Editorial: What have we gained?
Let’s consider some of what we have lost from the dysfunctional federal government’s 16-day shutdown:
—According to an estimate from financial services company Standard & Poor’s, the shutdown took $24 billion out of the U.S. economy and reduced fourth-quarter GDP growth from 3 percent to 2.4 percent. Rating agency Fitch put the U.S. on notice last week of a possible downgrade in its bond rating … something that will have ramifications years after this insanity is but a memory;
—We have lost respect (if much remained) for our elected officials in Washington, D.C. A Zogby Analytics poll, conducted on Oct. 9-10, gave Congress only a 13 percent job approval rating, compared with an 85 percent disapproval rating. While President Obama’s ratings were considerably better (45 percent approval rating), he still has a majority of those responding (52 percent) disapproving of his actions;
—Our standing in the world has dropped. While international markets and nations that hold U.S. debt welcomed last week’s deal, the fact is that this accord is temporary and only setting us up for another manufactured crisis a couple months down the road. The International Monetary Fund has appealed to the U.S. for more stable long-term management of the nation’s finances; and,
—The effect on consumer confidence is sure to suffer, the last thing America needs as the fragile recovery begins to take hold.
And this is all that we have gained from the shutdown and edging dangerously close to the brink of default:
(Frankly, we can’t think of anything to include here.)