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Yesterday, the S&P index estimated that the government shutdown cost the U.S. economy $24 billion and .6% GDP in estimated growth. Which is why Senator Elizabeth Warren is not celebrating.

In an email to her constituents, Warren expressed her disdain for and frustration with those Republican colleagues who irreparably harmed this country, and she did so in a series of pointed questions:

According to the S&P index, the government shutdown had delivered a powerful blow to the U.S. economy. By their estimates, $24 billion has been flushed down the drain for a completely unnecessary political stunt ... $24 billion dollars. How many children could have been back in Head Start classes? How many seniors could have had a hot lunch through Meals on Wheels? How many scientists could have gotten their research funded? How many bridges could have been repaired and trains upgraded?"
These answer to all of these questions is: too many.

Of course, such questions are of little importance to Republican lawmakers, who rarely care about funding figures that reach into the billions (unless it's military spending).

No, they're more concerned about entities that are funded with millions, such as PBS and NPR.

As with Warren, I too am angry. As is most of the country. Let us hope that, come election day in 2014, memory of this moment will not be lost on voters.


What Do You Buy For the Children
David Harris-Gershon is author of the memoir What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist Who Tried to Kill Your Wife?, just out from Oneworld Publications.

Originally posted to David Harris-Gershon (The Troubadour) on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 12:23 PM PDT.

Also republished by Writing by David Harris Gershon and Massachusetts Kosmopolitans.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Elizabeth Warren must be cloned (23+ / 0-)

    We need lots more!

    There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

    by Puddytat on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 12:26:44 PM PDT

    •  Let's fund that! (6+ / 0-)

      Wait, there's no money left.

      "If the Jew who struggles for justice for Palestine is considered anti-Semitic, & if Palestinians seeking self-determination are so accused...then no oppositional move can take place w/o risking the accusation." - Judith Butler

      by David Harris Gershon on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 12:27:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Elizabeth Warren for President (0+ / 0-)

      I'd much rather see her nominated for 2016 than Hillary.  I trust her completely with this country.

    •  my concern (0+ / 0-)

      Like several other Democrats, Elizabeth Warren began as a powerful advocate for the former middle class/poor, but abruptly changed course when it became politically expedient to do so, jumping on the elitist Middle Class Only bandwagon. I won't support any candidate or party that embraces the idea that only those with incomes in the $50k range and up are worthy of government representation. As far as Bill Clinton had pulled the Dem Party leadership to the right, they should remember that he gave us 8 years of Bush.

  •  That's exactly what it was. nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  This is why we can't have nice things. n/t (9+ / 0-)

    Why do I have the feeling George W. Bush joined the Stonecutters, ate a mess of ribs, and used the Constitution as a napkin?

    by Matt Z on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 12:28:28 PM PDT

  •  Anvils, Anchors, meet chains and collars. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Now that you're all attached to republicans let's see how those poor unfortunate dupes handle the midterm run shall we?

    Give blood. Play hockey.

    by flycaster on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 12:33:00 PM PDT

  •  How much of that $24 billion would have wound (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, pollbuster, dragonwerx, JBraden

    up in the federal coffers? In other words how much did the "We're drowning in red ink!" GOP increase the deficit by with their stupid theatrics? What ever that number is we should get as an automatic increase in taxes on corporations to offset the penalty.

    Spite is the ranch dressing Republicans slather on their salad of racism

    by ontheleftcoast on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 12:33:55 PM PDT

    •  All dollars originate in the U.S. Treasury. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chi, DSPS owl

      Congress has merely set up the Federal Reserve to launder those dollars so the banksters can lend them back to the Treasury to collect a premium, instead of having them return as revenue. Why did Congress do that? To set up a permanent cadre of moneyed middlemen who would fund their elections. Also, these moneyed middlemen, virtual henchmen, act as arbiters of who else gets funding and who not. Moreover, by restricting the flow of dollars back to the Treasury, they give Congress an excuse to ration the distribution and continue to dole out goodies selectively.
      Incumbency is promoted by extortion. The junior members of Congress (212 in the last three elections) did not introduce extortion to the Congress. The Tea Party people have just been extremely blatant about it, intead of working quietly like McConnel, who got an extra three billion for Kentucky. Is that going to save his bacon in the next election? One hopes not.

