A government shutdown would cost taxpayers millions a day

A fiery group of House Republicans doesn’t seem to mind the prospect of shutting down the federal government in the name of cutting spending. They firmly believe the public is on their side, according to Politico:

It all adds up to this: Republicans have less to fear from a government shutdown now than they did when they endured the blame 15 years ago — at least that’s the thinking in some GOP circles.

“The context is dramatically different,” said former Rep. Bill Paxon (R-N.Y.), who was one of Gingrich’s top lieutenants. “We didn’t run on an agenda of the kind of fiscal reform that the Republicans talked about last November. I don’t think anybody is surprised or taken aback by the fiscal agenda that congressional Republicans have pursued.”

That’s the sort of overreach that is bound to get an energized majority in trouble. The voters did not elect them to shut down the government. No matter how much anti-government rhetoric voters use, they will be furious if they don’t get their Social Security checks, can’t get an emergency passport or have to cancel a long-planned trip to a national park. (Most folks forget those are the functions of a government they claim to despise.)

Besides, shutting down the federal government ends up costing the taxpayers millions of dollars a day, if the experience of 1995 is any guide. (Given inflation, it would probably cost a bit more now than it did then.)

As NBS’s blog First Read reports:

The Office of Management and Budget estimated early in 1996 that the first of two government shutdowns – for six days in November 1995 – cost taxpayers an estimated $100 million per day. The final price tag for that closing and the record three-week shutdown later that year – including back pay to workers who did not go to work over that time: Over $1.25 billion.

Other shutdowns have been costly too. According to the Government Accountability Office, a funding gap of just three days in 1991 rang up a $607 million bill, including $363 million in lost revenue and fees.

That includes back pay to government workers (those lost days were not pre-planned furloughs designed to close a budget gap) and fees that were uncollected.

Then, there’s the ancillary damage:

There are also major potential trickle-down effects for the nation’s economy.

Shortly after the three-week shutdown in 1995, the Interior Department concluded that the shuttering of national parks had cost related businesses and nearby local governments almost $300 million. A study conducted by the by National Parks and Conservation Association found that – even a year after the budget standoff – small businesses were still suffering from a lingering decline in tourism, especially by foreign visitors.

Contractors also suffered during the mid-1990s shutdowns. According to a survey conducted at the time by Signet Banking Corp., a third of federal contractors furloughed some of their own employees in January 1996. Many of those workers never received checks from their private-sector employers to make up for time lost.

So this gives House Republicans a chance to show whether they care more about cutting spending or delivering what they think is a sharp backhand to the president.

525 comments Add your comment

Keep up the good fight!

February 25th, 2011
7:20 am

Prediction: The backhand is already in the works.

But will it be a backhand or will the Dems turn it into a slapdown of the Republicans.

The New Thomas Paine

February 25th, 2011
7:22 am

The National Parks can take of themselves. Does the government propose to take better care of a woodland than Mother Nature? Yogi Bear can handle all the picnic baskets we can throw at Jellystone National Park, with or without government help.

At least we won’t have to hear Boo Boo say, “The ranger ain’t gonna like this, Yogi.” (the ranger will be out).

As far as speedy passports go, maybe it’s time our citizens see the USA in their Chevrolet. Why not keep tourist dollars here?

And to the entitlement recipients I say this: “The Indians din’t have no guvmint cheese, and they did just fine”.

Now you liberal folks all just git. No government is better than dog-and-pony government that so big it’s extra stupid. Just like no hair would look better on Cynthia Tucker than too long of a pony-tailed hair. It’s the same thing, only moresoevermore…

You know?

Bob

February 25th, 2011
7:28 am

The longer it gets shut down, the longer we are protected from the likes of idiots like Hank , Gaum be flippin’, Johnson.

Dudley

February 25th, 2011
7:34 am

Yea, never mind the cons are not doing the job they were hired to do. Fire them and be done with it!!!!! Just like they wanna do to the teachers.

