A little history on government shutdowns

In the next week or so we should be hearing a lot about government shutdowns, so this article provides a little history on what happened the last time the U.S. government was shut down over a budget battle.

In particular I’d ask you to look at the way people play fast and lose with historical interpretation and with polling data. Remember this latter point in the spring when we look more closely at polling.

And now on to the even more frightening issue: the debt ceiling debate. We’ll be talking about this a lot in class in the next week or so, but for now I’d like you to read these two (admittedly liberal) takes on the debates in Congress.

First from the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/27/us/politics/house-gop-leaders-list-conditions-for-raising-debt-ceiling.html?hp

And this from the Washington Post (only read the first section):

 http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/09/26/wonkbook-the-houses-debt-ceiling-bill-is-wow/

And you MUST read this, from the National Review online, which is supposedly the House Republicans’ initial gambit in the debt ceiling negotiations. Business Insider has a succinct take on this position calling it at total fantasy. I have to admit, when I read it, I thought that this was a joke, but apparently it’ s not.

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts, especially on the debt ceiling issue. Also check out some of the new links to articles I’ve posted in the “articles and links” page.

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