Government Shutdowns, the New Fiscal Politics, and the Case for Default Budgets

David Gamage, David Louk
2013 Social Science Research Network  
In nearly every area of law and governance, default policies exist when lawmakers cannot pass new legislation-typically the status quo simply remains in effect. To its detriment, United States budget making at both the state and federal levels lacks effective defaults. If a new budget isn't passed by year end, there is no budget, and the government shuts down. The lack of defaults, coupled with a dysfunctional era of budgetary politics, has led to a number of recent highprofile and costly
more » ... ment shutdowns at the state and federal levels. To date, legal scholarship has failed to address both the causes and costs of government shutdowns and near shutdowns, as well as possible solutions to prevent them. This Article takes up this cause, exploring the history and sources of recent government shutdowns. Government shutdowns are the result of a perfect storm of contemporary
doi:10.2139/ssrn.2339314 fatcat:jbn2v4l475cqdey3k7udaxcw2e