OSU Political Science Professor Talks Long-Term Impact Of Government Shutdown

Tuesday, October 8th 2013, 6:04 pm
By: Craig Day

Many people are being affected by cuts in services and furloughs caused by the partial government shutdown, but what will be the long term effects?

A political expert at Oklahoma State University said, the longer the partial government shutdown lasts, the worse it's going to get for America's economy.

Dr. Brandon Lenoir is a political science professor at Oklahoma State.

While battles over the budget and fighting over finances is nothing new in Washington, he said the latest government shutdown could be very bad for the U.S. economy, because there's also a looming debt crisis if the debt ceiling isn't raised and the nation defaults on its loans.

"The fact that we have what many economists are pointing to as a pretty pivotal moment in the health of our economy, in the backdrop of the negotiations over whether we fund Obamacare, or we have a continuing resolution, it makes the stakes a lot higher," Lenoir said.

Lenoir thought, by now, as the partial government shutdown goes into its second week, a compromise would have already been reached.

10/7/2013 Related Story: Furloughs At VA Leave Oklahoma Vets Concerned About Benefits

"The challenge now is getting past the impasse and moving forward," he said.

With both sides (at least publicly) unwilling to budge, Lenoir said, in addition to hundreds of millions of dollars lost in the economy, and potentially billions, the longer the standoff lasts, it could harm the economy.

"It starts to compound," Lenoir said. "You have to keep in mind the economy is just limping along."

He fears those hurt the most will be young people, like the students he works with every day, and the under-employed living paycheck-to-paycheck.

Even with his experience, Lenoir said its hard to tell what will happen next and when a solution will be reached.

"This is a battle of attrition. The fact is, whoever bleeds less wins in the political arena. Unfortunately, the true costs are shouldered by the average American."

Lenoir said, if the budget battle in Washington ends soon, it likely won't be an issue in the November elections. But he said if it lasts much longer, it very well could affect those midterm congressional races.