According to the USA Today (10/18/2013), the 16 day Government shutdown cost the economy jobs, delayed mortgages, and lost retail sales. The numbers aren’t fully in yet, but it is purported to be at least 12 billion dollars and possibly as much as 24 billion dollars for the stalemate that took place in Washington, D.C. over the past several weeks.
As a 22 year veteran financial advisor, you don’t advise someone to take out a Target store card right after they have maxed out their Sears and Nordstrom store cards. We all know that piling up lots and lots of credit card debt is simply an unsustainable way to manage a financial budget. What we all don’t know today is when the balloon will burst.
It’s not a smart money move to lose 12 billion, let alone 24 billion, but I’ve come up with my list of things that we could have done with 24 billion.
- We could have handed out 120,000,000 Amazon Kindles (16GB)
- We could have bought almost half the country a Netflix subscription for a year.
- We could have purchased over 700,000 new Mercedes Benz.
- We could have bought every single team in the NBA (uh . . and also made some revenue).
- We could have sent the entire city of Cleveland to my alma mater Boston College (and it’s pricey).
- Everybody (including kids) in the United States could have had dinner at Ruth Chris’ steakhouse.
- 12,000,000 of us would have been lucky enough to get a round trip ticket to Australia.
- 24,000,000,000 lottery tickets – it would have been the ultimate office pool if we had put together the 50 state lottery all one for one shot!
- Would could have hired $533,000 more teacher for a year.
- 2,400,000 families could have received free groceries for a year.
I was having some fun with this blogpost, but it illustrates the point about how much money was really lost in this short period of time. We can only hope in less than a couple of months from now that a new stalemate doesn’t cost us even much more dearly than these 16 days. Oh, Mr. Government won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?
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Ted Jenkin, CFP®, AAMS®, AWMA®, CRPC®, CMFC®, CRPS®, is co-CEO of oXYGen Financial and is a top ranked personal finance blogger (www.yoursmartmoneymoves.com). He is a regular contributor to Investment News, The Wall Street Journal, and The Atlanta Journal Constitution. Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through NFP Advisor Services, LLC (NFPAS), Member FINRA/SIPC. Oxygen Financial is not affiliated with NFPAS.