Max Stier is president and chief executive of the nonpartisan, nonprofit Partnership for Public Service.
Funding the federal government in a timely fashion is a fundamental responsibility of our elected officials, a commitment that is now being violated for about the 20th time since 1976 and taken to the extreme with the deadlock over paying for a border wall.
As we near the ugly milestone of the longest government shutdown in our history, 800,000 federal employees are being deprived of their livelihoods, the American people are denied critical services, and the ability of agencies to fulfill their public-service missions is being undermined.
Resolution of the current crisis is essential, but it is not enough. For decades, we have seen politicians take our government to the brink because of one policy dispute or another. Stalemates will happen again and again unless incentives and processes change to ensure that another devastating impasse can be avoided.