|Treasury Secretary Gallatin, fiscal hardass|
During the Great Government Shutdown of Fiscal Year 2014 (October 1 to 16) the U.S. Treasury reported paying out $6.246 billion in federal salaries and another $2.801 billion in insurance premiums for federal employees. That appears to be about 70 percent of the amount that would have been paid to salaries under normal operations.
So I guess we should call it the 30 percent shutdown.
It is an historic irony that our longest-serving Secretary of the Treasury, Albert Gallatin (1801 to 1813, under presidents Jefferson and Madison), would probably have backed the shutdown. As a Jeffersonian, he hated having a national debt at all, and devoted three quarters of federal revenue to pay it down. He helped to create the House Committee on Finance, forerunner of the modern Ways and Means Committee, and encouraged the tactic of withholding funds by the House as a method of exercising congressional oversight of the executive branch.