Government Shutdown

The Government Shutdown Is an Artifact of a Broken Budget Process

Budgeting isn't about budgeting anymore.


Al Drago/dpa/picture-alliance/Newscom

Washington is in the midst of another partisan budget standoff this weekend, but there's one point on which both sides agree: The government shutdown is the other party's fault.

Republicans have dubbed the halt in government funding the #SchumerShutdown, or, sometimes, the #DemocratShutdown, after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who has demanded that the fate of Dreamers, immigrants brought to the United States as children, be resolved as part of a budget deal.

And of course, because we have entered the glorious year of 2018, all this is playing out on Twitter, via hashtags.

Democrats, in response, have charged that President Trump, who chose to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program last year, and congressional Republicans, who hold majorities in both chambers of Congress, are at fault. "Despite controlling the House, the Senate and the White House, the Republicans were so incompetent, so negligent, that they couldn't get it together to keep government open," Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the top House Democrat, said this weekend.

Naturally, Pelosi has a hashtag too:

In other words, the shutdown has quickly, and predictably, become a tedious partisan blame game.

But the partisan bickering mostly serves as a distraction from the systemic failure at the heart of the shutdown: the consistent failure by Congress to complete the budget process. In today's New York Times, I look back at the history of today's budget development protocols and how we ended up with a government that appears permanently funded by temporary, budget-busting deals:

This week's government shutdown is a bipartisan failure, with bad faith all around, and both parties trying to blame the other for the consequences, in hopes of winning one for the team.

But it is also a systemic failure, in which an outdated budget process — the complex set of procedures that keeps the government open — has become an empty ritual, twisted in the service of narrow partisan gain.

The source of today's dysfunctions goes back more than 40 years, to the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974. That law was passed as a result of a perception within Congress — which under the Constitution holds the power of the purse — that the White House had too much influence over the budget.

The law overhauled congressional budget development procedures in a manner intended to shift the balance of power in federal budgeting away from the executive and toward the legislature — and created the modern budget process.

Read the whole thing.

NEXT: What the Heck Happened?

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  1. Probably a heck of an interesting read, but the NYT wants to much info from me to bother reading anything from them. You can’t even get there from Google any more without registering, last time I checked. I understand Matt wanting as big a readership as possible, but dang, bro, don’t tease me!

    1. The article came up for me when I clicked on the link, and I haven’t paid the Times for the privilege. I’m not sure why the difference. I think I once registered (for free) at their site, and I know I sometimes have been blocked from some of their articles. Also, sometimes “open in private window” works when a regular click doesn’t. Sometimes not.

      1. The NYT gives 10 free reads a month.

        1. I wouldn’t want to waste minutes off my life reading the NYT as its leftist hacks running the show there.

          1. You and the mindless tribalism you perpetuate are the biggest problem in the world.

            1. Yeah! If Tony can be bothered to read this fascist mouthpiece, we should be bothered to read that commie mouthpiece.

              Tony has set an example we should all be proud to follow.

            2. I’m the days of#metoo and #racistoscars you think calling a spade a spade is the biggest problem in the world?

            3. Tony, you mean YOUR mindless tribalism is the biggest problem in the World?

            4. Tony, I see a new biggest problem in the world. You have two things and say they is the biggest singular problem in the world.

              Won’t you reconsider, baby? You wouldn’t want to be identified as a grammar commie, would you?

    2. Just delete the cookie it leaves on your browser. Then you get another 10 free articles before you have to delete it again.

      1. Or use another browser. I have three of them, because sometimes I website doesn’t work in one and will work in another. So when I run out of free articles for the month, I just open up Chrome and read the article in that browser. There hasn’t ever been more than 30 NYT articles I’ve wanted to read in a given month.

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  2. “Budgeting isn’t about budgeting anymore”

    Make America Budget Again!

    1. “Put America on a budget”, said no Democrat ever. And few Republicans either.

    2. I don’t see why we need the budget process at all. Don’t budget, just pass spending bills. Figure out what was spent later, don’t try to predict it.

  3. If the GOP assholes were shutting down the federal government for something worthwhile (like spending cuts) then I would support them.

    Instead they want a bogus wall and to deport longtime US residents – yet another reason to hate conservatives.

