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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

GOP Has Already Squandered $1 Billion on Shutdown, More Coming

Richard Eskow’s “The GOP’s Shutdown Tab: One Billion Dollars and Counting” at HuffPo shares some of the various cost estimates for the the shutdown:

Forty million dollars an hour. A third of a billion every day. $1.6 billion every week. That’s a conservative estimate of the money Republicans are wasting by keeping the federal government closed down…Republicans in Congress recently voted to cut $4 billion per year from programs that feed the needy. In two and a half weeks they’ll have wasted more than that on their shutdown.
…That $1.6 billion per week figure first received widespread publicity when Morgan Stanley’s analytical team began discussing the potential cost of the shutdown, expressed in “basis points” (see notes below), in an investor newsletter this week. (A Morgan Stanley team member confirmed the number with us on Wednesday.) Other groups, including IHS Global Insight, have since offered similar estimates.
…Economist Stephen Fuller, who runs George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis, estimated this weekend that the Washington DC metropolitan economy could lose as much as $200 million for each day the government remains closed. Since only 15 percent of Federal workers live in the DC area, the true cost of the shutdown nationwide (including parts of the country with lower living costs) could conceivably be a billion dollars per day or more.
…A month? That’s nearly $7 billion lost (almost two years of Republican food stamp cuts). Two months? That’s nearly $14 billion.
Re the numbers: Loss estimates are based on the income of furloughed Federal employees, which has been estimated at one “basis point” of the US GDP (one 100th of one percent) per week. Using 2012 numbers from the IMF, that comes to $1,623,774,600.
That means the shutdown’s costing us $324,754,920 per day, based on a five-day work week. The cost per hour, based on an eight-hour work day, is therefore $40,954,365. A month’s losses are calculated by multiplying the weekly figure by 4.3, the number of weeks in an average month.

This from the political party that claims to hate government waste. As Eskow observes, “if there’s one thing Republicans know how to do it’s run a tab….The GOP’s Federal shutdown is on the verge of becoming the most fiscally irresponsible gesture in modern political history.”

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