Here Cato’s Allen Reynolds gets to the core of the budget problem. It is spending and debt.
America faces two very serious budget problems: Democrats, and Republicans. Partisan wrangling over the brief shutdown of about 17 percent of the federal government has been unnecessarily long and convoluted because both sides keep repeating their misleading talking points and diverting attention away from the central issue — deficits and debt — and toward extraneous or irrelevant topics.
The White House and Senate Democrats’ insistence on a “clean” continuing resolution to keep spending as usual was only an ephemeral delaying tactic, because a “continuing” resolution could not continue for more than a couple of weeks without also hitting the debt ceiling. Since nobody expects the debt ceiling to be put off for very long (perhaps six weeks), ending the semi-shutdown requires an unclean non-continuing resolution. The deal must be unclean, but only in the sense of having reasonable and relevant conditions attached, and it must be non-continuing, because the larger battle over lifting of the debt ceiling will still be around the corner.