If you believe the experts, the government is shutting down.

A majority of budgetary and political experts quizzed believe a temporary stoppage or slowdown of government operations lasting a few days is likely, according to The Fiscal Times, which maintains a content partnership with The Washington Post.

“It’s time for the Republicans to man-up and let it burn!” former Reagan budget chief David Stockman tells reporter Eric Pianin (The Eye’s former editor extraordinare). “Discretionary spending is out of control, and if the GOP doesn’t force a big roll-back, they should have their mouths washed out with soap for lying about no new taxes.”

Others are less sure: Virginia and national political guru Larry Sabato thinks the presidential bully pulpit will be “enough to pull the House Republicans back from the brink of a shutdown.”

Former Washington Post economics reporter John M. Berry thinks the GOP has lost control of the House caucus, “because of the influx of inexperienced, newly elected members who neither understand nor care very much about what government does for ordinary people or the federal employees who serve them.”

Our own colleague Paul Kane reports that House GOP leaders are turning to moderate Democrats in hopes of striking a deal before the current continuing resolution expires next Friday.

The Republican proposal would involve more than $30 billion in cuts for the remainder of fiscal year 2011, short of the $61 billion demanded by freshman Republicans. The deal would probably be acceptable to Senate Democrats and the White House, Kane reports.

With all of that in mind, we’re eager to know how the budget negotiations are impacting agency operations and federal worker morale. Share your thoughts with us and we may include them in our upcoming reports. You can also share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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