Financial Toll Of Trump’s 35-Day Government Shutdown Revealed


The longest government shutdown in U.S. history may be over, but the economic impact it had is far from it. While some on the left are crowing over Speaker Pelosi’s win on the shutdown, and her ability to hold her ground and prevent Trump from shutting down the government every time he doesn’t get his way, is admirable, let’s be honest: airline employees ended the shutdown.

The economic impact of widespread grounded flights finally put the fear of an even worse financial disaster into the hearts of Trump and his advisors. However, those impacts will still be harsh.

Reuters reports that:

‘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.’

It would be easy to say that if Democrats had simply given Trump his $5.7 billion in the beginning, all of this could be avoided. However, bowing to the demands of a man willing to risk the U.S. economy and the livelihoods of 800,000 federal employees is not smart politics. It may have taken 35 days and the collective organizing of an entire industry’s employees for Trump to understand what he was doing to the country, but it did eventually happen.

‘President Donald Trump agreed on Friday to end the 35-day partial shutdown, the longest in history, without getting the $5.7 billion he had demanded from Congress for a border wall.

The financial disaster caused by the shutdown is still a subject of debate. Although the federal workers will receive back pay and that money will flow into the economy, nearly a million federally-contracted workers will not. If those million workers earn only an average of $1000 a month, that’s a billion dollars that the economy has lost in consumer spending. The impact, however, goes much farther.

‘“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 news release.’

Even the U.S. Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, was too nervous to discuss the upcoming impact. Although Congress requested a report on the damage being done, the Treasury Department refused to do so.

Mother Jones reported the Treasury Department officials as saying:

‘The Department has acted in good faith to meet the Committee’s legitimate need for information concerning the impact of the current shutdown,” Treasury officials noted in their response to the committee. “If the purpose of the upcoming hearing is to inform Congress and the public, we are confident that goal will be best served by testimony from the senior Department officials with the deepest and broadest expertise on the subject of the hearing.’

Featured image via Flickr by Gage Skidmore under a Creative Commons license