The last time the we had a government shutdown, it dragged on for 21 straight days -- but the economy was barely scratched.
But this government standoff could play out different.
Seventeen years ago, a republican congress was confronting a democratic president in a game of budgetary chicken. But the economy and the issues were very different in 1995.
Forest Gump won the Oscar in 1995, TLC and Oasis ruled the airwaves amd the U.S. was on the cusp of a technology boom led by companies like America Online.
Against this backdrop, Congress led by Republican Newt Gingrich refused to pass a budget without further cuts in Medicare, education and environmental regulation.
This time it's about health care, but President Obama's comments this week practically mirror Bill Clinton's 18 years ago.
“Unfortunately, Republican Leaders in Washington have put ideology ahead of common sense and shared values,” Clinton said in 1995.
On Monday, President Obama’s words were, “Unfortunately, right now House republicans continue to tie funding to ideological demands.”
It's estimated the three week partial shutdown in the winter of '95 cost $2 billion in today's dollars.
And though the stock market dove 4 percent during the shutdown, it zoomed up 10 percent as soon as it was over.
The year 1995 had an unemployment rate two full points lower than today's. Growth was robust and the budget was already headed for surpluses, instead of deficits.
Today's economy is more fragile and economists believe a prolonged stand-off will stunt our already sluggish growth, slow investment and hiring and disrupt financial markets.
But Republican Senator Ted Cruz doesn't believe any of that telling PBS the budget crisis in 1995 was good for the country.
“The result was balanced budgets, and some of the greatest fiscal responsibility we've seen in modern times because fiscal conservatives stood together and said we need to be responsible,” Cruz said.
Former Florida Governor Bob Graham told me the standoff did lead to more bi-partisanship. But he says Congress has become far more divided since he served.
“People can't hear each other talk. They aren't particularly interested in what the other side has to say,” Graham said.
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