Monday, November 18, 2013


You have to wonder

According to an article in the Knoxville (TN) News Sentinel, Don Cook, the National Nuclear Security Administrator’s deputy administrator for defense programs, said the government shutdown this fall cost the agency $330 million. And that was just for defense programs around the complex, Cook said this morning at the ETEBA’s annual Business Opportunities Conference at the Knoxville Convention Center.

So how much money did POTUS save vs. how much did POTUS' shut down cost the country - in dollars and in image?

From a risk management point of view, it appears someone failed to consider the consequences.

What did POTUS shut down?

He shuttered the Internal Revenue Service, the IRS. While that had to make a lot of people happy, it cost the nation income.

He closed the federal lands- the parks and forests.

Closing the parks meant that while expenditures were reduced - no salaries to furloughed personnel - there was zero income from visitor fees. Maintenance on the properties was put off, only to be made up later.

Visitors come from around the globe not only to see our cities, but to enjoy our parks and monuments. Putting up "Closed 'Cuz we can't accord to open" signs is disgraceful and, in the end, it wasn't true anyway.

Forest lands and open ranges managed by the US Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) were closed to people who normally pay to log trees and to send livestock to graze the land. Roads were allowed to deteriorate making people who could access the lands spend extra to repair vehicle suspensions. The road repairs still had to be made, but now the potholes were bigger and deeper.

Federal workers had to go on unemployment, some were forced to use food stamps and to turn to local (state) welfare agencies. Instead of paying taxes on their wages, they were forced to take tax money.

There are ways to cut expenditures. On the top of my personal list is to discontinue Saturday residential mail delivery. The USPS claims its financial woes are linked to the Internet, so at least those with an Internet connection won't miss Saturday delivery, particularly when the delivery is mostly bills and "junk" mail.

Then there is the Affordable Care Act disaster. Millions to develop a Web presence that doesn't work. Making flat statements that POTUS won't do something and then being forced by reality to do what he said would never be done.

The "bottom line" is that the nation's bottom line is no better - and in some cases it is worse - than before the shut down.

I know POTUS is not a risk manager, but it might have been good if he had sought input from a real risk manager, not a "yes man" who pretends to manage risks.

For want of a nail . . .

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