"Breakdown: Here’s The Economic Cost Of Shutting Down The Government"
If Congress doesn’t reach a deal by midnight tonight, the government shuts down.
A shutdown isn’t just bad politically, it can also be damaging to the United States’ economy, taking the paychecks of federal employees out of the mix, and disrupting tourism across the country.
Here’s a look at some of the latest numbers on how a shutdown might affect our economy:
- A shutdown that lasted between three and four week could cost the economy about $55 billion, by the estimate of Moody’s Analytics economist Brian Kessler.
- Washington, DC, would lose $200 million a day on lost wages and lost spending by those who get furloughed. That estimate doesn’t include tourism, and the huge losses DC will feel from the museums and national mall being closed.
- The shutdown would “reduce federal spending” by about $8 billion, which could reduce GDP growth by .8 percent annualized, according to a report released Monday by Goldman Sachs.
- Moody’s Analytics’ Mark Zandi pegs the amount lost in economic growth in the fourth quarter at as much as 1.4 percent.
- One billion dollars a week from the pay of the roughly 800,000 federal employees will be lost from the U.S. economy.
These numbers, of course, don’t count a lot of things: The loans that the Small Business Administration will stop making, the permits that the Environmental Protection Agency won’t issue, the contracts that will be put on hold, and the nutrition assistance for infants and mothers that won’t go out. Or, of course, a tanking stock market that could ruin consumer confidence.
As ThinkProgress’s Alan Pyke previously noted, “Most of the costs of a shutdown are hard to tabulate because they involve damage to consumer, investor, and business confidence coming out of a shutdown, and lost time spent preparing for the worst in the weeks before a shutdown.” But Republicans are already feeling the political costs of forcing a shutdown: Their business allies, who recognize the potential damage a shutdown could do, have broken ranks and urged Republicans to call off the shutdown.