In the face of another political stalemate on Capitol Hill, Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein turned to Roy T. Meyers, professor of political science, to understand the possible impact of a government shutdown. Meyers, a former Congressional Budget Office analyst, argues that we may underestimate the costs of shutdowns by not accounting for the value of lost work hours, decreased federal parks revenue or the reduced pace of IRS audits.
Klein writes, “Meyers suggests that contractors might start charging the government a premium after shutdowns to compensate for the uncertainty of their payments. And a large body of work shows that unstable budget processes at the state level raise borrowing costs. Add those together and a real, sustained shutdown would cost much more than the $1.6 billion that separated this week’s two bills.”
The article, “Government Shutdown Would Cost Much More Than the Two Parties are Fighting Over,” appeared September 26.