Seriously, Media Cannot Find Cost to Closure Beyond Parks

I wrote earlier that the only downside the AP could find with the looming shutdown were National Park closures.  I am not exaggerating.  It is the only thing they have.  Here is the CNN site about 45 minutes before midnight.  I added the red arrow



As I wrote earlier, the only other function the 800,000 to-be-furloughed government employees seem to have is drawing a paycheck. Clicking on the article above the parks article entitled "multibillion$$ hit", we find absolutely no hint that these employees do anything of economic value or that their lost work will hurt the economy.   The only thing that they apparently usefully do is spend tax money

A government shutdown could cost the still-struggling U.S. economy roughly $1 billion a week in pay lost by furloughed federal workers. And that's only the tip of the iceberg....

The total economic impact is likely to be at least 10 times greater than the simple calculation of wages lost by federal workers, said Brian Kessler, economist with Moody's Analytics. His firm estimates that a three to four week shutdown will cost the economy about $55 billion.

Really?  There is a 10x Keynesian multiplier on these people's paychecks?   I would sure love to see what kinds of stuff they spend money on because I have never heard of a number that absurdly high.

What else can they think of to worry about beyond these lost paychecks?  Only one other specific is mentioned in the article.  Get ready for it -- the national parks will close!

Many federal contractors will also have to cut back on staffing if they don't get the business they normally do from the government. There's also a large variety of businesses that depend on the government to conduct their normal operations -- tourism businessesthat depend on national parks staying open, for example.

So there you have it.  The government shutdown does two things:  It closes the national parks and lays off 800,000 people who apparently do no valuable work (other than keep parks open!) but who have the highest Keynesian multipliers on their spending of any individuals in the nation.


  1. beautox:

    This parks closing business must be pretty serious...I just saw the news in New Zealand and it mentioned that the parks will close. But what about the police, firefighters, military, and most importantly, the IRS?

  2. herdgadfly:

    After the Gingrich - Clinton government shutdown at the end of 1995, OMB declared that the cost to the American taxpayers was $1.4 billion. Descriptions of the effect of the 27-day vacation for government employees are not very convincing that there was any cost whatsoever. Here are a couple of the claims.

    Federal Employees. Pay for over three-quarters-of-a-million federal employees was delayed. This total included both the 480,000 emergency workers who worked but could not be paid until Congress approved funds (such as the VA doctors and nurses, Federal prison guards, FBI, DEA and other law enforcement personnel) and the 280,000 non-emergency workers who were not allowed to work.

    National Parks/Museums. Approximately seven million National Park visits were prevented because the National Parks were shut down. Businesses that depend on national parks lost income that could not be replaced. Over two million visits to the Smithsonian Museums, National Gallery of Art, National Zoo, Holocaust Museum, and the Kennedy Center were prevented.

  3. markm:

    Beautox, you need to understand our federal system. It's only the top layer of government that's (directly) affected. There could be some effect on lower levels because agencies receive federal money (in an ongoing leftist project to subvert federalism), but federal checks seem to always arrive late anyway. Any state or local agency that requires federal money to make *this* month's payroll would have been shutting down frequently even without federal budgetary problems.

    Police: Federal police agencies mostly either enforce drug laws, or enforce vague and often nonsensical regulations against business. Shutting them down would be nearly all to the good, but I expect some way will be found to keep them paid.

    Firefighters are local government functions, so the only places affected are those under direct federal control (DC and some islands), military bases, and any other federal installations so large as to have their own fire departments. I think that DC and Puerto Rico would be collecting local taxes for local functions like firefighters, so the impact is even more limited.

    Military: There was a bill to continue military funding, did that get through?

    IRS: They're collecting the money for the whole federal government, so I expect they'll find some way to pay themselves...

  4. ettubloge:

    I asked my boss for a paid day off so I can try to begin the process to apply for Obama-Care. That could turn into a week or month off.
    Also, with the government shutdown, I am wondering if it makes any difference to the output of most agencies today. Will bureaucrats come up with more regulations on their own time? Or is that something they only do when they are "on the clock"?

  5. glenn.griffin3:

    So we could have a 12-month government shutdown, for a cost of ... $18.9 billion. In what world is that not a bargain?

    Oh, wait. Gov't shutdown doesn't include Congress.

  6. BAP:

    Negotiating and signing and funding contracts is on hold, which is a mechanism by which money is injected into the economy aside from federal employee salaries. Just saying...

