The 1960s and 70s leftists who bombed government buildings and killed Americans were less damaging than the partial federal government shutdown – so said Madison Mayor Paul Soglin, introducing Vietnam War-era domestic terrorist Bill Ayers at a speaking engagement Thursday in Madison.

What Republicans did in legally shutting down a small portion of the federal government for a few weeks was far more painful “to the American people than anything that any of us were capable of doing in the late 1960s and ‘70s,” said Soglin, himself a 1960s radical turned political insider.

“The ramifications to our economy, the world economy, the consequences in terms of everything from nutrition to education, from the well-being in terms of health to employment is being calculated in the billions of dollars, the consequences of this act,” he said.

“And what are we going to do about it now? We’re going to revisit it in three months,” Soglin said, referring to a congressional budget deal reached Wednesday.

Soglin led peaceful protests in Madison during the war, where he was beaten by police.

Ayers is the former leader of the Weather Underground Organization terrorist group that bombed buildings to make political points.

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