Government Shutdown Blame Game

 “I’m not in favor of abolishing the government. I just want to shrink it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”

—Grover Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform, and promoter of the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge.”

[Editor’s Note: The views expressed here are solely those of Ross Kaplan, and do not represent Edina Realty, Berkshire Hathaway (“Berkshire”), or any other entity referenced. Edina Realty is a subsidiary of Berkshire.]

Quick! Who gets credit — er, blame — for the ongoing government shutdown, now at day #25?

Republicans are arguing that it’s “the Schumer-Pelosi Shutdown.”

Democrats have a better case (in my opinion) that it should be called the “Trump Shutdown.”

I have a third candidate:  “the Grover Norquist Shutdown.”

Not-So-Strange Bedfellows

Norquist, of course, is the architect of the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” which commits signees — and 95% of Congressional Republicans have signed — not to increase taxes of any kind, on anyone or anything, ever.

Whereas the Trump camp views starving the beast as a means to an end (building a wall), for the Norquist crowd, starving the beast IS the end.

Can you say, “difference without a distinction?” (or at least, no strategic difference).

My concern as the shutdown grinds on: these two groups and their agendas merge, forest fire-like, into one mega-blaze, exacerbating what is already a needless financial and personal trial for millions of Americans.

Longer term, it raise the prospect of ever-more such disruptions — at least until one party controls the Presidency and both houses of Congress.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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