So…found this on the NY Times, about legislative efforts underway to essentially ban future government shutdowns. Sort of a “save us from ourselves” law, I guess. Personally, I’m for the idea, but then there was this:
Under his [Senator Rob Portman (R)] plan, which has 18 co-sponsors and rising, funding at existing levels would continue for agencies covered by an appropriations measure that was not signed into law by the beginning of the fiscal year on Oct. 1, preventing any lapse that incites a shutdown. To spur a resolution, funding would be reduced by 1 percent after 120 days if no agreement is reached and by 1 percent more every 90 days.
This is exactly the wrong kind of incentive, especially when dealing with Republicans. Budget cuts are like porn to those people. The only reason automatic funding decreases would bring Republicans to the table would be to hide the raging boners they’ve got for them.
If you want to incentivize Republicans, make them meet with their constituents. Every week there’s no budget agreement, they have to hold a town hall meeting in their district or state, each week in a different precinct (for reps) or district (for senators). I guarantee we’ll have a budget on time every year.