Two-Country Solution to a Government Shutdown: Opinion
It need not be this way. Democrats and Republicans could each have their way on the government shutdown issue and the underlying debt limit.
Before I explain how, let me first mention that a so-called government shutdown isn't quite what it sounds like. Most of the government shuts down at 5 p.m. on weekdays, and it remains shut 24 hours a day on weekends. Some would say it is also shut for lunch approximately two hours per day.
In a country divided approximately 50/50 and steeped in the idea that we should have freedom of choice, it seems highly limiting that we should be forever trapped in unhappiness and defeat. Our national divide cuts across almost every economic and cultural issue: health care, education, industrial policy, taxes, the legality of 16 oz sodas and so forth.
Normally, if you have two visions for how to run something, you don't force yourself to sit under the same tent and rule with majority edict. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were both born in 1955, and they both started computer companies in the 1970s. Can you imagine if Gates and Jobs had been forced to conform to the other person's wishes inside one company?
Here is how the Federal government could learn from Jobs/Gates starting in the 1970s and from Amazon in recent years: Divide America into two halves, and let Republicans and Democrats practice their own ideas freely in each.
In the case of government shutdown and debt limit, here is how it would work: First, each half would be saddled with half of the current debt and half of the ongoing federal budget. Second, each of the two newly created countries created would proceed according to their chosen paths:
1. The Democrat half:
The debt limit would be lifted or simply abolished forever. The government would spend as much money as it could get its hands on through a combination of taxing, borrowing and printing. The sky would be the limit. Print, borrow, tax -- rinse, repeat.
2. The Republican half:
The debt limit would not be lifted and, as a result, government expenditure would be cut by a double-digit percentage immediately. All government borrowing would end immediately, as would all printing of money. Government bureaucrats would be laid off, their budgets eliminated and they would have to either find jobs in the private sector or move to the newly created Democrat country where demand for them would theoretically be infinite.