      •  Oh, puleez (0+ / 0-)

        You can think this because you have done no research, and because you did not live through the US' 2nd Great Depression (1893- ~1914), its Double-Dip (Panic of '07) and Triple-Dip (Panic of '10).
        The Federal Reserve Act was signed during the recession of 1913-1914 "the culmination of a sequence of events following" the rollercoaster Depressions & recessions around the turn of the 20th Century.

        The creation of your "permanent cadre of moneyed middlemen who would fund their (Congress') elections" has been around almost since the beginning of this Country. It merely excluded the Banker of the Revolution, Haym Salomon, who died bankrupt because our Country could not afford to pay his estate what it owed him - Despite his financing of the March to Yorktown.

        The "moneyed cadre" operated with great latitude during the post-Civil War Era, "piratezing" the South's assets and maneuvering the borders of many Western States and the railroad routes (as they had with the Eastern ones pre-War).

        Greed and Power drives the "moneyed cadre", and many incumbents - to wit, Mitch McConnell.

        Too bad we don't have more members of the "moneyed cadre" like Haym Salomon. The City of Chicago erected a statue of George Washington, flanked by Haym Salomon and Robert Morris. It stands today at the intersection of Wabash and Wacker Drive. Under the image of Salomon it says "Haym Salomon - Gentlemen, Scholar, Patriot. A banker whose only interest was the interest of his Country."

  •  Seems like we are comparing apples and oranges (0+ / 0-)

    The "lost" $24 billion is out of a $16 Trillion economy or less than .02%. This isn't $24 billion of tax revenue that could fund Head Start or any other government program. There is no doubt that tax revenues were lost, although we haven't seen an estimate yet, but people keep making these comparisons that have no basis in statistics or logic.

    MB had a diary yesterday on the lost economic output because of the shutdown and the estimates are all over the lot, from $5 billion to the $24 billion number.

    My only point is let's use data in the correct context.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 12:36:05 PM PDT

    •  I think this is more acccurate (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib, BobBlueMass, Calamity Jean

      A new report by Macroeconomic Advisers finds that ”Congress’s budget fights, debt-ceiling stand-offs, and spending cuts have cost the U.S. economy nearly 3 percent of GDP since 2010. That’s roughly $700 billion in lost economic activity — all thanks to Congress.”

      Wanting to own a gun is an immediate indicator that you should be the last person to have one.

      by pollbuster on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 12:53:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  pollbuster - I imagine most of that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        is spending cuts, given that this year was the first shutdown in that time period.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 01:01:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Since Washington is the source of all dollars, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean

          when Congress refuses to spend and rations what ought to be in infinite supply, it undermines trade and exchange and reduces the flow of the currency from a trickle to a drip. Moreover, given this example at the source, other users of currency are tempted to hoard what they have, less their supply be cut off entirely. Private and public spending is not an either/or matter. Dollars need to be recycled like aluminum cans.

          •  Love your analogy (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Calamity Jean
            Dollars need to be recycled like tin cans
            Who needs a mountain of tin cans in the back yard as long as its easy to pick up more? I think the first Americans may have been onto something.

            "Let us not look back to the past with anger, nor towards the future with fear, but look around with awareness." James Thurber

            by annan on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 01:55:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, it's a small total of the whole economy (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib, mdetrano, Meteor Blades

      but 24 billion / 16 trillion comes to 0.15%, roughly 1 part per thousand, I think you misplaced a digit somewhere.

      But even assuming a 4% tax rate on that $24 billion figure we're talking close to a billion dollars in lost revenue for the government. No matter how you slice it these "fiscal hawks" are responsible for increasing the deficit and there should be a price they pay for that.

