Government Shutdown

On October 1, 2013, the United States government entered a shutdown as Republicans attempted to defund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. This action by Republicans created gridlock between the Republican House of Representatives and the Democratic Senate, resulting in a failed congressional attempt to appropriate funds for the 2014 fiscal year and 800,000 federal employees indefinitely furloughed, and hundreds of thousands of others coerced into working without pay.

So, how much did the 16-day shutdown affect the economy? According to Time magazine writer Eliana Dockterman’s article “Here’s How Much the Government Shutdown Cost the Economy,” the finally tally was 24-billion dollars.

Here’s how ABC News broke down the costs:

–          $3.1 billion lost in government services. Furloughed workers will get their back pay, but taxpayers won’t benefit from any products, according to the IHS.

–          $152 million lost per day in all travel-related spending, calculated by the U.S. Travel Association.

–          $76 million lost per day in National Park Services.

But not all was bad. Shushannah Walsh of ABC News shares, “There was a 3 percent increase in restaurant beverage (primarily liquor) sales during the first week of October 2013, compared to the first week of September of this year.”

Despite the country’s unaddressed debt crisis, just after midnight on October 17th, President Obama signed a bill to raise the debt ceiling and end the 2013 government shutdown – but the debt cushion extends only through February 2014. CNN’s Tom Cohen, along with Greg Botelho and Holly Yan, however, see this as a temporary bandage. John Chambers of financial services company Standard & Poor’s tells CNN, “We think that we’ll be back here in January debating the same issues.”

The government, although it may have resolved the gridlock, has inevitably set itself up for a shutdown again in a matter of months.