Report: Gov't Shutdown Proved Costly to Taxpayers

November 13, 2013

The Obama administration issued a report detailing the impact of the two-week government shutdown in October that furloughed government employees and has been blamed on putting the economy -- including the housing market -- in a holding pattern. 

The shutdown caused back-pay of furloughed government employees to amount to $2 billion, and a loss of 120,000 private-sector jobs.

The shutdown resulted in 6.6 million days of lost work, the report said. Other effects from the shutdown also include missed fees from interest due on late payments, among other items.  The government shutdown also has been blamed on the fall of consumer and business confidence.

“Millions of Americans were impacted by the shutdown, due to furloughs of federal employees, reduced services for the public and delays in payments to federal grantees, states, localities, contractors and individuals,” Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the budget director, said in the report.

A report by Standard & Poor’s estimated the shutdown cost the U.S. economy $24 billion in losses and reduced fourth-quarter growth from 3 percent to 2.4 percent. 

Unless Congress passes a budget or provides an alternative for financing the government, a second shutdown may loom at the beginning of 2014. 

Source: “White House Puts Price on Government Shutdown,” The New York Times (Nov. 8, 2013)

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