How long will fiscal crisis drag on the economy?
This week we will begin to find out how much the fiscal crisis in Washington cost the economy and what the prospects are for a rerun in three months.
The delayed September jobs report, out Tuesday morning, will be too old to reflect any crisis impact but will at least give us an idea where the economy stood before the shutdown and debt limit fight. It's expected to show a gain of 180,000 jobs and no change to the 7.3 percent unemployment rate, in line with the recent trend.
The more telling data point comes Friday in the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index, which is expected to drop several points from its last reading of 75.2, which was already a nine-month low.
The Michigan data will follow other reports showing a sharp decline in confidence, including one earlier this month from Gallup showing the biggest one week drop since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.
The biggest question now is how quickly the impact of the crisis will fade as a drag on the economy.
The good news is that stocks mostly shrugged the whole thing off, correctly expecting an 11th hour deal. And the real economy may do exactly the same thing, with many analysts expecting the indirect impact to fade fairly quickly. The direct impact of the shutdown on federal government spending should also be made up in the fourth quarter with repaid salaries and completed contracts.
So the only way Washington re-emerges as a big drag on the economy is if we do the whole thing again in January, when government funding runs out, and February, when the debt ceiling must be lifted again.
(Read more: Don't expect another debt limit fight)
It's too soon to say definitively that it won't happen again but the odds are very much against it. Republicans have already turned their attention back to bashing the troubled rollout of President Obama's health care reform law. And many in the party realize the fiscal crisis took attention off the health care law and only served to damage the GOP.
(Read more: Leaders vow to avoid another shutdown)
Obama will focus this week on fixing the health care reform website while touting the nearly half a million people the administration says have begun the enrollment process. Republicans meanwhile will turn to making Obamacare a 2014 issue.
Meanwhile, there is very little time for the two sides to make a budget deal before the Dec. 13 deadline, especially as the Senate is not even in session this week. But they could push that deadline back and there is really no need for the two sides to come up with a "grand bargain" that cuts entitlements and raises some revenue through loophole closings.
(Read more: Fed's Evans: Shutdown may delay taper by months)
A lower corporate rate with fewer ways from companies to game the system would certainly be helpful to the economy as would repatriation of the hundreds of billions of dollars held in foreign accounts by U.S. companies. But the economy is probably healthy enough to chug along without all that.
All that's really needed is for the two sides to agree on a funding level for 2014, raise the debt ceiling through the end of the year (at least) and just get out of the way.
— By Ben White, POLITICO's chief economic correspondent and a CNBC contributor. White also authors the daily tip sheet POLITICO Morning Money [politico.com/morningmoney] Follow him onTwitter