JEREMY HOBSON: Time is running out on negotiations to avoid a government shutdown. Lawmakers have yet to agree on tens of billions of dollars in cuts to the budget for the rest of the current fiscal year. President Obama will meet again with negotiators today.
For more on what a possible shutdown would mean for the government -- and for the economy, let's bring in Diane Lim Rogers. She's chief economist at the Concord Coalition. Good morning.
DIANE LIM ROGERS: Good morning.
JEREMY HOBSON: Well, with all the things that the government is doing right now to prop up the economy, whether it be intervention in the mortgage market or jobless benefits -- stuff like that -- could the economic recovery be impacted do you think by a shut down?
DIANE LIM ROGERS: I don't think that the benefit programs that support the economy are going to be effected significantly. People worry that the tax return refunds might possibly be delayed, but those are handled electronically, and that makes it more likely that they would not be adversely effected. And people are still entitled to their unemployment benefits, their social security benefits. I don't think those will be effected.
JEREMY HOBSON: You're an economist in Washington. Give us a sense right from the belly of the beast of what your concerns are as we face the possibility of a shut down in a couple days.
DIANE LIM ROGERS: My biggest concerns are the signals for the only-slightly longer term budget issues that we don't seem to be able to solve. We're starting this debate on the 2012 budget, and we don't seem to be having productive conversations. We have much bigger spending needs to work out going forward, and this is just a very bad signal about the prospects for agreement.
JEREMY HOBSON: Diane Lim Rogers, chief economist at the Concord Coalition. Thanks so much for your time this morning.
DIANE LIM ROGERS: Thank you.