BlahBlahBlah

February 25th, 2011
7:36 am

Shutting down = $1 billion.

Letting a bloated budget go through = way more than $1 billion.

Lesser of two evils.

Moderate Line

February 25th, 2011
7:37 am

It would appear to me that both sides are playing chicken. Democrats are hoping the Republicans will take the hit like they did last time so they don’t feel the need to compromise. Republicans feel as if they have more support than they did last time so they think the Democrats will take the hit.

We will see.

granny godzilla

February 25th, 2011
7:40 am

Wow.

ANOTHER deficit increase from the republicans ..And still no jobs bill?

I’d have thought they would have used the time between their big election and their start date to get prepared, but alas no.

They showed up not even close to ready for day one, and it’s been down hill ever since.

What are they doing in the House? In Speaker Pelosi’s first month the House passed 19 bills….in the same time under Speaker Boehner only 4 passed. What’s up with that?

A little more time at their desks and a little less sipping vino at fundraisers might be in order.

Good Grief

February 25th, 2011
7:45 am

So after four years of pure Democratic congressional control, we should blame these Republicans (who have controlled only the House, and only for about a month and a half)?

Oh, that’s right, I keep forgetting CT’s core principle: Democrats good, Republicans bad.

Moderate Line

February 25th, 2011
7:46 am

BlahBlahBlah

February 25th, 2011
7:36 am
Shutting down = $1 billion.

Letting a bloated budget go through = way more than $1 billion.

Lesser of two evils
+++++++
Shutting down the governmnet wil cost 1 billion plus whatever deficit remains. You will lose more by shutting down the government. Currently, defense, social security and medicare take up 53% of government spending. The governments revenue is only 58% of government revenue.

I doubt the budget cuts promised would equal the amount of cost from a government shutdown.

Keep up the good fight!

February 25th, 2011
7:49 am

Granny, glad to see you this morning. You were very popular with the name jacking children last night

Grief, you do realize that the current Republican plan cuts economic growth by 2% according to Goldman Sachs. Perhaps if the Republicans were not playing to their base they might get some real work done

Kevin

February 25th, 2011
7:53 am

I’m glad they havent passed that many bills. Peolosi, passed all those bills and cost us billions of dollars that didn’t produce any jobs. The less money they spend the better. Let privite sector create jobs, not big brother.

Peadawg

February 25th, 2011
7:57 am

“Grief, you do realize that the current Republican plan cuts economic growth by 2%” – That’s 2% more than the Democrats have tried to cut. Granted it’s still not near enough but it’s a start.

Keep up the good fight!

February 25th, 2011
7:57 am

Right Kevin. Hey did you notice that $4 billion profit over at GM. No jobs saved there and look Big Brother ran the company for a profit right. I mean that is what most on the right claim. GM is part of the socialist plan. And of course there is the bikini graph that shows you are off a wee tad.

So now, what is the Republican plan to create jobs…. a law to repeat another law on funding of abortion?

granny godzilla

February 25th, 2011
7:58 am

Keep

I took a peek just now….how sad they are.

I get under their skin….

Keep up the good fight!

February 25th, 2011
7:59 am

Pea…. 2% lower economic growth for the country is good? You do understand that economic growth for the nation is not budget deficit. In fact lower economic growth is bad for the country.

PJ

February 25th, 2011
8:01 am

The private sector is creating jobs. In China, India, Mexico,….
So what are we complaining about. If they build them we will come (and buy products made in foreign lands).

Joel Edge

February 25th, 2011
8:01 am

“A government shutdown would cost taxpayers millions a day”
Probably be cheaper.

JKL2

February 25th, 2011
8:02 am

-including back pay to workers who did not go to work over that time

I thought the only ones getting paid to not be at work were Wisconsin legislators and teachers? No work, no pay. It’s a pretty simple concept unless your in a government union. If I was in one I’d be beginning everyone for a shut down and then to keep it going for as long as possible.

Maybe they should look into having a part-time government like Texas?

