LOS ANGELES — One thing you can say about the president: he is a businessman. When business people figured out how much the government shutdown cost, he acted.
This was the longest government shutdown in the history of the United States: 35 days. The shutdown was over funding to build a wall – a wall that will not work. Lots of people think that, like Israel (which has cameras and wire fencing that does work), America needs a wall. The problem is that Israel is a country the size of New Jersey and the United States has a very long border with Mexico and has lots of water surrounding it. The bad guys will use submarines and (as we have seen lately) light planes to land in the United States. The wall will not work and will also cost a lot of money.
Let’s look at the facts surrounding the 35-day shutdown:
The Park system has tons of visitors and was not able to collect entrance fees. For instance, the Joshua Tree Park collects $30 per person and has about 10,000 people per day. You do the math. That is a lot of money … and that is only one park.
I know an ICE worker who lives paycheck-to-paycheck with his family. What happens when they can’t purchase food or pay their mortgage? What does that do to the local economy?
Then there are not just the government workers, but the contract workers. Government workers will get back pay; but how about the workers who are employees of companies that are on government contracts? Will those people get back pay?
There have been back-and-forth questions about workers at the Internal Revenue Service. People need to get their refunds. Traditionally there is a lot of spending on consumer goods after people get tax refunds. That helps the economy a lot.
The New York Times said about workers not getting paid: “Those workers eat at fewer restaurants. They buy fewer cars. They sometimes miss rent or mortgage payments. The same goes for federal contractors, from cafeteria workers to technology specialists, whose livelihood depends on getting paid by the federal government. Businesses and landlords grow uncertain about how much money they will earn in the near future, which could lead them to holding off on investment.”
The Motley Fool and its associated company, The Ascent, are known for financial figures and advice. It says that had the shutdown continued, “It could have cost as much as $13 billion a month, or $430 million a day.”
The airlines are another group that was losing money because of the shutdown. It is not just that government workers were not flying; it was that federal workers, who the airlines are dependent on for things like air traffic controllers, were not coming to work. Some TSA workers, that keep travel safe, also stopped coming to work. The cost to those businesses was enormous.
“It’s a crazy way to run a country,” Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly said, adding the shutdown has cost his Texas airline between $10 and $15 million in lost sales.
Business Insider quoted the CEO of Delta: “Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian told CNBC on Tuesday that the airline will lose $25 million in revenue in January and any other full month in which the federal government is shut down. The lost revenue will result from reduced travel by government employees and contractors, Bastian said. Delta is also facing delays in the certification process for new aircraft, he added.”
The economy was also affected by the closure because IPOs (Independent Public Offerings) did not get the go-ahead, as their paperwork was not reviewed by government workers. Small business loans did not go through, and therefore many small businesses that would normally get money to begin a business did not get the loans.
We owe a lot to Native Americans, but their payments were not forthcoming and tribes were losing up to $250,000 per day.
Most people don’t care about our prisoners; but due to the shutdown, visitation and education programs did not continue. These programs allow prisoners to be able to make a life for themselves once they are released.
Some people said the government was functioning, so let the shutdown continue. They don’t see the actual costs of the shutdown. The president did the right thing by ending the shutdown. Let’s hope he continues the government after the three weeks of continuing resolution ends.