The Damage: Trump’s Ego Costs America $3 Billion

With a ‘B,’ as The Hill reports:

The economy lost $11 billion during the course of the shutdown, which began Dec. 22, but some $8 billion of that will be recovered as the government reopens and workers receive back pay.

“Although most of the real [gross domestic product] lost during the fourth quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019 will eventually be recovered, CBO estimates that about $3 billion will not be,” CBO Director Keith Hall said Monday in a prepared statement.

All in all, that amounts to a 0.2 percentage point drop in economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2018, followed by a 0.4 percentage point decline in growth during the first quarter of 2019.

Locally the harm done can be quantified all kinds of ways, from almost half a million in unemployment compensation paid out by the state that now needs to be accounted for some way now that all those workers are back on the job and about to receive back pay to recovery from five weeks of free-for-all conditions in the state’s national parks. Federal workers who took out loans to bridge the gap are out the interest expense at least, and the ripple effects from all these unplanned and adverse financial decisions from the micro to macro level will be felt for months and even years.

For Trump, putting the nation through the pain of this historic government shutdown without achieving his stated goal in initiating the shutdown–or even a compromise he could defend–is a Waterloo moment. Whether Trump is able to maneuver his way to the wall funds through an alternative like declaring a legally dubious national emergency is irrelevant. Congressional Republicans are extremely unlikely to stand with Trump for another prolonged impasse, and Democrats now know that Trump, at long last, can be compelled to blink.

History may well record that the 2018-19 shutdown marked “Peak Trump.”

3 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

    • JohnInDenver says:

      I've  seen a variety of guesses, ranging from this low of $3 billion up to $26 billion.  Council of Economic Advisors, in the Sad!-ministration itself, said 0.13% per week, or 0.65% over the 5 weeks, which works out to about $8 billion.  Economics as a field is not known for precise measures immediately after an event. Eventually, there will be statistics generated about employment, monetary loss, and the effects of confidence lost.

      In the meantime, I am reminded: Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle bashed political economy as "a dreary, desolate, and indeed quite abject and distressing [science]; what we might call … the dismal science.” Trying to determine just how much this particular choice of Trump damaged the United States is challenging — his impact on the economy is a miasma, casting a pall in so many different ways it is hard to determine effects from just one.

  1. Diogenesdemar says:

    $3 Billion, this month . . . 

    . . . of the intangibles that’s attemped to be made tangible in any business or corporate valuation is “goodwill.”

    Anyone care to venture what President Dildus DeEgo has cost the United States, to date, in terms of “goodwill”?

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