Government shutdown: What’s the cost?

Government shutdown: What’s the cost?

Shutting down the government could cost the federal government well over $2 billion dollars if it resembles the last shutdowns in 1995-1996, though the economy would be harmed in additional ways that are nearly impossible to measure.

The Office of Management and Budget estimated that two government shutdowns in 1995 and 1996, totaling 27 days, cost the federal government $1.4 billion. That’s over $2 billion in today’s dollars on costs like back pay to furloughed federal workers and uncollected fines and taxes. That number doesn’t begin to account for intangible losses in worker morale and productivity, and confidence in the federal government.

Doug Holtz-Eakin, the former director of the Congressional Budget Office, said a short-term shutdown will have a fairly small economic impact. The federal government spends roughly $3 billion a day in discretionary spending, so a disruption like the ones in 1995 and 1996 could wind up being roughly equivalent to the cost of keeping the government running for a day. Continue reading “Government shutdown: What’s the cost?”

Mr. Forgetful strikes again

Mr. Forgetful strikes again

By Steve Benen – Fri May 3, 2013 4:05 PM EDT

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House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) hosted a town-hall meeting in his district this week, and heard from a constituent who works for the Environmental Protection Agency. Racine resident David Novak explained that, thanks to the sequestration cuts, he’s lost thousands of dollars in income for no reason, and he’s set to lose even more.

The constituent wanted an explanation. Ryan tried to give him one.

“This was is something the president has done through the Budget Control Act. We didn’t like it so we passed two bills to replace it. Twice. I passed a bill twice. I passed a bill in December that said instead of doing the sequester, here’s how the government should cut to pay for it. They rejected it. Continue reading “Mr. Forgetful strikes again”

Whose Sequester Is It Anyway?

February 19, 2013 5:07 PM

President Obama, accompanied by emergency responders — workers the White House says could be affected if state and local governments lose federal money as a result of budget cuts — speaks in the Eisenhower Executive Office building in Washington on Tuesday.

President Obama, accompanied by emergency responders — workers the White House says could be affected if state and local governments lose federal money as a result of budget cuts — speaks in the Eisenhower Executive Office building in Washington on Tuesday.Charles Dharapak/AP

By now, it’s widely accepted that indiscriminate spending cuts in defense and domestic programs due to start March 1 are likely to occur owing to the failure of President Obama and the Republican-led House to reach an agreement to avoid the budgetary cleaver. Continue reading “Whose Sequester Is It Anyway?”

Fact checking Bill Clinton’s speech and other Democrats at the convention in Charlotte

Fact checking Bill Clinton’s speech and other Democrats at the convention in Charlotte

Posted by at 06:02 AM ET, 09/06/2012


(LARRY DOWNING/REUTERS)

“We are not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers.”

— Former president Bill Clinton, quoting Romney campaign pollster Neil Newhouse

Whew. In a previous life, The Fact Checker covered the Clinton White House and always marveled at Bill Clinton’s speechifying, his apparent command of policy and his sometimes slippery use of the facts. We are going to offer an initial take on some of his claims — and those of other Democrats — and then may come back to others in the coming days. Everyone needs to get some sleep.

“He [Obama] has offered a reasonable plan of $4 trillion in debt reduction over a decade. For every $2.5 trillion in spending cuts, he raises a dollar in new revenues, 2.5 to 1. And he has tight controls on future spending. That’s the kind of balanced approach proposed by the Simpson-Bowles commission, a bipartisan commission. … It passes the arithmetic test.”

— Former president Bill Clinton Continue reading “Fact checking Bill Clinton’s speech and other Democrats at the convention in Charlotte”