“Why a government shutdown could be a pricey proposition”


NBC NEWS

By Carrie Dunn, Political Reporter,NBC News

If past is prologue, a looming government shutdown could actually cost U.S. taxpayers money.  A lot of money.

According to the Office of Management and Budget, the two shutdowns in 1995 and 1996 cost taxpayers $1.4 billion combined. Adjust for inflation and you’ve got $2 billion in today’s dollars.

Those two shutdowns lasted a total of 27 days, but there’s no telling how long the government could be shuttered this time around if Congress fails to act by Monday at midnight. Even shorter shutdowns have proven successful at draining government funds.

In the immediate aftermath of the first government shutdown in 1981, the most conservative estimate  – conducted by the General Accounting Office (now called the Government Accountability Office) — put the cost of shutting the government down for a single day at $8.2 million, or almost $21 million in  today’s dollars. A House panel later concluded that the day-long furlough cost taxpayers 10 times more than that.

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