Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap” is the longest running show, of any kind, in the world. It opened Nov. 25, 1952 at the Ambassadors Theatre in London and is still running. The second longest “play” appears to be the one we are seeing with increased frequency in Washington. Call it the government shutdown. It’s less entertaining and costs far more to watch than a ticket to Christie’s whodunnit.
If a shutdown occurs on October 1, both parties will share the blame this time. Democrats usually force the issue, but now a few House Republicans are refusing (so far) to agree to appropriations bills unless they get their way on spending cuts. While their goal is noble, it is a fool’s errand because the votes aren’t there in the Senate and the president retains his veto power.
What aggravates is the refusal by members of both parties to address the whopping $33 trillion debt and the effect it will soon have on the economy and the country’s future fiscal health. Social Security and Medicare have long been the main drivers of debt, along with other unfunded mandates, but politicians don’t want to reform these programs for fear it will hurt