    (progressives suck too – for you many TEAM RED! assholes here)

    1. “deport longtime US residents”

      I believe they proposed the opposite with regard to the children brought here. But they proposed to enforce existing law with regard to the lawbreakers. I think this “shutdown” will work against you and your leftist cohorts.

    2. Republicans are proposing “comprehensive immigration reform”. That is something we all want. Right?

    3. Butt: You’re lying.

      The GOP is trying the cut the budget by getting rid of illegals and Dreamers who are endless money pits to the US taxpayer.

      We all know you are Team Socialist (Team Blue).

      1. The dreamers are paying more in taxes than they cost, you moron. They are mostly all young and not on SSDI like the sorry-ass deplorables in Ky, WV, and other red states.

        1. There’s that cynical racism, the bedrock of the left, we have all come to love.

        2. You of course have a citation for that Butt. Many illegals, including Dreamers don’t have social security numbers, so they only pay taxes that the employer must pull from their checks. The rest is under the table pay.

          People in all the small population states pay less in taxes in they receive. Connecticut, Rhode Island, Oregon. Kentucky, etc.

          1. The illegal humans are paying for your and my Social Security paychecks when we retire, is the actual facts. They pay in, but have virtual zero chance of getting paid back. See?

            See “The Truth About Undocumented Immigrants and Taxes” (in quotes) in your Google search window will take you straight there, hit number one… AKA…

            But, like Dark Ages believers in “Witches are Evil and are causing ALL the Bad Things”, I know that no number of web sites or facts or ANYTHING is going to change your mind, because you HATE the Illegal Humans! And humans never landed on the moon, either, because that’s what I choose to believe? All the FACTS can go to Hell!!!!

    4. to deport longtime US residents

      Its either legal or its not (I don’t think it should be illegal) – so I don’t see how ‘length of residency’ should be a pass.

      ‘Oh, he’s been murderin’/stealin’/passin’ bad checks for years! Why do you want to stop him *now*!’

    5. You’re right and it’s ironic that Democrats are shutting down the government. But your wrong that Trump wants “to deport long time citizens” because he’s offering a DACA amnesty in return for changes in chain migration and the visa lottery terrorists use. The Democrats don’t really want the government shut down, because their rent=seeking donors and welfare recipients may not get checks they’re depending upon. Plus the government employees are reliably big government voters as well.

  4. I agree that the entire process is completely broken.
    We won’t get any sort of spending reform until Congress actually has to write budgets and live under them.
    I think it is also why something like a “Balanced Budget Amendment” won’t work either. Congress would just game the Amendment by passing a “budget” that is “balanced” but has no teeth and does nothing. Just like they do right now with their “budgets”.
    I really don’t know what can get Congress back on track when it comes to budgeting. I fear it will take some sort of worldwide financial shock.

    1. A worldwide financial shock would give them an excuse to spend like drunken sailors in order to “save capitalism” (see TARP and the Bushpigs of 2008)

      1. Maybe, you may be right. But what I had in mind is something that dethrones the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. After all that’s the only reason right now that the government can get away with not budgeting – people will buy dollars no matter how ill-behaved the government is. Once that changes then things get scarier.

        1. And the Dotard may hasten the demise of the USD with his big deficit policy – trillion dollar deficits are coming back.

          The USD strengthens as the deficit falls (see the Clinton and Obama years) and weakens as the deficit climbs (2004-09).

          1. Well that is an overly simplistic view. The strength of the dollar depends on the overall health of the economy, not just on whether the government runs budget deficits. Look at the late 1980’s – the government had large budget deficits but also the dollar was strong, because the economy was also strong.

            For the dollar to be knocked out as the world’s reserve currency, there probably has to be something much more severe than the usual ups and downs of the business cycle. Big deficits don’t help, but that alone probably won’t do it IMO.

          2. LOL.

            GDP skyrocketed under Obama, huh? Wages went parabolic, huh? Taxes went down, huh? Regulatory strangulation of private enterprise was imaginary, huh?

            “That government is best which governs least…”

            1. Butt just makes up stuff now even more than before.

              There is so much evidence of incompetence by Obama and Bush relating to the economy. Butt just cannot hide it anymore. Trump’s push to lower taxes has immediately done more for workers in the USA that all 8 years of Booosh and 8 years of Obama.

