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Government shutdown: Emory experts say everybody loses

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With a potential government shutdown looming at the end of the week, Emory University experts in national politics are available to discuss whether another short-term budget will pass, who benefits or loses, how a shutdown will further damage the approval ratings of Congress and President Obama, and what it may mean for next year’s elections.

Don’t expect a shutdown, but avoiding it won’t be easy

Alan Abramowitz, Emory political science professor and political forecasting expert, doesn’t believe a shutdown will occur because neither side wants to be viewed as having caused a shutdown in the middle of second-recession fears.

“It’s another reflection of the polarization in Washington,” he says. “There’s mistrust on both sides, and they can’t come to an agreement. This issue will last beyond next year’s elections because there will still be divided government, hence long-term gridlock.”

Where’s the leadership?

Emory political science professor and national politics expert Merle Black says if there is a shutdown, everybody loses. Neither the Republicans nor Democrats will come out looking better than the other. And, Democrats shouldn’t expect President Obama to make gains afterward like President Clinton did during the last shutdown in 1995.

“If the parties can’t agree, it means more bad times for Americans,” Black explains. “There is no leadership because all the party leaders are doing are pointing fingers at each other.”

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