Alex Witt   |  October 13, 2013

Shutdown costs continue to rise

Bryce Covert, Economic Policy Editor for ThinkProgress talks to MSNBC’s Alex Witt about the costs the government shutdown has on the American people.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> in minutes on capitol hill , senators are set to begin a rare sunday session and looming before them and the country at large, the specter of america defaults on its debts beginning thursday and cascading into november. but first, as we welcome you to shutdown day 13, a baker's dozen of your government standstill, while its days add up, so do the costs. a new article provides these numbers. the shutdown has already cost $2 billion in lost economic output . that number grows by about $160 million a day. joining me to talk about where the shutdown hits the hardest, the author of that report. how do you explain this $2 billion loss a day? where's the breakdown?

>> a lot of it is due to lost economic output . we have 800,000 federal workers who are furloughed who aren't getting paychecks, which means they're not spending and putting that money into the economy. we have loans that aren't going out from the small business administration , permits that are being held up. we have a lot of different ways in which economic growth is sort of slowing to a halt as long as this government is shut down.

>> yeah, here's something that's of great concern. you write no money has gone to the assistance for needy families since october 1st . what happens if the shutdown continues?

>> we've seen a lot of programs like this, welfare and others, that help the poor that aren't getting any money at all as long as the government is shut. states by and large have some money to cover these benefits, but if this goes into november, we're pretty sure that that's going to start either running out or states are just going to lose the desire to cover that with their own money, which will mean that benefits don't get out and needy families don't have the support.

>> well, in fact, more than 7,000 preschoolers were about to be denied head start because the government shutdown , but something unusual happened. can you tell us what that was?

>> yeah, we saw some wealthy philanthropist step in with private money to cover that gap and make sure that those classrooms weren't closed, which was great. except that we know come november 1st , 86,000 children could potentially be impacted by the shutdown. the national association has warned itself that private money will probably run out and won't be able to cover the cost. so if this goes into november, we can probably expect to see low -income preschoolers lose access to their classrooms.

>> and what other kinds of programs might shut down if we get into november?

>> late october we see food stamps that will stop going out. heating vouchers that help needy families pay for heat as winter comes, temperatures are dropping. we already know maine isn't even giving out those vouchers. more will join it. childcare subsidies might start drying up. some schools that receive government funding called impact aid are going to have to either borrow money or fire staff if they don't get those funds in time. so a lot of programs right now are kind of hobbling along, and if this goes into november, they're going to start shutting down.

>> deep sigh is all i can say to that. thank you very much.

>> thank you.