The Economic Impact of a Government Shutdown

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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.