Photo: National Parks Service, 2013 shutdown. This year's signs are in Comic Sans.

In a nifty nerdy article over at the Atlantic, economic policy reporter Annie Lowrey offers an idea for ending government shutdowns that seems eminently doable, although of course eliminating the possibility of government shutdowns would deprive grandstanding presidents (or members of Congress) the chance to cost the economy tens of billions of dollars when they want to have tantrums.

It's a very straightforward plan: Instead of the government shutting down when Congress can't agree on a budget or pass a short-term spending bill (a continuing resolution) to just keep government funded at its existing levels, Congress could pass a law putting in place automatic continuing resolutions that would keep government open even in the absence of specific congressional action to pass short-term funding. It's an idea that members of both parties have brought up several times over the last 30 years, although it's never passed. Apparently everyone loves the perceived leverage they get from the prospect of throwing the whole government into chaos.

No garbage piling up in national parks, no stories about government workers missing paychecks, no wrangling over who owns the shutdown because there wouldn't be any shutdown. Hell, Ted Cruz could still read Green Eggs and Ham to an unwilling Senate, but it wouldn't result in anyone being unable to get a small business loan.

Go read the article, as we like to say. It seems like such a logical, well-informed, and straightforward idea that we can't believe anyone in official Washington would ever vote for it.

But who knows! Maybe it could be passed during some post-Trump wave of nostalgia for Good Governance!

[Atlantic / Congressional Research Service / Photo: National Park Service]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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