Government Shutdown?   Here we go Again

Government shutdown

We’re still a month away from the next heavily partisan Congressional battle.  The US Government’s fiscal year-end is September 30th and amazingly enough, Congress still hasn’t learned anything from ratings agency downgrades or market volatility surrounding their negotiations. 

To be clear, budgets are due from Congress every year at this time, but given the near miss on debt ceiling debates in May, any rational human would have decided to get ahead of a potential government shutdown.  But that’s not our congressional leaders… that’s just not the clear-headedness that they tend to pursue.  Instead, they’ll likely rely on some sort of “Continuing Resolution” that maintains spending at current levels until we can figure out a better answer.  And when inflation is low, that’s kinda workable.  Right now??  Not even close.  

On some level, we recognize that Government shutdowns are not the end of the world, but what we find increasingly irritating is that Congress doesn’t even seem interested in legislating anymore.  Many of these battles are just opportunities for each to get on their soapbox and/or drive clicks to their social media accounts.  As we look to the back half of September, there are 12 legislative days on the calendar and 12 appropriations bills that are supposed to be passed by month’s end.  This is before the new budget is even on the table. 

Back in May, Speaker McCarthy crowed about his debt ceiling deal, but even before the ink could dry, the House Appropriations Committee cut discretionary spending levels agreed to in the negotiation.  Some felt the Speaker had been disingenuous; we would argue that he seems to be the reasonable one stuck in the middle between the far right who is not being particularly reasonable, and the left, who has never seen anything they don’t want to spend money on.  

Thankfully for Willow Creek, we invest in businesses that work on projects that are largely necessary services.  Government shutdowns, continuing resolutions, and debt limits don’t have direct effect on the revenues our investments generate.  But it’s very hard to justify either side’s actions here.  We’d love to be surprised and see the government act as any adult has to when it comes to tax time.  We have deadlines for a reason.  But we won’t hold our breath. 

Source: The Wall Street Journal


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