When public business comes to a halt in other countries, the government falls. In the US, shutdowns are a political tactic. There have been 12 since 1981, and last weekend’s won’t be the last. Why is the tactic repeated, despite debilitating uncertainty–from medical care to military deployments? Neither side wins the inevitable blame game, and democratic government loses public confidence. “To the Point” helps you understand the history of this peculiar American dysfunction with roots in the Constitution and branches in partisan politics.