10 things that could ruin your day if the government shuts down
That family trip to the Grand Canyon could be in jeopardy if Congress and the White House fail to reach a budget agreement.
April 7th, 2011
07:48 PM ET

10 things that could ruin your day if the government shuts down

The list of collateral effects of a potential government shutdown keeps growing and people are none too pleased about it. Here are just a few of the negative impacts that could arise if Congress and the White House fail to reach an agreement on the budget (click here to view in chart form):

  • The lawmakers who hold the cards will still get paid. Their staffers might be furloughed, though. That has prompted a few lawmakers to announce¬†they'll refuse shutdown pay,but even that has elicited critiques of political posturing.
  • Roughly 800,000 federal workers won't get paid because they're considered nonessential and therefore, the first to be furloughed. That includes people who work in national parks because they'll be closed, ruining countless long family road trips. And it's not just the loss of income that hurts - for many, it's being labeled dispensable when they know their jobs are anything but nonessential.

  • As the shutdown looms,¬†some political leaders are taking the opportunity to fundraise and rally their supporters. The executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee sent out an appeal asking for a minimum $5 donation saying the organization wants to raise $100,000 in the next 36 hours.
  • You'll still get your Social Security checks but don't expect anyone to be around to answer your questions about benefits. The people who take questions on Social Security and Medicare questions will not be at work and most government websites will shut down or have limited functionality.
  • Various agencies with the Department of Health and Human Services will operate in a patchwork fashion. The National Institutes of Health will not accept¬†new patients or start new clinical trials. The Food and Drug Administration¬†won't operate at full capacity but will have some inspectors on staff.¬†As a result, all FDA inspections of food processing facilities and drug manufacturing plants will be prioritized by risk.
  • Word is getting around that a government shutdown doesn't actually save taxpayers money. For one, it will cost the government money to ensure a smooth transition to a shutdown. Then there's the lost revenue from a variety of sources, from government services to gift shops in government-run attractions such as Yosemite National Park and DC's National Gallery of Art.

How would a government shutdown anger you?

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Filed under: Budget
soundoff (2,555 Responses)
  1. Tim

    So again, let's get this straight. The Democrats, whom controlled both Houses in Congress AND the WH, had the chance to pass a 2011 budget last Fall, yet choose NOT TOO.

    Now, with the Republicans OVERWHELMINGLY voted into office in Nov (5 months ago), its all of the sudden their fault??? Either you Americans are complete idiots OR simply are lemmings believing every thing the left leaning media tells you.

    April 7, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Clifford Kauffman

    My whole problem with government is the "nm..." it's a little tricky to pronounce.

    April 7, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. patrick

    what a bunch of meatwhistles

    April 7, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. julius ceasar

    I work in a pharmacy and many medicare members never carry there medicare card. When they come to my pharmacy with there prescriptions and no info to bl there meds. I usually call the medicare help line to retrieve the info I need. If the govt. Shutdown does happen how will I fill there prescription? Many people will go without medication thay is crucial to them what if that's your grandma?

    April 7, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carry the card...

      I understand where you're coming from, but the solution to that problem seems to be "Carry your Medicare Card"...not continue to operate under a broken budget so folks who don't remember to keep their card on them can get meds. Again, I understand the crux of your argument, but in the big pic, I'm not sure yours is a very strong one.

      April 7, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. TomG

    Every time I post to one of these sites, they close down the comments before my entry is "reviewed" but I'm going to keep at it. What truly saddens me is that anyone with a knowledge of what the GOP truly stands for, can analyze Boehner and his ideas, but I'm not sure there is any way to convince people in America who do support the Republicans... the wealthy, corporations, and the religious faction who disregard separation of church and state, and think our laws should be based on what "God wants us to do." The Republicans, both national and in my home state, ran on the big "promise" to create jobs. Using Kansas as an example, our Republican governor and legislature have managed to create stricter abortion laws (religious folks, keep those political contributions coming), they are in the process of passing a voter ID bill, although no one, to my knowledge, has evidence that this has ever been a problem in Red Kansas....all this law will do is make KS even redder! We passed a 1% additional state sales tax last year (not permanent but I don't remember if it's for one year or slightly longer. ) Even Governor Brownback supports it, although he wasn't in office when it passed. There was talk earlier this year by some legislators rescinding THAT law too....we generate some addition revenue that even Republicans supported, and now a handful of them want to reverse that!

    On the National level, some similar things going on......regarding stricter abortion laws, cutting Planned Parenthood, doing away with funding for the arts....etc. A couple of these things are not applicable to the current childish "compromise" talks, but they still illustrate what the GOP is really about. And cutting green gas emisions? No way can Boehner support THAT....if any laws were passed his corporation donations would suffer. And I've yet to figure out how cutting programs ADDS jobs..... in Kansas OR on the federal level.

    Having said all that (as a Democrat who grew up in Kansas and had parents who basically worked for everything they owned) I am so greatful that I wasn't born "rich".......not in a monetary sense. But, since I DO live in a red state where so many people don't want to be bothered with facts......I'll say one "Republican" thing, and sure as hell hope I never do this again. I got my first Social Security check in March.....a shut-down will not affect that, so I say Shut the Government down...... I'm getting MINE. (On a serious note, maybe there will be some way that people who really give a damn about others could come up with ways to buy grocery gift cards for soldiers' families, etc...NOT through the government, understand.)

