Trump’s Shutdown Gambit Cost $11 Billion, Gained $0 Million in Wall Money

According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Donald Trump‘s government shutdown gambit cost the U.S. economy $11 billion. But on the bright side, the 35-day shutdown did manage to net Trump (checks notes) zero dollars in funding for his border wall.

The just-released CBO report shows that Trump’s shutdown cost the economy $3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018, and another $8 billion in the first quarter of 2019. While some of those losses are expected to be recouped now that the government is opened, the CBO “estimates that about $3 billion will not be.”

The report also points out that these figures don’t necessarily reflect all of the damage that was done by the Trump shutdown:

CBO’s estimates do not incorporate other, more indirect negative effects of the shutdown, which are more difficult to quantify but were probably becoming more significant as it continued. For example, some businesses could not obtain federal permits and certifications, and others faced reduced access to loans provided by the federal government. Such factors were probably beginning to lead firms to postpone investment and hiring decisions. In addition, risks to the economy were becoming increasingly significant as the shutdown continued. Although their precise effects on economic output are uncertain, the negative effects of such factors would have become increasingly important if the partial shutdown had extended beyond five weeks.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) slammed Trump over the CBO report in a statement Monday afternoon:

“The President’s shutdown inflicted needless pain and chaos in the lives of millions of Americans, and stole billions of dollars from the economy. Workers’ financial security, families’ well-being and America’s economic strength all were senselessly sacrificed because of President Trump’s callousness.

“Families across the nation are still trying to recover from a month of missing paychecks and overdue bills, but the President is already threatening a second shutdown if he doesn’t get his way.

“When the Congress completes its bipartisan, bicameral work to fund government, the President should swiftly sign that legislation to avert another shutdown and restore certainty to our economy and the lives of the American people.”

As Pelosi noted, this economic damage could rear its ugly head again soon, as Trump’s decision to reopen the government is only temporary, and sets up another shutdown showdown in three weeks. On Sunday, Trump Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney made it clear that Trump is willing to shut the government down again if he doesn’t get what he wants.

And in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump said another shutdown is “certainly an option,” and placed the chances of avoiding another shutdown at “less than 50-50.”

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