Sunday, October 20, 2013
Los Angeles Times op-ed: How to Avoid Another Shutdown, by David Gamage (UC-Berkeley) & David Louk (Ph.D. (UC-Berkeley) & J.D. (Yale) Candidate):
The U.S. needs to reform its budgetary processes to prevent the kind of crisis we saw recently.
Currently, budgeting differs from almost every other area of federal policy. When Congress and the president cannot agree on other kinds of legislation, existing law remains in effect. But with budget-making, there is no automatic default policy in the absence of congressional action. The government simply stops functioning. ...
It doesn't have to be that way. State and federal legislators should follow the lead of Wisconsin and Rhode Island and enact provisions for automatic continuing appropriations. Under such rules, if lawmakers fail to negotiate a new budget on time, the previous year's budget automatically carries over until a new spending plan is passed. This gives legislators the opportunity to negotiate without the threat of a looming and costly shutdown.
For a detailed discussion, see Government Shutdowns, the New Fiscal Politics, and the Case for Default Budgets.