The US government has had a long history of disputes between president, congress, and other involved parties leading to threatened, and in some cases, actual government shutdowns. Unfortunately, this is a pattern that has repeated itself over the years, despite the potential costly repercussions that can arise from a government shutdown.
The most recent shutdown of the US government in 2018 lasted for a total of 35 days and cost taxpayers billions of dollars in compensation for furloughed federal workers, delayed government services, and lost economic output. Even worse was the fact that this shutdown was caused by disagreements between President Donald Trump and Congress regarding his proposed US-Mexico border wall.
It is clear that the US government is not learning from its long history of threatened and real shutdowns. Despite the potential damaging consequences, elected officials often resort to using shutdown threats as part of their political strategies. This could even lead to a repeating cycle of shutdowns if it is not addressed properly.
On a more positive note, the 2018 shutdown did force the US government to make some changes in order to better prevent this from happening again. One such change was the enactment of a new law that forbids the government from shutting down due to partisan disagreements.
But while this new law is definitely an important step forward, it is still not sufficient to completely prevent the threat of a government shutdown from being used as a political ploy. In order for the US government to be truly immune to the threat of a shutdown, elected officials must be held accountable to their constituents and be more responsible when it comes to making legislative decisions.
The US government has a long history of threatened and actual shutdowns that has cost taxpayers billions of dollars. But if both political sides are willing to take responsibility and make the necessary changes, then this costly cycle could be prevented in the future. The US cannot keep repeating the same mistakes if it wants to serve as an example to the rest of the world.