The federal government spends $17.1 billion dollars per day. So if Congress can keep forestalling an agreed-upon spending plan for 1,882 more days, the national debt should be completely wiped out. Clean slate; problem solved. Man, I should run for office; this governing of a country thing is easy!
My prospective campaign manager would be quick to point out that executive-izing a nation is not that simple. Government spending accounts for 1/4 of the entire GDP of the United States. Consequently, if the Fed stops redistributing our taxes, the velocity of money in our country would decelerate like a car missing the front wheel–which is abrupt. On top of that, the government facilitates just about every process that we workers and consumers do on a daily basis, so if they’re entirely out of commission, you’d better have a full tank of gas and a fridge full of food.
The most recent two shutdowns lasted 16 and 21 days, respectively. However, unless you tried to go to a national park during that time (I was) or were excitedly anticipating the publishing of a piece of economic data from an obscure Federal Bureau (me again), you may not have even noticed that there was a fiscal standoff occurring because all “essential” government functions continued status quo. That’s what’s great about America, 99% of us play an essential role in the one another’s’ lives. Go US!
So outside of the news media’s broadcast of the event, a short term impasse would be logistically insignificant and most federal employees will most likely receive remuneration for the time they clocked at work. Any deadlock longer than a few weeks could be a trainwreck–or more like a freeway full of cars that all suddenly lose a wheel. That sounds less fun. Exciting, but not in a good way.
On the plus side, this stretched out sovereignty struggle could help interest rates improve! Even given that possibility, I’m hoping they figure it out. And soon.