Peadawg

February 25th, 2011
8:02 am

My bad Keep…early in the morning…totally misread your comment. I thought you were talking about the $60 billion in proposed cuts as a percentage of GDP or something. Time to get coffee……

Happy Friday everyone!!!

Keep up the good fight!

February 25th, 2011
8:02 am

Granny, very sad indeed.

are there no prisons, are there no workhouses?

February 25th, 2011
8:03 am

Peadawg is one dumb sumbitch.

granny godzilla

February 25th, 2011
8:05 am

Off Topic…..

Congratulations to Boeing!

Peadawg

February 25th, 2011
8:05 am

“In 2010, the United States accumulated over $3.5 billion in new debt each and every day”

“The Office of Management and Budget estimated early in 1996 that the first of two government shutdowns – for six days in November 1995 – cost taxpayers an estimated $100 million per day. The final price tag for that closing and the record three-week shutdown later that year – including back pay to workers who did not go to work over that time: Over $1.25 billion.” – So six days of closing could be cheaper, huh? :)

JKL2

February 25th, 2011
8:08 am

granny- In Speaker Pelosi’s first month the House passed 19 bills….in the same time under Speaker Boehner only 4 passed. What’s up with that?

Quality over quantity.

granny godzilla

February 25th, 2011
8:09 am

Peadawg

“the United States accumulated over $3.5 billion in new debt each and every day””

better check to see if that STOPS while government is shut down…..

granny godzilla

February 25th, 2011
8:10 am

JKL2

Or quality AND quantity.

Better light a fire under your Speaker…..

Keep up the good fight!

February 25th, 2011
8:13 am

Pea… In what world is shutting down the government good? I understand its a talking point and Republican threat but real people depend on the government every day. National parks closed, concessions closed, permits not processed, imports delayed, construction projects shut down at additional cost, workers not paid. there are real world consequences.

Bob

February 25th, 2011
8:14 am

Since Obama has been in office, the deficits have been in the range of 1.4 Trillion pear year. If gov shuts down and only costs millions a day instead of billions a day, the taxpayers are much better off. The moochers may not like it but those paying the bill won’t have a problem.

jt

February 25th, 2011
8:15 am

I am willing to pay millions of dollars day to shut down our Federal government.

Most freedom-loving world-wide citizens would.

Try us.

godless heathen

February 25th, 2011
8:15 am

Why is paying back pay for the shut down days counted as a cost of shutting down? Seems to me the cost is the same.

Judy

February 25th, 2011
8:17 am

Doesn’t the Republicans care about the people at all. Millions are going to be starving and homeless without their Social Security or unemployment checks. You want to eliminate the middle class completely, don’t give a damn about the poor and just care about your own comfort. If this shutdown happens, you’re to blame and there will probably be riots all over the place to add to the wonderful position you have already gotten us into!! How about you stop acting like children and negotiate. (Compromise is key here). We get the point. You can’t stand Obama but he’s doing a damn good job under the circumstances.

JKL2

February 25th, 2011
8:17 am

granny- Better light a fire under your Speaker…..

I’d rather have them take their time and do something right rather than just throwing out crap to make it look like their doing something. You do realize most of this session will be spent fixing all the “wonderful and exciting” things the last session did.

[...] thinks notPoliticoBudget battle anticipated in second half of legislative sessionGreat Falls TribuneAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog) -Wall Street Journal -Los Angeles Timesall 1,582 news [...]

Road Scholar

February 25th, 2011
8:17 am

Keep: “Grief, you do realize that the current Republican plan cuts economic growth by 2% according to Goldman Sachs. Perhaps if the Republicans were not playing to their base they might get some real work done”

The Repubs don’t like the estimate, even though Goldman Sucks are in their pocket. It’s sort of like their past comment” The deficit doesn’t matter”!

Oh, crap! Their I went and brought in history, something the conserves just can’t remember and get right!

More Than one Granny? I thought that would spin their heads too!

granny godzilla

February 25th, 2011
8:17 am

“I am willing to pay millions of dollars day to shut down our Federal government.”

