By Joe Mathieu, WBZ NewsRadio 1030

BOSTON (CBS) – I keep thinking and hoping that talk of a federal government shutdown will go away. After all, we just went through this last spring. And last year. And the year before that.

Then I start losing track.

Keep in mind it’s been 17 years since the last actual government shutdown. But we’ve gone to the brink more times than I can count since then so don’t blame me for taking a minute on this one.

Here’s your news flash: Democrats and Republicans cannot agree on much of anything. And because of that we have no spending plan for the new fiscal year that starts October 1st. Sounds pretty familiar.

Ironically, the one thing just about everyone seems to agree on is that letting the government shutdown would be a very bad idea – politically and economically.

So will they reach a compromise again this time?

Based on history, yes, odds favor a solution. And it won’t come until the last minute.

But keep in mind things are a bit more complicated this time. I say that because conservative Republicans in the U.S. House are demanding that any spending plan also defund the president’s health care reform law.

They will in fact vote on that proposal Friday. Democrats in the Senate have promised to kill that idea. And that’s where we get stuck.

Also, even if we get a last minute compromise it will be only weeks before we hit the nation’s debt ceiling. And, of course, Democrats and Republicans can’t agree on what to do with that either.

So keep your countdown clocks handy.

Follow Joe on Twitter @joemathieuwbz


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