Shuttering the Government Actually Costs More Than Keeping it Open — More Than $2 Billion Last Time

Dark money in politics hurt Blacks (NNPA Photo by Freddie Allen)
(NNPA Photo by Freddie Allen)

(The Washington Post) – Budget hawks in Congress may stand their ground on wasteful spending, but shutting down the government is no example of fiscal frugality.

Lost work, back pay and wiped-out jobs for federal contractors and other private-sector workers loom as just some of the costs of a closure that will happen in six days unless Democrats and Republicans in Congress break their impasse over abortion, military spending and other issues to pass a new budget.

The last time this happened, for 16 days in October 2013, the White House put a price on it: 6.6 million days of lost work, $2 billion in back pay for 850,000 federal employees who did no work and 120,000 private-sector jobs gone.

The effects, according to an accounting by the Office of Management and Budget and later by the Government Accountability Office, also added up to less effective government services as federal agencies spent much of their time ramping up for a closure before it happened, then recovering afterward from delays to their operations.


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