Shutdowns don’t get bad linearly; they get bad exponentially

Federal employees missed their first paycheck last week; from here on in, every milestone dramatically exacerbates the pain of the shutdown: a halt to aviation as TSA screeners quit en masse, civil cases stall in federal courts, 38 million hungry Americans denied food stamps and 10% of food sales in the US vanishing; deals expiring with the landlords of 40,000 low income households; then 2.2 million more households are imperiled; landlords renting to federal agencies will go without rent but won't be able to evict federal tenants, triggering mortgage and debt defaults; prison guards go from today's skeleton crew to near-total absenteeism; city buses stop running as Federal Transport Agency payments dry up; drugs fall out of the FDA pipeline, denying medication to ill and dying people; and of course, every IPO is stalled (and maybe DOA) for so long as the shutdown continues.

All this to keep a racist promise to build a useless wall.

Officials from Washington to Wall Street are pondering nightmare scenarios if the partial U.S. government shutdown that is already the longest on record extends into spring -- or beyond.

“Shutdowns don’t get bad linearly; they get bad exponentially,” said Sam Berger, a senior adviser at the Center for American Progress, who worked at the Office of Management and Budget under President Barack Obama.

In a Month You’ll Wish the Shutdown Were Only as Bad as Today [Christopher Flavelle, Jennifer A Dlouhy, and Ryan Beene/Bloomberg]

(via Naked Capitalism)