Economist Says Democrats’ Gov’t Shutdown Cost America At Least $40 Billion

According to an economist, the Democrats have cost America at least $40billion with their government shutdown, many times more than the $5.7 billion Trump requested for his wall.

Liberty Vittert, an ambassador for the Royal Statistical and a statistics professor at Washington University in St. Louis, says in a report that the shutdown has cost America up to $52 million a day and billions over the three weeks.

First comes the cost of the furloughed workers. Vittert says that the cost of the unpaid workers is at least $5 billion in cash that didn’t end up in the economy. But he adds that the costs to the economy is well beyond that.

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Vittert adds:

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Standard & Poor’s has estimated that this shutdown will cost the American economy $6.5 billion per week – a figure they based on data from previous shutdowns. This estimate includes the reduction in spending by furloughed federal workers (though not their actual pay), as well as other trickle-down effects: lost business and revenue to private contractors, fewer vacations and school trips due to park closures, etc. That puts us at about $32 billion just for basic economic disruption.

Vittert also points out that “money not earned is not taxed,” and that means another $5 billion in income tax wasn’t collected.

Then, Vittert says that about $1 billion in services weren’t rendered, which is money many vendors did not earn.

Vittert claims that all this adds up to at least $40 billion which would have paid for the whole wall and about 40 years of upkeep and maintenance.

The Democrats could have avoided all this loss by just giving Trump the comparatively smaller $5.7 billion he asked for in the first place.

On Friday, President Trump announced a short-term agreement to re-open the government. But that agreement will only last three weeks unless the Democrats come to the table.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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