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Opinion

November 11, 2013

Shutdown hurt economy, innocent people

We’ve witnessed the politics of a shutdown, and hopefully recognized that there were no winners. Although a Standard & Poor’s report estimated the 16 days of partial government shutdown took $24 billion out of the economy, we don’t know the full scope of the damage.

Innocent people went without paychecks and services they depended on, consumers cut back on spending, and small-business loans were put on hold. Half of all CEOs said the threat of a shutdown set back their plans to hire over the next six months. And the threat of America not paying its bills on time increased borrowing costs and added to the deficit.

Over the past four years, our economy grew, our businesses created more jobs, and our deficits were cut in half. At a time when our economic recovery requires more jobs, we experienced another self-inflicted crisis. In fact, nothing has done more to undermine our economy over the past three years than these manufactured crises.

The same politicians who pushed for the shutdown and threatened default claimed their actions were needed to get America back on the right track. Actually, nothing has done more damage to America’s credibility in the world than the spectacle of the shutdown and a threatened default.

We’ll bounce back, because we’re the safest place to invest. We’ve earned that reputation because historically we’ve met our obligations. Our businesses and the rest of the world need to be reassured that the full faith and credit of our country remains unquestioned.

Sen. Bernie Sanders insists: “What you cannot have is a precedent where a minority can say we are prepared to shut down government, we’re prepared to default and drive the entire world economy into a recession, unless you give us what we want.”

Jim O’Leary

Delhi

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