Monday, September 30, 2013

Government shutdowns in perspective: there have been 17 of them since 1976

The Seattle Times has a headline now warning of the "dire consequences of federal shutdown." A Washington Times headline warns of "Danger to economy."  Such "danger," however, is not unusual.  There have been 17 shutdowns since 1976.  In other words, the US has been averaging about one shutdown every other year for 37 years.

Interestingly, four of the shutdowns happened when Democrats controlled all the White House, the Senate, and the House.  Three of these, all in 1977, were due to Democrats wrangling with each other over abortion.  The fourth, in 1978, was when Jimmy Carter insisted on eliminating an aircraft carrier.

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