      Spite is the ranch dressing Republicans slather on their salad of racism

      by ontheleftcoast on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 01:03:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  numbers (0+ / 0-)

        Numbers don't mean much to people, I think.  Consider how AFDC used a mere 6% of the fed. budget at  its highest -- back in the 1970s. Who didn't believe that it used at least 50%, since they said it was "driving the debt, bringing taxpayers to their knees"?  They're annoyed that military adventurism eats roughly 50% of our budget, but absolutely outraged by any crumbs that trickle down to the poor.

    •  Standard economic models point (0+ / 0-)

      to a ten fold return per dollar over a cycle (which I believe, its been 25 years since I took the course) is a year - this is called the multiplier effect.  So, 25 billion lost in the few weeks - unless they've already built in the multiplier effect, which is almost never done,  is actually 250 billion by one year from now.


      •  The multiplier effect isn't 10X in 1 yr (0+ / 0-)

        This was lost GDP output. If every one of the $16 Trillion of 2013 GDP had a 10X multiplier effect in one year the economy would have output in 2014 of $160 Trillion. There is a multiplier effect, but please check your math.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 12:29:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is why anyone who believes their blather (9+ / 0-)

    about being fiscally conservative or responsible should have their heads examined. They have no credibility on this issue - none!

    Also absolutely shameful is their pretense to care about the future and the grandchildren (sob!) when they don't give a hoot about the health and welfare of today's children  who they are booting out of HeadStart and ripping food from their hands.

    “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

    by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 12:43:40 PM PDT

    •  well said-Their hate & selfishness is beyond (4+ / 0-)

      well.. most anything, really.

    •  trreatment of poor (0+ / 0-)

      In all honesty, it is middle class America that supports the most brutality law allows for the poor. They think that poverty is merely a "lifestyle choice," rather than a hell. I really do believe middle class America enjoys seeing the desperately poor suffer, treated as punitively as possible, as if they had made a criminal choice.  Interestingly, since Clinton's welfare "reform," the overall life expectancy of America's poor has fallen by 5-6 years.  That might not sound like much, but on a population-wide scale, nations would normally regard this as a very real crisis.

  •  I make a case for this amount being promptly paid (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    back here.  And it's at least half serious.

    I don't negotiate with terrorists. I don't vote for them, either.

    by thenekkidtruth on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 12:44:55 PM PDT

  •  There is some good news for republicans (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Delevie

     They'll save a bunch of money on their health insurance.

    Wanting to own a gun is an immediate indicator that you should be the last person to have one.

    by pollbuster on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 12:47:23 PM PDT

  •  She is best new Senator in a long time (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollbuster, marsanges, Chi, DSPS owl

    but I loathe the distillation of this down to "24 billion"

    It was and still is inflicting pain. lots of it to so many people it is unimaginable that they would hurt so many over a political stunt. It is mean and cruel.

    24 billion. nope that is not the measure of cost of  this.

    GOP = cruelty & pain & suffering, all driven by greed.

    tell me - after you've sucked all the oxygen out of the room by being so successful at squeezing the middle class... how will you get any more.. much less an additional 5% growth on top??

  •  have them kick another 24 billion (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollbuster, DRo

    into the budget..we already have a shortfall from these stingy bastards....we could use it for infrastructure.

  •  I agree with Puddytat (5+ / 0-)

    We need a lot more like EW. Let's not forget that besides the $24 billion, all of these federal employees became back-logged with work that they should have been able to do, but couldn't due to this political extortion. It's going to cost more to get everything rolling again. I'll bet they won't get any overtime for getting caught up.

    "Half of Infinity is Still Infinity" - doc fiction

  •  "Shutdown Rehabilitation Act" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Either Pres. Obama or Dems should unveil a bill designed to inject stimulus funding equal to the $ amount that is estimated lost by the shutdown.

    Doing so would be great politics and policy:

    1) It allows Dems to remind everyone about the GOP shutdown, thus drawing out the political damage that much longer.

    2) If it passes, it provides valuable stimulus to the economy that will certainly need it even more than it did before the shutdown.