    April 7, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tim

    @Jw – Give me a break with your "Clinton had a balanced budget" nonsense. Clinton's so called "balanced budget" was the BYPRODUCT of a loose credit policy of the privatley controlled Central Bank and Allan Greenspan. The Central Bank poured TRILLIONS in cheap money into the economy which caused first the DOT COM bubble and then the HOUSING BUBBLE (which we are all paying for now).

    SOOOOO Mr. Clinton's so called "surplus" was an illusion and ignorant Americans are led to believe it was a good thing. IT WAS NOTHING MORE THEN RUN AWAY CREDIT WHICH CREATED A FALSE BUDGET SURPLUS. A MONKEY could have been POTUS and there would have been a "surplus".

    GET REAL AND GO BACK TO SCHOOL so you know what REALLY HAPPENED (and yes, I will concede Bush was an idiot, but Clinton was CRIMINAL).

    April 7, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • ColdRingo

      Dude – seriously? Please do some research here. They did balance the budget and produce a surplus when Clinton was in office. He gets a lot of the credit, but so should Gingrich and the Contract with America folks. Short version – both sides worked together to solve the problem and put the divisive partisan issues aside long enough to get it done. THAT'S what's missing here.

      April 7, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      @ Cold – Um I did the reach and have a PhD to prove it. PLUS worked with the Council of Foreign Relations on it.

      So yes, I am an expert here.

      April 7, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Clifford Kauffman

    Historically, governments were elected to make decisions for the people because they were busy making a living. Now that technology connects most of us in real time, can't we send most of these people home and vote on things each night at, say, whenever Jay Leno is on. That way, we can each cast our vote instead of being subjected to terrible 'comedy.'

    April 7, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. redstate

    Wow. Every now and then I have to stop by cnn to see how all the lunatics are doing. I see you're all off your meds again! What a bunch of brain dead loser idiots!!

    April 7, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Orangeblossom

    If the government shuts down do I get to smoke pot legally? And I also wont have to worry about bills and junk mail being delivered to my house. If the govt shuts down, hidden radical Islamic cells are all going to come out of their hiding places. Maybe this is all just a government ruse to smoke them out of their holes.

    April 7, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Surrounded by Idiots

      Law enforcement stll works, as does the Postal Service. Sorry to ruin your big plans.

      April 7, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Who writes this stuff?

    The author of this article doesn't really understand why there is a shutdown looming, huh? The last bullet proves that. A government shutdown isn't intended to save any money, it's because there is no appropriation of funds available to continue paying for those services or people. It's purely legal and has not a darn thing to do with saving taxpayers money. Hello????

    April 7, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • buckup

      the sentence is for those who think there are big savings shutting down the government. I think you get that part and maybe the author does to. It is a quick fluff piece, not an in depth analysis that could be the size of book. Apply for their job, being that you can do better.

      April 7, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
  11. woe-is-me

    everyone on here, save for military personell and/or their family, has an agenda & are not as clever as they think they are...I'm out

    April 7, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Daniel Montes

    Solution to the govt, its debt, incompetent congress and leadership. I built a 3 floor condo with pool in pto escondido oaxaca, rent out ea floor, no prop taxes, save $ only in gold coins. This govt is on the downslope . The big trigger will be when the oil producing countries stop accepting the worthless paper dollar. Will think of you guys from the beach. Think and work on your endgame. Don't rely on gov't. CYA.

    April 7, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Riiiiight

      Have fun! Be careful not to be kidnapped, shot, decapitated, and placed in a metal drum filled with acid though!!

      April 7, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel Montes

      We don't have that problem in Pto. Many Americans, Europeans, Australians and Canadians call Pto home. Don't hate. Just trying to let you know ahead of time. Govt shutdown already in effect. I pulled all of my cash accts today just in case there is a cascade effect. If things go bad in the US it will be like Katrina. Lots of murders and suffering. In pto everyone is armed including myself. Crime is punished here the small town way, quick. DM.

      April 8, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  13. hall

    Disgusted and fed-up? Send your congressional representatives an email and let them know!

    April 7, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  14. wgm

    I can deal with the closed national parks knowing that IRS agents aren't getting paid. Seems like a fair deal to me.

    April 7, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mrs. Somebody

      lol, now that's funny, but the people working at IRS are earning their check just like the rest of us. They don't put the money in their own pocket.

      April 7, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Trina

    To the House and Senate: This is a formal request asking all of you to sacrifice your salaries for six months. Live like an American for a change – pinch your pennies and take a trip to the local food shelter. Call the local trustee and see if they can help with utility bills. Better yet, if you are having a mental block and are unable to make a credible decision, resign your position, along with benefits, and get in line at the unemployment office. Oh, and tell all the kids of those 800,000 federal workers that you just couldn't make up your mind, while they go to bed hungry, or sick, cause there's no extra money for the doctor or medication. Also, tell all the kids of all the military that you need their mommy's and daddy's to keep fighting so YOU will be safe, but...sorry, because you can't make up your mind, you can't, in good conscious, continue to provide them a paycheck. You are all shameful......absolutely shameful.

    April 7, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
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