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Political Games Could Impact Northern Nevada

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As the political stalemate continues in Washington, D.C. over the looming sequester cuts, local political analysts say the situation looks more like a political game of chicken.  

"It really is," says Eric Herzik, a political science professor at UNR. "Both Republicans and Democrats are using this. The Democrats are scaring the public into thinking that as of Friday airports will close down and military bases will close. The Republicans are saying they want cuts...just not to defense or course. And the public is caught in the middle. Because the truth is in the middle somewhere."

Herzik says that eventually cuts could impact every state in the union...but that it's a long term kind of problem, not an immediate one.

"I would be shocked if airports close. Come Friday, will we be less safe? No. Will state economies collapse? Probably not."

He likens it to the Ronald Reagan administration firing air traffic controllers in the 1980's.

"Now if there had been an air crash that day, even if it had nothing to do with the traffic controllers,"Herzik says, "those controllers would have been hired back the next day with a raise. Because the public would have connected the two....even if they weren't connected."

He says if there are problems come this Friday, the same situation would hold. But if not, he says the cuts will be something that erodes services overtime, and that bureaucracies will learn to handle.

And he says while most people are focused on Friday, March 27th is the day the government would run out of money, if no compromise is made.

Written by Erin Breen

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