America’s fiscal stewards have left their stations

The good news is that Congress avoided a government shutdown by passing a continuing resolution the other week, which President Joe Biden signed. So the federal tap will keep flowing, mostly at the same level, although the statute does provide extra dollars for the Ukrainian fight against Russia, the resettlement of Afghani refugees, and other matters.

Expirations of appropriations do not, as some folks errantly imagine, save money. They are costly, to the tune of billions of dollars. The federal bureaucracies must divert employees from doing their duties to preparing for the shutdown. Agencies that charge user fees, like the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, lose revenue. but the costs do not end there. Private businesses that work for the federal government get stiffed. Americans whose vacation plans included visiting national parks lose out, as do the tourism-based businesses located near Old Faithful and the like…. (Read more)

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Kevin R Kosar

Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute, Washington, DC. My books: Congress Overwhelmed (2020) and… See http://kevinrkosar.com