With the federal government now in a partial shutdown for the 26th day, economists who work for the Trump administration are warning that the impasse will wind up costing twice what they originally estimated and may threaten the overall health of the U.S. economy.
The New York Times reports that Kevin Hassett, who serves as the head of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, admitted that the toll from the shutdown is already at a critical level:
“Mr. Hassett said on Tuesday that the administration now calculates that the shutdown reduces quarterly economic growth by 0.13 percentage points for every week that it lasts — the cumulative effect of lost work from contractors and furloughed federal employees who are not getting paid and who are investing and spending less as a result. That means that the economy has already lost nearly half a percentage point of growth from the four-week shutdown.”
Hassett also tried to blame Democrats for the ongoing shutdown, but recent polls show the majority of Americans blame Trump and the Republicans, with a Washington Post-ABC News poll revealing that 54 percent of respondents saying they blame Trump and Congressional Republicans for the shuttering of the government. Only 29 percent said Democrats were to blame.
That same poll also shows that only 42 percent of Americans support building a border wall, with 54 percent opposing the wall.
The economic impact of the shutdown could force Trump to capitulate in an effort to blunt any downturn in the U.S. economy, which is one of the few bright spots for a scandal-ridden administration facing the prospect of more indictments from Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his final report on the 2016 election:
“Some people involved in the shutdown discussions in the White House have privately said they anticipate that Mr. Trump will grow anxious about the economic impact in the coming days, accelerating an end to the stalemate. Others close to the president believe Mr. Trump has leverage and are encouraging him to stand by his demands.”
With pressure increasing on Trump and no end in sight to the shutdown, the president may be forced to choose between his pride and the economic fate of the country.
Featured Image Via the BBC