There’s a growing crisis in the business of government. Estimates are that government spending accounts for 36 percent of GNP. There are about 20 million people working in the public sector, about 14.5 percent of our nation’s workforce. This is a huge part of our economy and effects many things vital to our everyday lives.

The fiscal underpinning of this system is broke. Witness the craziness of the current government shutdown. No one person, party or interest group should be able to shut down the government for any reason — period.

The problem is that there no actual federal budget, just continuing spending resolutions since 1997. These resolutions fund various segments of government for arbitrary chunks of time and provide an endless stage for partisan bickering, gridlock, and potential government shut downs. It’s madness. No sane person would run a business like this, much less an entire country.

What to do? Here’s an idea.

Each Sept. 1, near the beginning of the federal government’s fiscal year, budget debate begins. By Sept. 30, a federal budget has been passed and signed by the president. If not, the existing federal budget is automatically carried over into the new fiscal year with built-in inflation adjustments. No more debate, bickering or threats of shutdown.

Throughout the rest of the year, anyone with a pet addition, subtraction or change of any sort regarding the budget may submit their own bill, just like any other piece of legislation.

No endless debates, no holding government hostage. Don’t like this? Come up with something better.

But these lunatic shutdowns must end for the sake of our sanity and the health of our country.

Roy Estabrook

North Monmouth

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