The real impact of a government shutdown
With the federal government open and the Treasury empowered to pay the nation's bills, political score-keeping is afoot.
But the more important question is whether those legislators in the House, who orchestrated the near-disastrous shutdown strategy, have learned anything from their foolhardy conduct.
Part of that strategy was to create the impression that the shutdown actually was a "slimdown," that closing most of the federal government would have scant impact on average Americans. Fox News pressed that notion hard throughout the shutdown, even as it railed against the closing of national monuments for lack of funding.
But the question never was just how the shutdown would affect the government alone. It was how it would radiate throughout the economy.
Broadly, the shutdown trimmed overall national economic growth by 0.3 percent, or $12 billion, according to Macroeconomic Advisers, St. Louis. That firm earlier had conducted an analysis finding that, since 2009, economic uncertainty due to polarized politics in Congress had slowed economic growth by about $150 billion and increased the unemployment rate by 0.6 percent - 900,000 jobs.
Other firms found that the shutdown had diminished consumer confidence, while increasing corporate borrowing costs by 0.38 percent.
The administration estimated the preliminary cost to the economy at $24 billion.
Restaurants, hotels and other businesses near federal office buildings, national parks and other facilities lost business. Newly constructed Boeing jetliners sat at the production facility rather than being delivered to customers, for lack of airworthiness certification, and on and on.
The bill ending the shutdown ensures operations only until mid-January. The debt ceiling looms anew Feb. 7.
Before they launch another attack that they believe to be on President Obama and Democrats, those legislators should recognize that the real impact is on the economy and all Americans.