As the squabbling continues in Washington D.C. over Obamacare funding, and how the nation pays its bills, the threat of a government shutdown next week keeps growing.

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"Over the past few years, we've had a number of events that made us expect the sky to fall, so we had a sort of Chicken Little economy, expecting disaster to happen, but we've averted it every single time. So to some degree, the level of anxiety is not as high as it should be - there's almost a disbelief out there that this will never happen, but it may happen," says Rutgers economist James Hughes.

If a shutdown takes place, numerous federal programs and services could be adversely affected, federal loan applications would be frozen and all national parks, museums and zoos would close.

"It'll take a few days for the impact to be felt, but the impact could be very, very severe. The federal government is involved in a lot of activities that affect individual's lives, affects business and the like, and a long term shutdown could be very, very severe."

When asked what effect a government shutdown could have on the economic recovery that's underway, Hughes replied, "if it's short-term in duration, it'll be a brief hiccup for the broad national economy, but if it's a sustained period of time, then all bets are off."