Kudlow In Wash. Exam.: Govt Shutdown “Doesn't Sound That Bad To Me”

In a March 8 op-ed in The Washington Examiner, columnist Lawrence Kudlow wrote that a government shutdown “doesn't sound that bad to me.” In fact, as Media Matters has previously documented, experts agree that a prolonged shutdown could have a “meaningful” effect on the economy.

From Kudlow's op-ed:

Surely the Tea Party advocates will push the GOP to stay on message and stay the course. That's what November's elections were all about. And if a satisfactory deal cannot be reached, one that keeps the GOP spending-cut pledge and includes a spending-limit rule with real teeth, then why not shut down the government?

Reading through various reports from the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, you get the sense that no great harm will come from a shutdown.

Social Security checks will be mailed. Other benefit payments will be met. Air-traffic controllers will do their jobs. Border protection and military operations will continue.

Uniformed military personnel will be exempted. The Postal Service will do its business uninterrupted. And incoming revenues can be designated for interest payment on the debt.

Doesn't sound that bad to me. It sure isn't the end of the world.

Back in the early '80s, when I served in the Office of Management and Budget under President Reagan, we went through several brief government shutdowns. Yes, the Washington Monument and a bunch of public parks closed.

So what? Nonessential personnel got a holiday. The rest of us had to work.

But nonessential programs were not funded during the shutdown, and their unused budgets were subsequently rescinded. Savings were significant.


Frankly, a government shutdown in Washington is a minuscule price to be paid for the greater good of financial solvency and economic growth. If the Republicans can't get the right deal for full-fledged spending cuts and a clear budget-limitation rule with severe budget-cutting penalties, they should go ahead and shut down the federal government.