Our government shut down last week. Not because of some terrible attack, a coup, or someone losing the keys.
It shut down because Congress failed to complete one of its most basic functions. Our elected representatives lacked the competency to pass a budget to fund our government.
Both sides are to blame. And both sides failed to compromise on a balanced long-term budget. Democrats held funding hostage for DACA recipients which represent around 2% of the American population. The GOP has not been the party it claims to be, and has been stubborn and fiscally irresponsible passing only short term budgets. President Trump was wishy washy and left his party scrambling as he did not clearly explain what he expected from a budget.
It is important to note that while Republicans have held a majority in Congress during the past 4 government shutdowns (there has been a total 18). However, it takes more than just a simple majority to pass a budget, so it is unfair to only blame one side.
Do governments in other established democracies shut down? No.
Budget debates in nations with parliamentary systems like Australia, Britain, and Canada do not often experience this example of American Exceptionalism. Mainly, because politicians’ jobs are at risk- parliament can be dissolved, a vote of confidence can eliminate poor lawmakers, or leaders resign.
Our jobs are dependent upon performance. Congress should be held to the same standard. Let’s vote out representatives that fail to perform the most basic functions of their job.
Otherwise, it might be time for us to raise the Union Jack, sip on some tea, and abandon our incompetent government for our previous colonial controller.
God save the Queen.