It cost the government more to shutter its websites and national parks than what it saved. Those shutdowns weren't shutdowns at all; they were advertisements for government. Further, if no one really noticed that 17 percent was missing, we only needed to find another 7 percent to balance the budget entirely. With some will and some nerve, Congress could have truly balanced the budget for the first time since 1960.
Not surprisingly, Congress decided to go the other way. The House already has voted, unanimously no less, to provide back pay to the 800,000 federal workers who were furloughed. Is there any doubt that the Senate will not do the same? This means that, at least where salaries are concerned, the government didn't shut down so much as go on a massive paid vacation.
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