Now that House Republicans have retreated from their insane debt ceiling threats, and have agreed to open the government back up, it is time to start tallying up the costs:

The first federal government shutdown in 17 years, triggered by a Republican demand to defund the Affordable Care Act on Oct. 1, cost the U.S. $24 billion in potential economic activity — equalling at least 0.6% of projected annualized fourth-quarter 2013 GDP growth, according to ratings agency Standard & Poor's.

Only $24 billion in lost economic growth? Such a bargain! Meanwhile, in red state South Dakota, where Mitt Romney beat Barack Obama by a 58-40 margin, ranchers suffering from a blizzard that killed as many as 20,000 head of cattle, have had no help or guidance documenting their losses from the federal Farm Service Agency, because, of course, it's been closed! Hooray for the Grand Old Party!

At some point, maybe even Republicans will start to reconsider the wisdom of placing the government in the hands of people who don't believe in government.