The drama out of Washington is growing stale.

Americans will know later today whether their federal government will shut down — again. Does anyone else find that more than a little embarrassing?

Kazakhstan, Kiribati, and Djibouti managed to pass on-time budgets this year. But not The United States of America, that shining city on a hill.

Put simply, Washington’s inaction is unacceptable, a word our nation’s leaders forgot. We elect them to perform a single task — pass a budget — and yet year after year they can’t, don’t, or won’t do it. We now live in a land of 30-day “continuing resolutions.”

It’s all very complicated, Republicans and Democrats say.

We’re sure it is. Because they made it that way. When a federal bureaucracy grows to a size so unmanageable — so unstainable — there are simply too many interests at stake to run a effective government. The politics becomes more important than the substance. It becomes, yes, complicated.

We have an idea. Shut the government down — other than “essential services” — and then stop right there. We will have identified exactly what Washington needs to be. Then send whatever money is left over back to the states. They’ll figure out how to meet any unattended needs.

Could there be anything less complicated than that?