Squabbling Our Way to a Shutdown

In a new column for the Financial Times I argue that the US is heading towards a government shutdown because--despite universal protests to the contrary--hardly anybody in DC actually cares that much about reducing the long-term budget deficit. If they did care, consensus would be easy to reach. But they don't. Obama has decided that fiscal lassitude is good politics, and Republicans have their own priorities as well:


Under the influence of the recent influx of small-government zealots, the Republican majority cares first about hacking indiscriminately at short-term non-entitlement spending (thus ignoring both the spending categories that matter and the still-fragile state of the economy), second about blocking tax increases of any kind under any circumstances, and third about getting Mr Obama out of the White House. Public borrowing is something they deplore, but not as much as big government, and not as much as taxes.

The most pernicious thing is that each side expects voters to punish the other if a shutdown happens...

Presented by

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Business

Just In