Cash, check or charge?

godless heathen

February 25th, 2011
8:17 am

So the measure of a successful Congress is how many bills they pass? Like we don’t have enough laws. I’d rather have no new bills that a boatload of bad bills.

Dave R.

February 25th, 2011
8:17 am

” In Speaker Pelosi’s first month the House passed 19 bills….in the same time under Speaker Boehner only 4 passed. What’s up with that?”

Since very bill passed by Congress diminishes our rights in some way, I figure he GOP is waaaaay ahead.

granny godzilla

February 25th, 2011
8:18 am

JKL2

So your Speaker can’t multi-task?

Jimmy62

February 25th, 2011
8:18 am

It’s funny how the teachers in Wisconsin are shutting down schools and keeping students from getting educated, but that’s ok. It’s only when the right shuts anything down that it’s bad.

Hypocrisy, thy name is liberal.

granny godzilla

February 25th, 2011
8:19 am

godless heathen

February 25th, 2011
8:17 am
So the measure of a successful Congress is how many bills they pass?

It sure is a measure of how much work they are doing.

Keep up the good fight!

February 25th, 2011
8:20 am

Most freedom-loving world-wide citizens would. World-wide? And early play of the false-freedom loving patriot card…..yawn.

Heathen…. back pay is not the only cost but let’s see. You furlough employees. Some get back paid, some dont. But those employees dont work for that time period. So the work still has to get done. Overtime, delays… nope the cost is not the same.

The New Thomas Paine

February 25th, 2011
8:20 am

Hey everyone!! Notice how Ghadafi is stealing Charlie Sheen’s act with the lunatic rants? I mean, the two must share the same writer, no? Hey! That’s a Luckovich!!

Lucko has been spot-on lately.

godless heathen

February 25th, 2011
8:23 am

“It sure is a measure of how much work they are doing.”

Less work by all congress critters, R or D is better for all of us.

Peadawg

February 25th, 2011
8:23 am

From Cynthia’s link: “The new guys ran on slashing spending and they’re showing they meant it. Meanwhile, Washington Democrats wouldn’t cut a penny in their spending proposal…”

Keep, Granny, Cynthia, et al…y’all may want to call your local reps and tell them to get on board with spending cuts. Y’all can piss and moan on here all you want but it won’t do any good unless liberals get with the program. I think it’s funny that people are blaming Republicans for this potential shutdown when the Democrats and the ones putting their foot down saying no to spending cuts.

JKL2

February 25th, 2011
8:24 am

Road Scholar- The Repubs don’t like the estimate, even though Goldman Sucks are in their pocket

Obama’s boys are in the Republicans pockets? ROFLMAO. Time for a name change…

Peadawg

February 25th, 2011
8:24 am

Jimmy @ 8:18 – Touche! That is so true!

jt

February 25th, 2011
8:24 am

GG-

Cash, check or charge?

Talk to your boy Bernanke.
I’m not involved in your silly fiat currency.

Nor is most of the world buying it either……………..anymore.

godless heathen

February 25th, 2011
8:24 am

“Heathen…. back pay is not the only cost but let’s see. You furlough employees. Some get back paid, some dont. But those employees dont work for that time period. So the work still has to get done. Overtime, delays… nope the cost is not the same.”

They can catch up without overtime, believe me.

Alatsea

February 25th, 2011
8:24 am

All of you left wing fanatics seem to forget that the BO administration has done nothing than drive deeper and deeper in debt. Your clown of a “leader”seems to just sitting and watching the world go to hell. It took him a week to figure out Libya was in trouble. So keep walking with your head in the clouds and with luck you’ll get run over by a bus full of union thugs.
Have a nice day!

james

February 25th, 2011
8:25 am

Performing jury duty the last two days cost me and my family as well. That doesn’t make it wrong. I if the repubs were the party of “no” are the dems the party of “duck and run”?

KUTGF- your attempt at fiery metaphors do indeed add amusement.