While Rep. Michele Bachmann
is pleased as punch with herself and Rep. John Culberson
is comparing the rather bland act of keeping the government running as equivalent to 9/11, all of the various reasons why a federal government shutdown might be bad continue to be restated. Oh look, here is another one.
[S]huttering government offices has actually cost taxpayers money—an estimated $2 billion in today’s dollars the last time it happened in 1995 and 1996, when the government closed for 27 days.
And this time would be no different, budget experts say. Even if workers aren’t given backpay, as they were in the nineties, the government will still lose out on important sources of revenue, like inspection fines and visa and licensing fees. Plus, there are back costs to re-opening.
This is addition to all the costs incurred as each of the agencies prepares (again) for temporary shutdown (again), regardless of whether or not it eventually happens.
Our glorious measure of whether things are good or bad, the stock market, dropped about one percent this morning as response to the looming shutdown; the reasonable presumption is that a government shutdown or debt ceiling battle (again) will do no favors to the weak economy.
So it seems the party of business interests is not doing their patrons many favors at the moment. Nor do they appear to be trying to: It seems Republicans given up on the whole holding the national government hostage because we are sad about the deficit business and replaced it with a rather more haphazard holding the national government hostage for whatever reasons we can think of plan. A shutdown would do measurable economic damage. A shutdown would itself potentially cost billions of dollars—money lit on fire in order to fuel tea party Republicans' personal egos. A shutdown would set the stage for further skepticism as to whether the United States is still a reliable payer of its own debts. There's no upside to it. It's an extremist move for the sake of extremism, a threat to shoot a hostage simply because it's been too long since a hostage has been shot.
And yet they can't stop themselves. They're that far gone.
Tell Congress to pass a clean bill: The federal government will shut down unless the House passes a clean continuing resolution before midnight tonight. Email your House member now.