Eric Boehm writes at that federal government shutdowns are expensive and should be avoided. So what is the incentive to do that? Sen. Rand Paul has a proposal to hit politicians where it hurts.

Under the terms of Paul’s Government Shutdown Prevention Act, which he introduced last month, Congress would agree to ongoing continuing resolutions that would kick-in if a budget was not passed on time. The catch is that the automatic CR would come with an automatic, across-the-board cut of 1 percent for all government agencies. After 90 days, if there is no budget deal, funding would be reduced by another 1 percent.

“Around here, spending 1 percent less ought to be a enough of a punishment to get people to do their jobs and do appropriations on time,” Paul said Tuesday during a hearing on his bill. “We know both sides don’t want spending to go down. They’re all for more spending.”

He’s right. Too many elected officials in D.C. — on both sides of the aisle — are all too happy to keep spending, and keep spending more.