Government Shutdown: Experts available to discuss economic impact, politics

Oct. 4, 2013

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Beverly Clark
404-712-8780
beverly.clark@emory.edu

As the government shutdown and political stalemate in Washington, D.C., drags on, Emory finance professor Ray Hill says don’t expect the country to fall back into a recession as a result.  

"It would take a while before the shutdown really hurts the economy, perhaps months," says Hill, a monetary policy and finance expert. "There are even ways around the debt ceiling issue if the shutdown isn’t resolved by Oct. 17."  

Hill says President Obama can revert revenue from other sources to pay the bills, but it would mean stopping spending somewhere else. If the president doesn’t envision that as an option, he could make a Constitutional argument that our country isn’t allowed to default on our loans and spend the money anyway.  

"Would President Obama take us there I doubt it, but he could threaten that as an option," Hill explains. "If he went that route, he’d be in an even bigger political firestorm and the arguments probably would end up in the Supreme Court." 

Economics expert Sheila Tschinkel

"The uncertainty introduced by the political battles and the shutdown is a big negative. It causes people and business to put off or even cancel spending and hiring decisions. Uncertainty is an enemy of economic growth. Continuation of this into a battle over the debt ceiling and possible default is far more threatening."

  • Sheila Tschinkel is a visiting professor of economics as Emory University with an expertise in economic and financial policy issues.
  • Former Vice President at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and U.S. Treasury economic adviser in Europe and Asia.

Race and mobilization expert Andra Gillespie

"Both sets of party leaders are going to have to gain or maintain control over their caucuses. John Boehner has had particular trouble reining in the passions of the Tea Party Caucus. If the Tea Party wing refuses to compromise, even in the face of overwhelming public sentiment against the shutdown and linking the budget resolution to health care reform, then we could be facing a very long standoff."

  • Andra Gillespie specializes in political mobilization and race, as well as competition between minority groups.
  • She is the author of "The New Black Politician: Cory Booker, Newark and Post-Racial America."
  • Gillespie also maintains academic interests in political participation in the United States.

National politics expert Alan Abramowitz

"Public opinion polls show Americans are generally unhappy with the shutdown, and people don’t particularly approve of the Republican’s plan of shutting down the government to delay or defund the Affordable Care Act. However, this tactic is popular among the Republican base, especially activists and primary voters, and therein lies the problem. The GOP is probably going to have to back down as I don’t see the Democrats negotiating."

  • Alan Abramowitz is popular expert on national politics, polling and elections.
  • His expertise includes election forecasting models, congressional elections and the effects of political campaigns on the electorate.
  • He is the author or coauthor of five books, including "The Polarized Public? Why Our Government is So Dysfunctional."