Standard & Poor's calculated that the ill-advised shut down of the government, full of sound and fury and accomplishing nothing, cost the United States economy $24 billion. That's wages not received, travel not undertaken, and services not provided.
This money rightfully belonged to the American people -- they built this economy and they live in this country and are entitled to receive the bounty of this amazing land of ours.
The question then is, who is going to pay this money back to the American people? There's an obvious answer to this question: the answer is Ted Cruz. Senator Cruz should pay over all his salary and any campaign contributions he receives to the American people, until he makes up the $24 billion he has cost us.
This follows from the simple legal principle that all Americans live under and cherish: fairness and taking responsibility for their actions. If you crash your car into your neighbor's fence, you're responsible for the cost of fixing it. If you steal money from the drugstore, you're responsible for giving it back. Senator Cruz's strategy resulted in these losses, and they are his responsibility to make good.
He may argue it will take too long for him to make the money to fulfill this obligation. Well what about all the people who suffered because of his plan to close the government, the people who were denied the right to work, who fell behind in their payments, who didn't get the government services they needed, who suffered the insecurity of not knowing when the shutdown would be over (and still don't know what might happen in January)? What about the long term setback to the American economy -- over a half percent of growth this year -- that will likely be compounded and never made up? What about the loss of respect our country suffered in foreign policy, in trade, in the eyes of those across the world who need a strong America to look up to? Perhaps it's not clear to Senator Cruz that Senators and Congressmen are sent to Washington to run the government and make it work, not to close it down and leave people grasping at empty expectations.
To that end, I attach a public invoice to this blog piece, as an American citizen on behalf of all similarly situated:
To Senator Ted Cruz,
For Reimbursement to the American People for Money Wrongfully Taken Out of their Hands:
Payable to the U.S. Treasury, as their Trustee, Over such period of time as is required to make this debt good.