The partial shutdown of the US federal government is the longest in US history, increasingly damaging to the growth of the world’s largest economic power.
The United States has seen 21 government shutdowns since 1976, but most of them haven’t continued to the extent that affect growth, and it is difficult to predict what will be the end of the current closure, with three weeks remaining stalled.
“The longer the stumble, the more suffering”, said Beth Ann Bovino, chief economist at Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings.
With 800,000 federal employees, representing about a quarter of this category of employees, affected, the cost of the closure will reach $ 5.7 billion, equivalent to the amount demanded by President Donald Trump for the construction of the wall along the border with Mexico.
Trump refuses to sign the budget to finance the federal government unless his request is met and the cost of the wall is included, and the impasse now seems complete.
If the previous closures in 1995 and 2013 prove that the economy can recover quickly when the crisis comes out, the paralysis of the federal government has far-reaching ramifications that go beyond paying federal employees.
In the meantime, farmers affected mainly by Trump’s trade war will not receive promised assistance, and the poorest families themselves will be deprived of food aid from the end of February, and health checks have been halted.
Farmers were also cut off from buying grain and food for livestock, despite the start of the planting season.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which oversees the stock exchange, also suspended listing transactions on the stock exchange, while the oil and gas license was delayed.
According to Bloomberg News, government-contracted workers, many of whom will not be paid, are losing $ 200 million a day.
The losses also include the tourism sector, which usually returns $ 18 million a day in the 400 national parks, where restaurants, hotels and local shops lose their customers with the absence of security surveillance in some parks and the interruption of many services in them.
The federal aid budget for the poorest Americans ends by the end of February.
The Federal Reserve asked banks to understand the conditions of their customers, and the Housing Ministry called on owners not to evict poor tenants receiving government assistance to pay their rent.
The 380,000 federal workers who have found themselves in the category of forced unemployment and the 420,000 who work without pay are considered to be “essential” for the good work of the state.
Zello Real Estate company has revealed that these employees have monthly payments of $ 438 million distributed between rents and bank loan installments for mortgages.
The Coast Guard has issued a list of measures to be taken to “manage your finances during a government closure”, advising them to take care of children or sell their old objects to help compensate for frozen wages.
In some neighborhoods of Washington, home to 20 percent of the federal workforce, restaurants have become desolate, taxis have stopped and traffic is no longer crowded.
“His company, which usually builds industrial meteorological satellites and government telescopes, will remain closed until further notice”, said Wang Roy Huang, an engineer with a Defense Department contractor working for NASA’s Goddard Space Center.
The engineer is currently a driver through the site “Lift” for taxis until the reopening of his office.
But he is particularly concerned about his hourly colleagues, such as the building’s guards and the cafeteria staff.
“Their wages are much lower than those of most engineers.
They are not in the spotlight, and no one give attention to them”.