              1. You’re an idiot. Tax cuts are just going into effect. And of course they will be stimulative in a Keynesian way (conservatives used to hate Keynes).

            2. GDP skyrocketed under Obama, huh? Wages went parabolic, huh? Taxes went down, huh? Regulatory strangulation of private enterprise was imaginary,

              GDP went up substantially under Obama (he inherited NEGATIVE GDP from the Bushpigs), Wages were flat, income/payroll taxes were cut TWICE, and there was no regulation aside from energy companies.


              1. You do realize that negative GDP is, practically speaking, impossible? For that to happen, we’d have to have more imports than the sum total of exports, consumer spending, government spending, and investments. It’s theoretically possible but I doubt it’s ever happened, and it’s certainly never happened in the U.S.

                1. Economic activity shrank by 3.8% in last three months of 2008, according to the government’s gross domestic product report.


                  1. Economic activity shrank by 3.8% in last three months of 2008, according to the government’s gross domestic product report.

                    That’s not “negative GDP”, it’s a decrease in GDP. You bombed calculus, amirite?

                    1. Quit being such a pedantic fuck. Of course GDP didn’t go from $14 trillion to a number less than zero. But -3.8% stands in the books.

                      The economy contracted 8.2% in the Fourth Quarter (October – December). Real GDP was just $14.557 trillion. No one was surprised. In November, the Dow fell to 7,552.29 from its 14,164.53 high set on October 9, 2007.


                  2. That’s not negative GDP. That’s negative GDP growth.

                    As for regulation, 7 of the 8 years with the most regulations added happened under Obama. The most regulation-heavy years were 2016 (#1), 2015 (#2), and 2013 (#3).

              2. lol

                Under Trump 22 regulations have been rescinded for every new one.

                GDP under Obama never reached 3%.

                Under Obama unemployment raged, and wages stagnated.

                Apple is planning (publicly) to spend $350B over the next five years in the US. That was money that was previously off-shore and unavailable to the US economy. Walmart is handing out bonuses to all employees, and raising their minimum wage. The list goes on. Just coincidence, huh?

                Democrats run on welfare and racism, those are their/your strong suits. You are wading into unfamiliar waters with all this talk of a strong America, Plug. Best to stay away till you learn to swim.

              3. How can you honestly say regulation only increased for energy companies? That is such a whopper of a lie.

                Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for one, a pretty friggin big one too, one that was designed to have its own fiat immune from Congress with questionably Constitutional funding mechanisms.

                1. Yes, Dodd-Frank was big and cleaned up the acts of the rogue banks that blew a hole in the economy 2003-08. Banks are quasi public entities anyway since they can borrow from the Fed.

                  1. Palin’s Buttplug|1.21.18 @ 8:13PM|#
                    “Yes, Dodd-Frank was big and cleaned up the acts of the rogue banks that blew a hole in the economy 2003-08.”

                    Turd posted this. Right there.
                    ‘Nuff said.

          3. S oh pee 500

            * drops microphone*

      2. Man, it’s a good thing Obama and the Dems didn’t bail out any banks or the auto industry. Otherwise you’d look like a massive partisan piece of shit.

  5. OT: CNN outdoes itself…again…

    Congress funds much of the scientific research done in this country. In 2013, that meant some experiments went on hold in 2013 and suffered costly losses of data. In space same year, for more than two weeks, NASA reportedly stopped monitoring potentially dangerous asteroids.”

    That wasn’t a big deal in 2013. But in 2018, there’s an asteroid headed right for us.

    “A big one, by the way, is expected to brush by Earth on February 4th,” Foreman fretted.

    1. Fortunately for CNN, other countries also monitor asteroid activity, and Bruce Willis likely remains on call for any foreign effort to explode a deadly meteor, in addition to any United States-led strike force.

      Armageddon 2: The Big One

      1. I’m sure that’s just a way to publicize Aerosmith’s upcoming final final final farewell tour.

    2. There was one that passed very close to Earth just two days ago (Thursday 1/18). Not as big as the one expected next month, but it came much closer, and was only discovered 7 hours in advance of its flyby. The group that spotted it, the Catalina Sky Survey (the article says “Calina”), is funded by NASA, but that might not mean it would be affected by this government shutdown.

