WASHINGTON – The partial government shutdown has not only left people without critical services and thousands of federal employees without a paycheck, it also is costing you money. While estimates vary, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, shutdowns overall tend to cost, not save, money.
The costs comes in many forms – money spent for work not done, lost revenue that has to be made up from other sources, expenses associated with planning for and executing a shutdown, and penalties the government pays for not making timely payments to vendors and states while agencies are closed.
Pay for no play
Of the 800,000 federal employees affected by the partial shutdown, about 380,000 have been placed on unpaid leave. In the past, when a shutdown ended, those workers – and those critical employees who worked without pay – have been reimbursed for those days. So, that means at least three weeks of pay for which no work has been done.
After the 16-day complete federal shutdown in October 2013, the Office of Management and Budget issued a report estimating that 6.6 million workdays were lost. The total cost to pay the furloughed employees was about $2 billion, with total compensation costs reaching $2.5 billion.