GOP Government Shutdown Cost $24 Billion

Members of congress should hold off on any high-fives for a while, as the economic impact of the shutdown debacle isn't over yet.

The government shutdown has taken at least $24 billion out of the United States economy, according to Bloomberg News on Thursday.

Even House Speaker John Boehner's favorite eatery took a big hit:

"Gum Tong owns a diner in Washington, D.C., and Matt Bellinger charters fishing boats in the Florida Everglades. They have this in common: The shutdown of the U.S. government cost them money they will never get back.

Pete’s Diner & Carryout, a 50-year-old Capitol Hill eatery frequented by House Speaker John Boehner, lost about 80 percent of its usual business, said Tong, surrounded by empty seats and Halloween decorations. Bellinger missed out on $1,000 a day in canceled charters because Everglades National Park was closed.

“What people have been doing in droves is saying ‘We’ll go to Disney World,’ or ‘We’ll cancel our trip and go home’,” Bellinger said in a telephone interview. Nineteen groups dropped plans for four-hour fishing trips.

“I can’t make that money back,” he said. “It’s gone.”

The U.S. economy is big and resilient. Now with the 16-day shutdown ended and the threat of a U.S. default at least delayed, economists will probably look back on this as a glitch, one of those passing crises that seem so common nowadays.

For people like Tong and Bellinger, and for thousands of small businesses, this was no glitch. It’s money that can’t be easily recovered, creating a long-term ripple effect -- with the holidays approaching -- that will be difficult to forget."

Small business suffered, large corporations saw stock values fall, thousands of military students .were forced to drop out of classes, mainly because of suspension of the Defense Department’s tuition assistance program during the government shutdown.

With Environmental Protection Agency inspectors off work, pesticide approvals were delayed. One chemical, used to kill slugs and snails, was held up at a port in the Pacific Northwest, which will mean some seed won’t be protected from the pests this winter.

“When the weather turns wet, the slugs and snails eat the seed,” he said. “It’s hard to recover.”

And some people are worried because the debt limit is being raised only until Feb. 7, and fear taking even further losses yet again.

Members of congress should hold off on any high-fives for a while, as the economic impact of the shutdown debacle isn't over yet.

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About Diane Sweet

Diane Sweet's picture
Senior Editor, Lives in a gerrymandered district in Michigan.

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