      Daily Star Sunday article

    3. …so the only huge impact of a meteor/asteroid/whatever that had huge effects on the world happened about 65 million years ago, and there haven’t been any reported human casualties from space debris (as far as I know), and we weren’t able to monitor space in any widespread form until the previous century…

      But yeah we’re totally gonna get hit with something if we aren’t constantly spending money on monitoring space. Sure.

    4. Can’t Europe handle a dangerous asteroid? Oh, wait, sorry we’re talking about Europe here. Nevermind, yeah it’s on us.

    5. In space same year, for more than two weeks, NASA reportedly stopped monitoring potentially dangerous asteroids.”

      That wasn’t a big deal in 2013. But in 2018, there’s an asteroid headed right for us.

      Urgh. Look CNN;

      1. An object in motion will stay in motion unless acted on by an external force. If we knew where the asteroid was and how fast it was going too weeks ago we can calculate – without needing to observe it – where it will be two weeks from now. Unless you’re worried that aliens will nudge it. Which is a whole different kettle of horrors to worry about.

      2. No asteroid that we know of is ‘headed right for us’. None of them.

      3. NASA is the *least* important agency when it comes to skywatching. You seem to be completely ignorant about the millions of private citizens around the world who do this shit for free. Who do you think tells the big telescopes where to point? Where do you think NASA gets the info it collates since it doesn’t operate much in the way of telescopes itself.

      4. Even if you’re dismissive of ‘the little platoons’ – there are almost 200 other governments on this planet. Surely one or more of them are also running an asteroid watch program? Or are you saying the US is the center of the universe?

      1. Uhh, what if it gets hit by a rogue comet, Bill Nye?

        I used to think you were a smart commenter. Love is love, science is real.

      2. An object in motion will stay in motion unless acted on by an external force. If we knew where the asteroid was and how fast it was going too weeks ago we can calculate – without needing to observe it – where it will be two weeks from now.

        Gravity counts as an external force, and we generally don’t get exact position from something as dim as an asteroid. So the position 2 weeks out is always fuzzy. The one passing by next month is most likely going to be several moon-distances away.

        1. “that’s no Moon”

    6. If there were an asteroid headed for an Earth impact in anything less than six months, there would be absolutely nothing we could do to prevent it. All you could do is warn the population, which you wouldn’t want to do because it would only lead to panic and chaos. So skywatching for such objects is fairly pointless.

      1. As this is a finance thread, it’s worth pointing out that there is a nonzero probability that all those $500 hammers and $3000 toilet seats the military bought in the 80s really were for a secret Star Wars laser defense satellite system that can split an asteroid in half.

        1. That is what happens when the military spends $500 on a pen; they’re really buying some piece of secret hardware, but they naturally don’t want this on the books (because it’s secret), so they buy a $500 pen that just happens to come with a free piece of secret military hardware.

          Of course, they were probably building a sheep-powered raygun, but it counts.

        2. Fortunately, if such a thing does exist, it’s controlled by DOD, which keeps operating during a shutdown. So they’ll just blast the thing, and no one will ever know (except the people who see the bright flash).


    The government is SHUT DOWN. This is a GOOD THING. It proves that America doesn’t need it and will be just fine. We should be REJOICING. Instead we are weeping bitter tears.

    What hath become of us?

    Paid for by Tulpa for OberDrumpfenC?ckenFuhrer 2020

    1. You do realize that “shut down” does not actually apply to most of fedgov, right? Only “non-essential” personnel are not to report. Interestingly, in the private sector, “non-essential” equals “not employed”.

      Additionally, I do not believe Reason has ever suggested that no government is necessary. So keep your straw men to yourself.

    2. Who’s “we”? I’ve noticed food tastes better since the shutdown. Anyone else?

      1. You… Have food?

      2. Sex has been better since the shutdown. And more inventive!

        1. I’ll be right over.

    1. Why? I’m half lit at a ski resort.

  7. Gallup shows people are rejecting the Con Man more and more:…..roval.aspx

    A 36.9% approval rating – shittiest ever for a first year POTUS.

    1. Remember when Gallup had Queen Hillary as president?

    2. It’s partly because people are feeling the effects of the terrible economy. I certainly don’t celebrate the extreme damage Drumpf has already done, but the silver lining is the worse things get, the bigger this November’s #BlueWave will be.

