Government Shutdown: How to Never Have Another One

Government Shutdown!

The East Front of the U.S. Capitol Building at night. (Photo credit: Architect of the Capitol)

So, the current batch of myopic, partisan, tea-puppets have “achieved” a government shutdown. It’s difficult for me to understand how any thinking, rational legislator with our country’s best interests in mind would actually strive for a government shutdown.  However, it’s very easy for me to understand what we could do to never, ever, have it happen again.

Imagine, if we had these simple, new rules:

  • Legislators are not paid, nor reimbursed for any expenses of any type, during the government shutdown.  Ever.  Not even after the government shutdown has ended.
  • As soon as a government shutdown is over, all current senate/congress terms are immediately changed to 90 days from the end of the government shutdown.  (This seems quite reasonable as they failed to do what they were elected to do–i.e., govern. An employee who fails do do their job is fired.  Why should it be different for legislators?)
  • At the end of the 90 days, there is a special election to (re)elect for new, regular terms.
  • For the special election, only taxpayer funding is allowed and limited to $25K per incumbent.
  • Any non-incumbent candidate submitting at least 1000 signatures qualifies to be on the ballot.
  • The five non-incumbent candidates with the most signatures in each race qualify for $50K each in election financing.
  • Finally, all candidates, including incumbents must earn a passing grade on a 9th-grade general science test.

Under these new rules, we would never see another government shutdown.

3 comments for “Government Shutdown: How to Never Have Another One

  1. Penny Ruff
    October 1, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    I wonder if the Congressional dinning room got shut down, and the chief and waiters were sent home? Bet it wasn’t….I didn’t see anyone carry a baggie for lunch…..

  2. January 4, 2014 at 5:13 am

    Haha… well said. I guess two reservations: 1) this is great as suggestion, but the states are sovereign so to be implemented in practice as “rules”, this would have to be added to the US Constitution. 2) Assuming point 1 passes, the US fedgov has no jurisdiction to set what 9th grade passing curriculum is, so…despite “I know what you mean”, states are free to teach as they will, and thus without putting this in the US Constitution, it would violate it.

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