Government shutdown is the last thing America needs

Published 3:27 pm Friday, February 9, 2018

The United States Government shut down for five hours overnight but avoided another longer-term shutdown when a bipartisan budget deal was passed by the House.

Perhaps we should celebrate another disaster avoided. The U.S. is the world’s strongest economy, after all, so a government shutdown sends the wrong message internationally, causing pain that lawmakers should avoid.

But these short-term measures, brief interludes to keep the government running since the fiscal year began on Oct. 1, are only slightly better than the government shutting down altogether.

Email newsletter signup

Last month, the government shut down for three days; this week it shut down for five hours; what’s next?

It’s all sending the wrong message about America abroad.

The effort to keep the government running this week at least has bipartisan markings, which is progress. We now have more military spending, the renewal of several large health-care programs, and the national debt limit lifted for a year.

As if we should feel better than the U.S. government can now go deeper into debt.

But, there’s no denying the government needs to keep running. With threats from North Korea and the risks of spooking global financial markets, the U.S. government does not need a shutdown.

For the moment, that has been avoided.