At the risk of sounding trite, let me just say that "here we go again."
Overnight budget talks failed to lead to a federal budget agreement, and now we're just a few hours from the first U.S. government shutdown in 15 years. The shutdown could put 800,000 federal employees out of work, while creating a nightmare for U.S. taxpayers who are regular users of government services.
As bad as that all sounds, the shutdown threat isn't the worst thing I see here – not by a longshot.
The worst thing is that – with a $14.2 trillion national debt – the part of the budget the two sides are squabbling over is miniscule. Democrats have agreed to $34.5 billion in spending cuts, while the Republicans have agreed to $39 billion for the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30.
It's a rounding error.