It only took 16 days, but the government shutdown managed to sap $24 billion out of the economy, according to S&P.
That's $1.5 billion a day.
"The bottom line is the government shutdown has hurt the U.S. economy," the S&P wrote. "Since our forecast didn't hold, we now have to lower our fourth-quarter growth estimate to closer to 2%."
$24 billion is a lot of money to willfully drain from the economy.
So in order to make sure Washington doesn't let this happen again, we thought we'd give a roundup of what Congress could have purchased instead.
- Almost 1.5 NASAs. NASA's 2014 budget is $16.6 billion .
- Sent 554,413 kids to private college. The college board estimates it costs an average $43,289 .
- Or 1,078,119 kids to college in their home state. That costs an average $22,261 according to the College Board.
- Every American could get 15 $5 Footlongs from Subway. That's 4.8 billion sandwiches.
- Buy everyone in India a single long-stem rose from 1-800-Flowers.com. India has a population of 1.2 billion.
- 11 days worth of Social Security. The U.S. spent $773 billion on Social Security in the fiscal year 2012.
- Paid for the damage of Hurricane Charley and Hurricane Frances combined. 2004's Hurricanes Frances and Charley cost $9.85 billion and $15.1 billion , respectively.
- Purchasing homes for 87,944 "average" Americans. The average new home price in the U.S. is $272,900, according to the 2010 Census.
- Purchasing 8.3 billion free school lunches for children. Under the National School Lunch Program, the government reimburses a school $2.86 (or more) for a free lunch.
- Buy 7.1 billion gallons of gas for Americans. The average gas price right now is $3.36.
- Screening 1,41,176,470 women for breast cancer for free. The average cost of a mammogram is around the Medicare rate, $170, though of course prices vary based on location and insurance.
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