TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Gamage & Louk: How to Avoid Another Shutdown

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.

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If things were working properly I would dismiss quickly. But things arent working properly.
I dont like the idea of a new law/rule it usually ends in just another law/rule circumvented/broken,but this needs further thought for sure.

Posted by: robert m burns | Oct 20, 2013 10:56:59 AM

A more and more marginalized party is not going to give up the only weapon it has. And that is what the budget has become, a weapon to try and get what cannot be gotten by the vote.

Posted by: George | Oct 21, 2013 7:39:12 AM