The Difference Between the Shutdown and the Debt Ceiling

Let’s just do a shutdown and a ceiling primer today. The shutdown is all about the federal budget. Very simply stated, certain agencies need yearly (or a different time period) funding that has to be approved by the President and…

Fiscal Policy: “Nonessential” Government Workers

Who is “nonessential?” No one. When the last lengthy shutdown unfolded for 21 days at the end 1995 into 1996, furloughed government workers objected to being called nonessential. One HHS deputy secretary said, “I want to make the point clearly…

Fiscal Policy: All You Need To Know About the Federal Budget Process

The story of a government shutdown is really all about a budget process. We have a President who submits a budget to the Congress each year. We have a Congress that has to agree on 12 appropriations bills that establish…

Part 1: The Basics of a Shutdown

Our story begins on October 1, 2010. With a fiscal year that starts on October 1 and ends on September 30, the first day in October is crucial. Because the President and the Congress had not yet agreed on the…