I was never a great math student. Math is too exact for my brain, so take my numbers with a grain of salt.
Courtesy of the Congressional Research Service, this is the number of government shutdowns Americans have had to endure since 1977, when the first shutdown occurred. This one is #18. Mike Patton, at Forbes, provides a bit more narrative on the previous 17.
The longest prior shutdown was also the most recent: from Dec. 16, 1995, through Jan. 5, 1996. That’s 21 days for you counters out there. We are currently in day five.
The Department of Veterans Affairs said if the shutdown continues into late October, it will run out of money for compensation and pension checks to more than 3.6 million veterans who rely on the money to support themselves.
800,000 to 1 million
While the administration apparently still does not know how many employees would be furloughed, David Cox, president of the American Federation of Government Employees estimated the number would be between 800,000 and 1 million employees, out of about 2.1 million federal employees. That’s consistent with a USA TODAY analysis of 2011 shutdown contingency plans, which found that 59% of non-defense government employees would continue to work.
While some are “clucking” about the shutdown, talking about all the “savings,” the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget says shutdowns cost money in terms of contingency planning, lost user fees and back pay. A government estimate after the shutdown in 1995-96 estimated its cost at $1.4 billion.
Thanks to The Atlantic, the small but powerful group of men and women in the House of Representatives who brought the federal government to a standstill.