why would you take a system that a vast majority of the population is satisfied with, massively increase the cost

    What? who was happy with a system who's cost was sprialing up, while services provided were spiraling down? Causing 1/2 of all bankruptcies in the country? Only the insurance companies were happy with it.

  • Re: Really? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Aighearach (97333) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @09:26PM (#45160321) Homepage

    My boss doesn't have to sponsor my Auto insurance. Why do they have to sponsor my health insurance?

    Because wages were frozen during WWII so companies added insurance in place of higher wages. And then later, the conservatives used the widespread existence of employer-provided health care as an excuse for why we didn't need a national program, when the rest of the world was getting modernized enough to have national programs. It was touted as a better, more American way to do it. Years later where we get less care for the same money, with hugely increased paperwork and overhead, we can simply measure if it was better or not.

    It was never an "American way," though, it was just an American accident of history that we got stuck with because of partisan BS.

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro..." -- Hunter S. Thompson

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