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Government Shutdown Ripples Through Ohio

PHOTO: Economic expert Bill LaFayette of Regionomics says there is a broad impact of the government shutdown rippling throughout Ohio. Photo: LaFayette. Courtesy: Regionomics.
PHOTO: Economic expert Bill LaFayette of Regionomics says there is a broad impact of the government shutdown rippling throughout Ohio. Photo: LaFayette. Courtesy: Regionomics.
October 7, 2013

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The effect in Ohio of the federal government shutdown, now into day seven, goes beyond the furloughed federal workers. Economic expert Bill Lafayette, owner of Regionomics, said there is a broad impact rippling throughout the state. He pointed out that government installations that purchase goods and services from suppliers within Ohio are unable to do so, which hurts local businesses.

They will also suffer as those who are out of work cut back on household expenditures, he warned.

"As a result, everything from grocery stores to restaurants to new car dealers to dry cleaners, what have you, they're all going to feel a pinch. And the economy as a whole is going to feel a pinch," Lafayette said.

And without paychecks coming in for federal workers, many cities and villages will struggle as they collect less sales tax revenue. From Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton to NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, the shutdown has affected more than 50,000 federal employees in Ohio.

The shutdown also means data from government agencies is unavailable. LaFayette says that makes it hard to follow economic trends.

"There are business leaders who make crucial decisions on the basis of government statistics. If those aren't available, that increases their uncertainty and decreases the likelihood that they will make those investments," he explained.

No matter how long the shutdown lasts, it will take time for things to ramp back up and get back on track, and there is a lot of lingering uncertainty, he said.

"The possibility of the debt ceiling being reached and the possibility of a default hurts the broader economy all together, whether you're directly affected by the government shutdown itself or not," he added.

While there is no end in sight to the shutdown, over the weekend leaders signaled that Defense Department civilians will be called back to work. Also, the House voted to allow retroactive pay to all furloughed workers once the government reopens.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH