Even if the government does not shut down, worry that it might is harmful in and of itself. Political scientist Roy Meyers of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, studied the 1995 and 1996 shutdowns, and several others, and found wide-ranging effects. "Just anticipating a shutdown wastes a great deal of time—agencies must understand OMB and Justice guidelines, and then develop contingency plans," he wrote. "It is surprising 'Dilbert' has not devoted a month to this topic."
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