Donald Trump’s government shutdown – the longest in United States history – cost the American economy at least $6 billion.
According to Reuters, “The U.S. economy lost at least $6 billion during the partial shutdown of the federal government due to lost productivity from furloughed workers and economic activity lost to outside business, S&P Global Ratings said on Friday.”
“Although this shutdown has ended, little agreement on Capitol Hill will likely weigh on business confidence and financial market sentiments,” S&P said in a release, according to the report.
Trump’s shutdown was pointless, but it did lasting damage
Donald Trump’s shutdown was completely pointless. After 35 days, he caved in and agreed to a deal that reopened the government for three weeks, without any wall funding.
If he was an adult president, it’s a deal he would have taken before shutting down the government in the first place.
But even though the government shutdown is officially over – for now – the long-lasting effects to the economy aren’t going anywhere.
The Huffington Post laid out some of the long-term damage:
For one thing, some federal contract employees won’t get back pay. While Congress routinely approves back pay for federal workers during shutdowns, people who work for companies that provide services ― such as thousands of janitors and security officers who work in federal buildings ― don’t receive the same consideration.
For another, millions of Americans will have to stretch their food budgets. The federal government ordered states to distribute February’s food benefit payments several weeks early because of the shutdown. More than 38 million Americans receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, and they’ll now have to wait until March for their next payment. Some beneficiaries may have already spent the February allotment, thinking it was some kind of accidental bonus.
At the end of the day, Trump’s shutdown wasn’t just pointless, but as The New York Times Editorial Board points out, it was cruel.
“What a debacle President Trump’s shutdown proved to be — what a toddler’s pageant of foot-stomping and incompetence, of vainglory and self-defeat,” the Times Editorial Board wrote. “Mr. Trump tormented public servants and citizens and wounded the country, and, in conceding on Friday after holding the government hostage for 35 days, could claim to have achieved nothing.”
Worse is that Trump doesn’t appear to have learned a lesson from this disaster, tweeting on Friday that he’s eager to jump back into another government shutdown if he doesn’t get his wall by Feb 15.
For the hundreds of thousands of Americans still reeling and recovering from this disaster, Donald Trump’s humiliating cave-in to Nancy Pelosi offers them little comfort as the country hurtles toward another shutdown in three weeks.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.