The Economic Impact of a Government Shutdown

Thursday, April 07, 2011

If Washington lawmakers cannot come to an agreement on the nation’s operating budget by Friday, the government will be forced to shut down many of its non-essential functions, sending thousands of government employees home without a paycheck.  

Over 800,000 federal employees were furloughed in the nation's November 1995 shutdown, and about 284,000 workers were sent home in a second shutdown a month later. Combined, those two shutdowns cost the government about $1.4 billion. However, those shutdowns coincided with a time when America was experiencing one of its longest periods of financial growth. If the shutdown were to occur on Saturday, it would be doing so in a very different financial climate.  

Scott Pattison, executive Director of the National Association of State Budget Officers, and Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s, discuss the potential impact a government shutdown could have on the nation's economy.


Scott Pattison and Mark Zandi

Produced by:

Hsi-Chang Lin

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