      1. It’s amazing how quickly the economy went south. There wasn’t a single homeless person, now, it’s tents and human waste as far as I can see.

      2. By blue wave, you mean so many Democrats kicked out of office as the socialist tide moves out in election 2018?

    3. Turd, there’s stated preferences and revealed preferences. You get the later when there’s money in the game:

      “Red-hot Dow closes above 26,000 for the first time”

      1. Where were you when the Dow was setting records 2013-2016?

        Face it, the Cucken-Fuhrer inherited a sound economy (unlike Obama in 2009).

        1. “Where were you when the Dow was setting records 2013-2016?”

          Pick those cherries, you dishonest piece of shit.

          1. Drunk already? Why do you get so angry at the prospect that the senile orange rapist might be a bad president? He’s not even remotely loyal to that (R) after his name, you know. Not nearly as much as you.

            1. Tony|1.21.18 @ 2:11PM|#
              “Drunk already?”
              shitbag, you seem confused.

              “Why do you get so angry at the prospect that the senile orange rapist might be a bad president?”
              What that has to do with turd lying almost as much as you do, I have no idea.

              “He’s not even remotely loyal to that (R) after his name, you know.”
              And I should care, whey?

              “Not nearly as much as you.”
              Shitbag, you have me confused with the voices in your head.

        2. Looks like all the bitches are back after taking Saturday off.

          So, have you decided yet where in your domicile at 1435 Euclid Street Apartment 2 in NW Washington D.C. you’re going to proudly display your Fake News Award?

      2. Irrelevant when there are so many more important metrics. For example, did you know Sam’s Club is closing dozens of stores? No way that would be happening in a good economy.

        1. They went from soaring profits to catastrophe in weeks!

          1. 52 weeks to be exact. Because we know that it was doing great when Obama was in charge.

        2. Shocking, shocking that a successfu businessl would realize their model needs to change and take incremental steps to fix it. Walmart stick is at an all time high, and Sam’s faces increasing lots of market share to Amazon prime. Not a telling indicator in and of itself.

        3. Your mask is slipping, commie kid:

          “Irrelevant when there are so many more important metrics. For example, did you know Sam’s Club is closing dozens of stores? No way that would be happening in a good economy.”

          “Walmart raises wages, gives bonuses after GOP tax cut”

          Yes. per MA below, closing poorly-performing outlets happens in good or bad times; the closings are largely driven by e-commerce.

          1. Learn how to post links correctly, Russian bot.

            1. Fuck you with turd’s dick commie kid.

      3. “Red-hot Dow closes above 26,000 for the first time”

        Three words: asset price inflation.

        (One would think that regular visitors to a libertarian site are somewhat conversant with Austrian School economics.)

        1. That’s not a statement of fact, that’s a presumption.
          You would think, regardless of any economic school, (most of) the regular visitors would be familiar with the difference.

          1. That’s not a statement of fact, that’s a presumption.

            Not more so than presuming that the stock market is riding high because the outcome of the presidential election.

            The stock market is one of the places where the inflation caused by the Fed’s money creation (“quantitative easing”) manifests itself.

            1. neoteny|1.21.18 @ 10:38PM|#
              “The stock market is one of the places where the inflation caused by the Fed’s money creation (“quantitative easing”) manifests itself.”

              That’s nice. We don’t have any of that now.
              The market discounts the future, and by design or accident, Trump has managed to reduce the increase in regulations and cut corporate taxes quite drastically. So the value of those shares are (discounted into the future) much more valuable than they were; profits are seen to rise as a result of reduced regulation, and stock holders stand a good chance of getting dividends.
              So, no, it is not a presumption based on some happening in the past, it is a cause/effect based on *evidence* that the election of a president can well affect the stock market.

              1. We don’t have any of that now.

                Not at the earlier rate, but the money supply (M2) is still increasing: click on the 10y tab.

                cut corporate taxes quite drastically

                When was the tax law passed? a month ago? all the stock market gains before that can’t be attributed to the yet non-existent corporate tax cuts.

                profits are seen to rise as a result of reduced regulation, and stock holders stand a good chance of getting dividends

                Those are presumptions: they might pan out or they might not. On the other hand, the (still) increasing money supply is a fact; and if the money supply is increasing faster than the real growth of the economy (as expressed in the amount of goods and services produced) then the prices of at least some goods must increase. My contention is that this is the case and the price increases are mostly asset price increases: stocks & housing real estate.

