Last week, I taught Fox News Business about government shutdowns. Watch here
or read below:
Trish Regan: Joining me right now with a plan to stop government shutdowns from happening all together is Alan Grayson, Congressman from Florida, now running for U.S. Senate. Congressman, welcome.
Rep. Alan M. Grayson: Thank you. Thank you very much.
TR: Tell me how this plan, this bill of yours, would work?
AMG: The Shutdown the Shutdown Act, very simply, substitutes level funding for the plunge in funding that we’d be seeing the day after tomorrow [Oct. 1]. It says that whenever we have a gap in funding we simply continue with the existing funding level, instead of dropping down to zero. It’s just common sense.
TR: Let me ask you, Congressman, though, isn't part of our democratic process the ability, giving our representatives to ability to act, to do what they think is right and, some would tell you, that these shutdowns, as miserable as they are, they're actually an important part of our political process. You want to take that away?
AMG: I don't know anybody who feels that way. I’m not even sure you feel that way, as you're saying those words. That doesn't make any sense to me.
TR: Oh I absolutely do. I mean, there are moments when you need to stand your ground. I mean nobody wants a shutdown, I give you that. Nobody wants that. But, if this is what it comes to, isn't that part of the democratic process? This is what it comes to? If you supersede that, what’s the alternative?
AMG: The alternative is called constitutional government. And I invite everyone to familiarize themselves with it. The way we change funding levels in this country is very simple. The House passes a law. The Senate passes a law. Then the President either signs it, or we overcome his veto. That’s the way the Founding Fathers wanted it. The Founding Fathers didn't have shutdowns. Why should we?
TR: What do you think the economic toll is of a shutdown?
AMG: Well, we know what it is. The last time, the three-week shutdown (less than three weeks), ended up costing us the better part of 1% of our gross national product. It cost us well over $20 billion. We had export/import licenses that weren't issued. We had tax refunds that weren't sent. We had all sorts of economic chaos. And it served no purpose whatsoever.
TR: That said, Congressman, most people would point to the fact that that is all temporary, and while it’s painful in the here and now, as economist Steve Moore just said on this program the other day….
AMG: Well, cancer is temporary too, isn't it?
TR: Congressman, eventually some of that pent-up demand that wasn't met during that time actually does get fulfilled.
AMG: What pent-up demand?
TR: And those licenses do get issued.
AMG: Not according to Standard & Poor's.
TR: Anyway we're going to continue watching your bill.
AMG: Standard & Poor’s disagrees with you.
TR: Good luck in your Senate race. Mark Serrano, Chris Hahn, still with me. Thank you, representative.
AMG: Thank you.