LETTER: Billions Lost for Nothing

By Beacon Staff

Thank you, Congressman Steve Daines for voting to temporarily reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling. Unfortunately, by the time you finally woke up and stopped supporting the whack job faction that closed the government and brought us to the brink of economic chaos, unnecessary damage had already been done: According to the S&P index, the government shutdown delivered a powerful blow to the U.S. economy. By its estimates, $24 billion has been flushed down the drain for a completely unnecessary political stunt.

S&P said the shutdown caused it to cut its forecast of gross domestic product growth in the fourth quarter by at least 0.6 percentage point. The agency lowered its estimate for GDP growth to close to 2 percent from 3 percent.

Your ongoing support for these perhaps well-intentioned but sorely misguided efforts at fiscal control via brinksmanship and taking the government and the economy hostage for no good purpose and to no productive end has resulted in:

Macroeconomic advisers estimated that 1.2 million more Americans would be working today if Congress had kept discretionary spending at the levels that were in place in 2010. They estimated that Washington’s erratic behavior had also driven up unemployment by a further 900,000 jobs.

Zandi estimates the fiscal austerity has cost 2.25 million jobs. Without those measures, the unemployment rate would stand at 6.3 percent now rather than 7.7 percent. With your help, billions of dollars have been lost, millions of jobs have been lost, and the whole economy has been stunted.

Greg Doggett
Martin City