The government shutdown of 2013 is over. For more than two weeks, thousands of government workers were furloughed and the nation held it breadth, waiting to see when the stalemate between the Tea Party and the rest of congress would come to a conclusion. Finally, at the 11th hour, the Senate voted 81 to 18 and the House voted 285-144 to reopen the federal government and raise the nation's borrowing limit as the clock ticked and the nation crept dangerously close to not being able to pay its bills.
So now that its all over, what's the impact? According to an estimate prepared by Standard & Poor's Financial Services, the shutdown cost the American taxpayer $24 billion in loss of tax revenues. This exceeds the amount estimated to fund 2 years of school lunches through the federal food nutrition programs and is more than the entire annual NASA budget!
(Note: As of this writing, the link to the NASA.gov posted above was not working, due to the government shutdown. It will likely be restored shortly.)
There's no shortage of finger pointing but the polls show that while Americans are often politically apathetic, they place blame squarely with the Republicans for the shutdown.
And, by the way, Obamacare a.k.a the Affordable Care Act -- the reason the Tea Party gave for insisting on shutting down the government in the first place - remains alive and well.