    3) If the GOP blocks it, Dems can make them look even more extreme by running with the argument that not only did the GOP shut down the government for nothing, but now they won't even allow the Dems to fix the damage they caused.

    It's a win-win-win.

    I say do a thorough accounting of the economic impact of the Shutdown over the next couple months, then Pres. Obama announces the "Shutdown Rehabilitation Act" at the State of the Union.

    Our Fair City...a campy post-apocalyptic science fiction radio epic!

    by The BBQ Chicken Madness on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 02:06:28 PM PDT

  •  Send the bill to the Koch Brothers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dragonwerx, JBraden

    They can afford it. They've stolen more than that from us the last few years.

    Peace on Earth was all it said.

    by BobBlueMass on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 02:09:47 PM PDT

  •  We need to send an invoice (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IowaBiologist, JBraden

    with a payable amount of $24 billion.  We'll send multiple copies to the Koch Brothers, Heritage Foundation, every Tea Party rep who voted to shut down the government and to the GOP.  
    They can split it any way they want, but we want our money in 30 days or we put a collection agency on them.

    Anyone who says $24 billion is a negligible part of our huge  economy needs to ask themselves this:
    If you squandered $100,000 from your multi-million dollar employer due to sheer arrogance, incompetence and demagoguery, how fast would you be fired?

    As a citizen who pays for salary, health benefits and pension for these idiotic petty pols, I want them fired!

  •  Elizabeth Warren for President (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Power corrupts so maybe this is not a good idea and she should remain the conscience of America without the presidency. Still it might make more sense than Hillary...

  •  Parkinson's Law of Trivality (0+ / 0-)
    "The time spent on any item of the agenda will be in inverse proportion to the sum [of money] involved."
    Parkinson writes about a finance committee meeting with a three-item agenda.
    The first is the signing of a £10[3] million contract to build a reactor, the second a proposal to build a £350 bicycle shed for the clerical staff, and the third proposes £21 a year to supply refreshments for the Joint Welfare Committee.

    The £10 million number is too big and too technical, and it passes in two minutes and a half.

    The bicycle shed is a subject understood by the board, and the amount within their life experience, so committee member Mr. Softleigh says that an aluminium roof is too expensive and they should use asbestos. Mr. Holdfast wants galvanized iron. Mr. Daring questions the need for the shed at all. Mr. Holdfast disagrees.

    Parkinson then writes: "The debate is fairly launched. A sum of £350 is well within everybody's comprehension. Everyone can visualize a bicycle shed. Discussion goes on, therefore, for forty-five minutes, with the possible result of saving some £50. Members at length sit back with a feeling of accomplishment."

    So it goes with our Republican friends.

    "If nominated, I will not run; if elected, I will not serve; if impeached, I will not leave" -Anon

    by Graebeard on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 06:22:04 PM PDT

  •  Something's missing here... (0+ / 0-)

    ...where are the troll comments? Hello? Ahhh... this is so refreshing!

  •  Government Shutdown flushes $24 million (0+ / 0-)

    Does that mean no portion of that money went to pay banks for loan penalties?

  •  stop using the word billion, it minimizes amounts (0+ / 0-)

    Instead do like the Brits and say 1000 Million.

    1 Billion sounds small compared to 1000 Million.

    It takes  stopping to think for a moment to realize they are the same amount.

    Doesn't Six hundred and fifty thousand million sound much larger than 651 Billion.

    The sheer # of words drives home the size. Saying it repeatedly would hammer home to many just how enormous our defense budget is.

    Billion should be banned from the Liberal and Progressive vocabulary as should all words for #s larger than a million.

    In it's place compounds of a million should be used. Instead of the extremely minimizing trillion, we should say a million million.

  •  Priorities (0+ / 0-)

    People are somewhat annoyed by the cost, but largely shrug it off.  Business as usual.  Now imagine how the middle class would have responded if the president announced that he decided to put $24 billion into emergency poverty relief for America's desperately poor! There would be a great deal of "moaning and gnashing of teeth!"

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