Lessons for Progressives on the Govt Shutdown Battle
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FEATURING ARUN GUPTA – The Congressional Budget Office released a report on Monday that concluded the 35-day government shutdown cost taxpayers a total of $11 billion. According to the report, “In CBO’s estimation, the shutdown dampened economic activity mainly because of the loss of furloughed federal workers’ contribution to GDP, the delay in federal spending on goods and services, and the reduction in aggregate demand.” Of the $11 billion loss, $3 billion will never be recovered.
Meanwhile government agencies impacted by the record-breaking shutdown are struggling to recover and resume operations. Furloughed workers that have missed 2 paychecks are likely to begin receiving back pay by the middle of next week. But federal contractors – including low paid workers like janitors, food service workers, and security guards – are not guaranteed back pay. It may be months or even years before all the impacts of the shutdown are undone.
What lessons can progressives take from a battle that was largely fought in the legislative arena, but where the power and plight of workers and organized labor played a role?
Arun Gupta is a regular news correspondent for Rising Up With Sonali. He’s an investigative journalist who has written for dozens of publications including the Washington Post, the Guardian, The Nation, Salon, and Raw Story. He is also author of the forthcoming book, “Bacon as a Weapon of Mass Destruction.”