Thursday, October 17, 2013

"Good fight?" Good grief

In the end, the Republicans accomplished nothing, and to hear House Speaker John Boehner describe it, the Republicans learned even less.

In a radio interview yesterday following his and his party's capitulation on their latest extortion attempt, Speaker Boehner said that he was "doing good" because "we fought the good fight; we just didn't win."

Give him credit for recognizing orange-tinted failure when he looks in the mirror. The "good fight" part, however, is delusional.

While Speaker Boehner's "good fight" accomplished nothing, it cost Americans a whole bunch.

The needless government shutdown hurt the economy. Bloomberg reports
Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services yesterday said the shutdown has shaved at least 0.6 percent off of fourth-quarter 2013 gross domestic product growth, or taken $24 billion out of the economy.

IHS Inc. of Lexington, Massachusetts, reduced its fourth-quarter GDP growth estimate to 1.6 percent, from 2.2 percent in September.
That $24 billion works out to about $200 per American household.

And that's not all, the latest damage to the economy can be added to the costs from previous extortion efforts.
Macroeconomic Advisers LLC said in a report prepared this week for the Peter G. Peterson Foundation that the recurring budget battles in Washington have lowered U.S. economic growth by about 0.3 percentage points a year since 2009. It has also added more than a half-point to this year’s unemployment rate, or the equivalent of about 900,000 jobs, the report said.
Republicans' extortion strategy and default nihilism are also damaging America's credit rating and will increase our borrowing costs going forward. Their "good fight" is the gift that keeps on giving.

The shutdown was also wasteful. Although the furloughed government employees will be repaid and made whole, taxpayers won't be compensated for the work that couldn't be performed while the workers were idled (as well as the needless work that was required to prepare contingencies for the shutdown). The GOP rails against waste and abuse yet singlehandedly caused billions in foregone government production.

Worse, the Speaker has promised that "the fight will continue."