Barring some miraculous breakthrough, on Saturday the current government shutdown will become the longest in American history. But it has already hit another historic milestone: It is, by far and away, the stupidest government shutdown in American history.
In 2019, the federal government will spend a whopping $4.407 trillion. Yet Congress and the president are shutting down the government in a dispute between the $1.3 billion the Democrats have approved for border security and the $5.7 billion the president is demanding — precisely 0.0998 percent of the total federal budget. In Washington, that is considered a rounding error.
Worse, Democrats are doing it over a border wall strikingly similar to one that they almost unanimously supported just five years ago. While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., now says that “a wall is an immorality,” back in 2013, she supported a bill that required the construction of 700 miles of border fencing. (Trump has called for a wall of “anywhere from 700 to 900 miles” long.) The bill negotiated by the Gang of Eight, which included current Democratic leaders Sens. Charles Schumer, N.Y., and Dick Durbin, Ill., declared that “not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary [of Homeland Security] shall establish … the ‘Southern Border Fencing Strategy,’ to identify where 700 miles of fencing (including double-layer fencing) … should be deployed along the Southern border.”