                1. (I’m replying to myself in order to keep these split posts in order.)

                  it is a cause/effect based on *evidence* that the election of a president can well affect the stock market

                  The evidence is in the eye of the beholder. There are the following correlations:

                  1) the money supply is (still) increasing
                  2) Trump got elected
                  3) the Dow Jones stock market index is (still) increasing

                  You interpret this as the cause of 3 is 2; I interpret this as the cause of 3 is 1. In my mind the question is when will the bust come which inevitably must follow the boom. If the stock market boom keeps up while Trump is president (however long that may be), I’ll concede the point that it were Trump’s policies which caused the stock market to boom since he became president (or even since he was elected to president); but if there will be a stock market bust (let’s say a 15% drop in the DJIA within a six month period) while he’s still president then I’ll think that my analysis is justified: it is the Fed’s inflationary monetary policies which cause the boom in stock prices, it is asset price inflation.

    4. Still a higher approval rating than Hillary has right now.

      1. No kidding. Trump’s success was never about being popular, just not as unpopular as the alternative.

    5. We need Hillary Clinton, the most approved of person ever!

      1. I cringed when people started with that “most qualified ever” crap. Sure, Hilldawg is more qualified than James Madison, my boy TJ, or any of the founders that were also president. They can fuck right off.

        1. Well, those guys are all dead now, so…

          1. Their STILL more qualified.

          2. They are all dead now, but you can look at actual live people who have run in our lifetime and realize that she’s not the “most qualified ever”. She doesn’t even make the grade as “most qualified to lose an election”. She and Al Gore spent the same amount of time in the Senate. Her one term as Secretary of State and her time as First Lady of Arkansas and the US don’t even come close to outweighing his two terms as VP and 8 years in the House.

    6. Team blue nominated the only person in the universe less popular than Trump. In retrospect, kinda dumb.

      1. They needed the money.

  8. Behold, the Drumpfkin is more and mightier than we: Come, let us deal shrewdly with it; lest it multiply, and it come to pass, that when there falleth out any war, it join also unto Russia, and fight against us, and so escape the land. Therefore let us set over it taskmasters to afflict it with heavy burdens.

  9. The shutdown is about grandstanding by the Democrats on immigration. They think this will help them in the midterms and hurt the Republicans. Meanwhile, . . .

    “Democrats have as much as conceded that they will support funding for the wall, having included money for it in a bipartisan proposal. The central question now is what other, more sweeping changes to immigration policy Democrats will accept in exchange for providing legal status to young people who have been shielded from deportation by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, whose end Mr. Trump announced in September.

    —-Wall Street Journal

    “Border Wall Recedes as Issue in Immigration Fight”

    Link: Look it up yourself!

    Notice there are two shifts going on here. On the one hand, the Democrats have conceded to building the wall, but, on the other hand, Republicans may effectively be dropping the requirement of birthright citizenship.

    Anti-immigrant Republicans used to talk about how “anchor babies” shouldn’t entitle illegal immigrants to citizenship. Now it sounds like they’re conceding on “dreamers” that children aren’t even required to be born here to become citizens–so long as their illegal parents brought them here when they were children.

    1. I am not sure that Republicans are talking citizenship, just legal resident status and work rights.
      But ‘we will have to pass the bill to learn what’s in it.”.

      1. It’s effectively amnesty.

        These dreamers would be deported, otherwise, because they aren’t citizens.

      2. They aren’t talking citizenship, not by a long shot. The House Republican plan can basically be summarized as, “How can we get the DREAMers to leave on their own?”…..6968283138

    2. OMB director Mulvaney has denied the report that the Dems offered to support the wall in exchange for DACA, and the Dems are silent on the matter, so the report is probably BS.

