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Local Economist Discusses Impact of Potential Government Shutdown

If Congress and the President can't reach a compromise about the US budget and its debt limit, the government could be "shut down" for a period, which could be very costly to taxpayers.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Strong language and bitter debates continue in Congress.

"This is not Saturday Night Live," said Representative Steve Israel (D), of New York, on the House floor Sunday morning.  "This is the Republican majority at work.  Except they're not working.  It's a game."

A professor of Economics at Missouri Western State University shares his observations:

"I've never ever in my life seen warring factions like this," said Dr. Patrick McMurry, who says the endless bickering and threat of a government shutdown will affect the U.S. economy.

"Consumers, particularly in their expenditure habits want certainty," Dr. McMurry said.  "That's what they want.  Obamacare has created enough uncertainty.  This affects consumer confidence.  And if consumer confidence goes down, that's reflected in their pocket book.  They just don't spend, particularly on big ticket items."

The chambers of Congress sat empty Monday morning, with members not enthused about picking the debate back up.

Said Democratic Representative Gwen Moore of Wisconsin: "This whole debate is a subterfuge and a proxy for a strong desire to bring this nation to its knees and to punish the people for electing Barack Obama as President of the United States"

Should the government shut down, all but essential programs and positions will cease.

National parks will close.

National museums will close.

Federal paychecks, including military pay, could be delayed.

But those in the military would continue work; as would the U.S. Postal Service.

Since 1977, the United States has seen seventeen government shutdowns, which usually end in some type of compromise.

"The best agreement in the world is one that both sides don't like entirely," Dr. McMurry said.  "That's my best definition of a compromise.  And I don't see one right now.  It's going to be a power game."

Much of the recent debate in Congress has been about the Affordable Care Act, or "ObamaCare."

And whether or not the government shuts down, key provisions will still be implemented after midnight on October 1.
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