Ten ways to prevent/end the US government shutdown

I’m sure some of these have been spoken (or maybe just thought of) but as an outside observer, it seems fantastical that a country like the United States hasn’t figured out how to deal with useless politicians (not that Canada is any better). So here goes — a few fun ways (and a few slightly disturbing possibilities) to get congress to end the shutdown.

Don’t pay them. Forget about stopping actual government services. Stop paying congress, the senate AND the white house until they can actually deliver a bill that they can all agree on. Until they can actually prove they are essential services, they shouldn’t be able to shut down anything.

Stop travel allowances. Don’t pay for government-related travel, period. Olympics? Sorry, Mr. Pence, no can do. Maralago? Sorry, Mr. President. No White House travel. Need to see your family? Sorry everyone. no nothing. You keep core expenses, secret Service etc but no direct travel for any member of the legislative or executive branches.

Draft a bill with everything in it. Then allow each party to take away the parts they can live without one at a time, by priority until they hit the number. Each party has to choose by group, majority perhaps, but each party can only remove one thing at a time, until they all agree.

Just the opposite. Draft a bill with nothing on it except the bare bones of funding. With nothing on it, there is no reason NOT to let it go through. Then let each party add something to it, but only one at a time. Same way although that may go into dangerous territory. What would that look like in the end?

People on the street approach. Grab five people off the street…no direct government whatever, to figure it out. Grab a Wall Street, a barista, a dock worker or car worker, a homeless person and a doctor, and perhaps a …military person…whatever…. and give them the opportunity to draft a bill. What would that one look like?

Create ultimate transparency. Every memo during the shutdown goes 100% public. All email and paper gets published. That includes cell and text messages. There is no secrecy while you screw the people. Imagine how scared every person on the hill would be then.

Get their spouses to do the bill. This might be the second fastest way to see government to react. It also shows who doesn’t really trust their spouses to do their own jobs. Maybe you shouldn’t have married the trophy wife or husband, after all.

Similar to above but get their children between the ages of 8- 16 to do it. Kids say the darndest things but often give the most honest answers and approaches.They would, at least, be able to determine what is just a stupid idea. I wonder, though, how many of the congress and senate actually have children in that age group? Maybe it would be better to choose their grandchildren for those who don’t have children in that age range.

Random removal. List everything everyone wants and then randomly (ie roll the dice or throw darts) remove things until they hit the button saying we will take it. Yes, it will take technology to do it but if Staples can give you an “Easy” button, I’m sure they can, too.

(on the real disturbing note, and I’m not advocating any nefarious plot) since they like to pretend it’s a game, let’s make it a game of chicken. Put them on a roller coaster where they control the lever but the roller coaster is going to an open area where it all falls off until they can decide when it will stop. The news outlets like to make seem as though a government shutdown is the equivalent of going off a cliff. So let’s make it so. And if that doesn’t appear to phase the people who don’t appear to care, put their children on board, for added impact. This is similar to the proposal for going to war – you wonder how many senators and congresspeople would vote for war if their own children were the ones on the firing line. While there are many whose children DO serve, it’s often in different roles that keep them out of harm’s way. 

Many can argue that the running of government isn’t for a lighthearted group and you need seasoned professionals. But the reality is that many politicians are props or single issue candidate – so let’s make it a real process.