  10. You guys really need to get Hihn into rehab. PB while you’re at it too.

    1. Hihn’s problems cannot be cured by modern medical science (or ancient medical science for that matter).

      1. You got to cut a hole in his skull and let the demons out, duh.

        1. The demons are actually the sanest parts.

      2. Can we try some intensive prayer sessions then?

  11. So how about a constitutional amendment that fires all of the legislature on October first if there is no budget passed?
    All the senators and house members are out, with their pensions forfeit. An election is automatically scheduled for the second Tuesday of November to select replacements, and none of the fired politicians can ever run for any office ever again. Governors are NOT allowed to appoint replacement Senators. Anyone mentioning the phrase ‘continuing resolution’ is guilty of treason and executed.
    And while I am wishing, I wish I had a pony.

    1. I’ve had lots of thoughts like that. All Congress critters are ineligible for an election if there is no budget. Don’t take them off the ballot — that would just encourage the party to find a replacement. Instead, just count their votes are spoiled ballots.

      But they don’t change the system. How about requiring every single bill to identify its own specific and unique revenue source, along with a spending limit?

      If its revenue source dries up early, the program is suspended. Can’t borrow from anywhere, not bank loans, not other programs with surplus funds, nowhere nohow, it is flat suspended.

      If revenue exceeds the budgeted amount, the revenue stream finishes, closes, shuts down, and the program has to live with the budgeted amount. If they spend it early, they are suspended when the money runs out.

      I would intend this to apply at a very small level, but I wouldn’t mind combined budgets for the military, Congressional operations, national parks, or science.

      As for revenue sources, they would be things like “sugar tariffs”, “whiskey excise tax”. I wouldn’t mind a zillion budgets specifying “.00023% of the income tax”. But everything has to be a real revenue source — no loans, bond sales, or carryover from previous years.

      I could tolerate a lot of fudgery there and in the budget groupings. The important core is specifying budgets and sources. You automatically get a balanced budget.

  12. _
    ( ,\
    |( ‘
    ( ` .—.
    \ \
    .-. / \ _
    ( \ _.._.–../ `.
    ‘ `-._..-‘“__ `-. ‘. ..7
    ‘. _ _ `-.-~-.`-/
    | / `——? \ |
    | | | |
    |__| |__|

    1. That was intended to be a pony for Longtobefree. Sorry everyone.

      1. It looks more like a giraffe.

        1. Apparently Reason’s comment thing gets rid of extra spaces. Also I’m crap at art.

      2. Looks like a pop tart chewed into the shape of an AR-15.

  13. I’m snowboarding, and having a bloody Mary in the lodge. What government shutdown?

    1. Serious question, would I be happier sitting in front of CNN watching the play-by-play of the “government shutdown” while nervously wringing my hands?

      1. If you’re “nervously wringing [your] hands” around “your genitals”, then yeah, maybe.

    2. You’ll find out when the serving staff come to murder you all in your sleep tonight.

      1. The young lady that just served me can come murder me anytime, if you get my meaning.

        1. La petite mort?

          1. Yeah man, gimme some mo’ o’ that…

  14. “end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program”

    In case anyone forgot…even Obama himself ADMITTED he had no right or legal standing to do what he did when he enacted this DACA program so we are talking about an illegal action anyway (one among many that libs ignored) and something that was done via “executive order”. IMHO, I think executive order is now abused and goes beyond the original intent. Was never meant to circumvent the checks and balances we have otherwise why not just prop up a dictator or tyrant, give up or rights and freedoms and call it a day? Seems like the media, hollywood, progressives, dems, liberals and big govt GOP want this sort of centralized oligarchy or monarchy in place ruling over their subjects….namely us. As long as THEY don’t have to be ruled by it of course….

    This latest issue should tell you all you need to know about WHO the Dems fight for…and it’s NOT Americans….

    1. Vote them all out.

  15. “Democrats, in response, have charged that President Trump, who chose to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program last year”

    If only
    Trump chose to continue the illegal program for a limited time

  16. How can a shutdown become a partisan blame game?

    The one causing the shutdown is always obvious–it’s the one that doesn’t acquiesce to the majority.

    When Congress sends a bill to the President and the President says NO, then the president is the one shutting down the government.

    When the House or the Senate won’t pass a bill on that the president will sign, it’s the house or the senate shutting down the government.

    When 60 votes are needed, and cannot be acquired, it’s the people who are keeping the vote total below 60 who are shutting down the government.

    Right now, that’s the Democrats. They’re attempting to force concessions. That’s how the system works.

    Why the elaborate pretense that they’re not?

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