  7. jimbeaux:

    As a federal contractor for over 20 years, I've been through this before. The last shutdown, in '95-'96, lasted nearly a month. The end result was that the gov't passed a resolution paying all federal employees for the time off, so they basically got a month vacation. But contractors like me were not reimbursed. Nope, we just had to eat the costs of the downtime.

    Life as a contractor sucks these days. Benefits continue to get whittled away - earlier this year my company took away a week's vacation without any compensation. Last week we learned that we're losing one of our holidays as well. The 401k matching amounts have been cut. Anyone working under 30 hours loses health insurance. My hours got cut 20%, to 32 hours. And now this. Yes, this will affect my personal economy in a bad way - and I was barely making ends meet before this.

    Diehard Republicans will blame Obama and the Democrats. Diehard Democrats will blame Republicans. Independents, like me, blame both of them.

  8. obloodyhell:

    }}} This time, though, we are starting to get notices we have to shut down too. This may be an attempt by the administration to artificially make the shutdown worse than it needs to be. I will update you as I learn more.

    So what's the status on this, anyway?

  9. obloodyhell:

    I offer my condolences, but the issue here is that the government should be doing less across the board, and if they were, then you would be finding more independent, non-government-affiliated work. The fact that you suffer because you're sucking at the public teat (sorry, that sounds more... offensive than I mean, honestly -- I'm presuming you're a hard working guy like most contractors) is an unfortunate but inevitable side effect of any effort to reduce the size of government. There's no way to avoid it IF government is to shrink, though. You should be splitting your contracting work between the two, and not be dependent on any one source for your jobs.

  10. obloodyhell:

    }}} So we could have a 12-month government shutdown, for a cost of ... $18.9 billion. In what world is that not a bargain?

    If we shut down government for 12 months and it would only cost 19 billion... where's the other 3.3 trillion dollars going...? Hmmm.

  11. obloodyhell:

    }}} Military: There was a bill to continue military funding, did that get through?

    They are not included in the shutdown. The military will still be working, and no doubt still be paid.

  12. Craig L:

    No, I think they mean that it cost an extra $1.4 billion to close the gov't vs. keeping it open. Not sure how they figure that.

  13. OldManRick:

    The parks closure is actually an even worse temper tantrum. If you go to a parks service web page, say to look at the brochure for a park, you get a message stating, "Because of the federal government shutdown, all national parks are closed and National Park Service webpages are not operating. For more information, go to", followed by a window with a "Message from President Obama to U.S. Government Employees".

    If they can put up the message from the president, they can leave pages that required no maintenance alone. Pathetic infantile behaviour.

  14. HenryBowman419:

    Access to BLM has been closed, according to news reports, supposedly for "safety" reasons. Inasmuch as BLM employees rather rarely show up on BLM-managed lands, this seems to be part of Fearless Leader's temper tantrum.

  15. HenryBowman419:

    This is very plainly the doing of our Fearless Leader: he ordered Dirty Harry not to negotiate at all, and Harry dutifully followed his orders. It's typically difficult for two parties to come to an agreement when one party refuses to even try.

  16. markm:

    The military would still be working, whether or not they get paid. Or at least that's what happened in the many shutdowns that occurred while I was in the service during the Carter and Reagan administrations.

  17. Adam Weisshaupt:

    Blame you who want. The Fact remains that there is a group of people in this country who think the govt should stay out of your business and another group who wish to impose their ideas, agenda and opinions and the cost of their care onto your personal business at the point of a government gun- in effect making every citizen an indentured servant of their corrupt mafia clan. If you can't tell who the bad guys are in that situation, I can't help you, but I will give you a hint : if you need a gun to compel others to give you what you want, then you are probably a bad guy.

  18. Nehemiah:

    The FAA has shutdown a critical service, processing FAA registration, which just happens to be the default method for perfecting a security interest in an aircraft. Banks will not provide loans to close purchases unless they have a bullet proof way to secure the collateral. The FAA registration preempted state UCC filings, but without the FAA processing registrations and liens the states will provide the only means to file a lien. Here is a case where the Fed's put themselves right in the middle of a critical process so that their absence creates chaos.

  19. Sam L.:

    Well, Nancy Herownself Pelosi says there ain't nuthin can be cut, cuz everthang's necessary!