On December 22, 2018, the US government entered what was to become the longest shutdown in the country’s history, when the President refused to sign off on a Congressional budget that didn’t include a requested $5 billion in funding for a border wall. The government temporarily reopened 35 days later, but not before damaging the economy and pushing many federal employees and people who rely on government funding social programs to the edge of their own fiscal cliffs.
How and why do shutdowns happen? What, if anything, did we learn from this experience? What can we do to prepare if the temporary funding lapses on February 15th without a budget in place? In this episode: “savings crises,” conference committees, grocery store negotiations, and only slightly less ire about borders than in our economics of immigration episode.