Lessons from the Shutdown: A FixGov Blog Series


The consequences of Congressional theatrics that led to a 16 day shutdown of the federal government and threat of a debt default are substantial. In the wake of this crisis, politicians, news outlets, and others have offered their own post-mortems, often recycling the same hackneyed topics about the Republican brand and the behavior of specific legislators.

Brookings’ Center for Effective Public Management and the FixGov blog see an opportunity to offer a different review of the recent shutdown crisis. In a week-long series of blog posts, we will explore the lessons (that should be) learned from the shutdown crisis. A variety of contributors from inside and outside of Brookings will offer insight into a variety of topics ranging from the Farm Bill to the debt ceiling to the DC budget and more. The goal is to examine the policy-oriented implications of the shutdown crisis that are often overshadowed by the chatter about politics.

Over the next five days, the FixGov blog will deliver daily posts that discuss these critical issues. The lessons are not simply a review of what happened in the past, but must serve as a warning for future behavior. As we stare down a similar crisis in less than three months, policymakers, the media, and citizens must be aware of the collateral damage to public policy that a government shutdown and a threat of debt default carry with them. The politics of hostage taking may seem like a fruitful endeavor, but the costs and consequences of those actions far exceed any benefits, and this series, with any hope, will help us avoid the same fate in the future.