Visitors of the Bureau of Economic Analysis homepage today were puzzled to find that before staffers had gone home for the government shutdown, they actually shut down the BEA web site. Below is a picture of what you will find if you visit the site with Internet Explorer. Google Chrome returns a message that reads “Oops! Google Chrome could not connect to bea.gov.” If you run a web site, or have any common sense, you’ll realize that the default option for web sites is on. Actively intervening to take down a web site before the government shuts down seems unneeded. Now no one can access economic files that would have been easily accessible with or without anyone manning the operation at BEA.
With the economic impact of the shutdown estimated at $12.5 million per hour, the government should try to minimize its negative effects on Americans. Not shutting off the BEA web site before leaving the building would have been a helpful start.