Benen notes the biggest difference between the shutdowns of the middle 1990s and now:
Also note, the economy was much stronger in the mid-1990s than it is now. In 2011, we have a fragile recovery, which will be put at risk if most of the 2 million civilian government employees can’t work, can’t earn a paycheck, and can’t spend money.
Congressional Republicans, in other words, aren’t just playing with fire when it comes to public services — they’re putting the economy at risk in order to push brutal spending cuts, which also put the economy at risk.
It’s going to be a serious mess. But, as John Boehner said, “So be it!” Who cares about jobs? Feh.
By the way, the Republicans are calculating that the American people will blame President Obama for the shutdown(s). And there’s a strong chance the Republicans are right — people are more likely to kneejerk against the president than against the Republicans.
Aside from all that, my other concern at this point is whether or not any of the awful budget cuts (The Republicans want to cut the SEC’s budget? Seriously?!) in the House’s continuing resolution will survive and become law somehow in the mayhem of a shutdown. Lots of insanity can happen to CRs and budgets while we’re all struggling to follow the political drama — we might miss some of those cuts in the process (They’re cutting WIC and “the czars”?! Un-effing-believable!).
Stand by for pain.