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. mikey

    "If Boehner shuts down the government I am taking my trash to his house.‚ÄĚ Why is it that one man or even one party is blamed. Do you not realize that this is all of the house and senate's fault?

    April 8, 2011 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  2. Randy

    This shut down has ALREADY wasted millions by just the preparations that have had to be made... This hospital does not just shut down at the drop of a hat... there are patients in the beds that are fighting for their lives...

    April 8, 2011 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  3. Randy

    Promises that this would never happen again were made the last time... and we believed you... Dearest Congress...thanks a lot for lying to your country

    April 8, 2011 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  4. Teach

    Doesn't it make sense to cut the budget in all agencies instead of choosing a select few. Do you know how much would be saved if all agencies were cut by 5% ? Just doing that to the defense budget would save 20 billion alone. Imagine how much would be saved if ALL of the agencies were cut by 5%. Makes sense to me.

    April 8, 2011 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
    • n900mixalot

      Great post. It makes sense to most people, but House Republicans just don't seem to want that. They want the cuts and politics where they want them–in politically controversial areas–instead of skimming the fat off of the top across the board.

      It's okay, this is just a big wake-up call.

      April 8, 2011 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  5. Ancient Texan

    This shutdown has been plained for months. The budget should have been passed last October and could have been easily passed by the Democrats Super Majority in both houses. It's their budget,. but they left it until the other party took control of the house after the 2010 elections. They knew it would develop into a big partyline battle and be a issue for re-elections in 2012 if a shutdown occured.

    April 8, 2011 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Kalid

      Your response sounds insightful, but its not. You don't remember just last year? The Dems did not have a "Super Majority" in the Senate, and the Reps held them from proceeding with the budget that was presented, that's why they started with the CRs. Nice try though.

      April 8, 2011 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Seriously!!!

      I don't suppose you have heard of such a thing as a filabuster or even threat of such??? I guess not......it is the tool of the desperate (no matter which party uses it). The Reps wanted it to wait so they could stop what it had since they did not like it. Dems do the same so let focus on both parties being at blame here. I love seeing left and right wingers fling poo everywhere. There is SOOOO much blame to go around. You really think that if the Reps control everything that things will be better.....HA!!! You are fooling yourself if you believe that. The best I have seen this congress (and truly this is not saying much) is when the Dems controlled the executive branch and the Reps controlled the legislative. Things seemed to move even if you did not like the outcome. We had budget surplus. When things changed we ran right into deficit.

      April 8, 2011 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Spaceman

      @Kalid

      If the Democrats were really as weak as you are trying to claim in the Senate Obamacare never would have passed. Please think before repeating party line dribble...

      April 8, 2011 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. Nichole

    I am a federal employee, and to me the kicker is this whole "essential" vs. "nonessential" business. If you're essential you're forced to report to work and will not be paid until the budget passes. If you're nonessential you're banned from the office even if you do want to work. I can't even decide which I'd rather be. I love my job, and I help people every day, and can't imagine how harmful it would be for my services not being offered to the public. However, gas is $4.29 a gallon, my rent is $1,000 and I have student loan payments that you would not believe after 2 bachelors degrees and 3 masters degrees (when I couldn't find a job, I just kept going to school with the hope it would pay off). My salary is enough to meet my basic needs in the expensive city I live in, but I am just a regular middle-class American like you. I also cannot afford to go on vacation due to my other obligations, and I am not even one of the vast number of Americans who purchased a home they couldn't afford to keep up with the Joneses. "The government" is made up of regular middle class people who work hard to provide services to the public, and a shutdown only means the unemployment number just increased by 800,000 people.

    April 8, 2011 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
    • SJL

      Agree – my husband is a federal worker with a Ph.D. and over 25 years with his agency – believe me (and Nichole), we are not living the high life. He gets 4 weeks vacation (after 25 yrs service mind you) and federal holidays – I am sick of hearing how cushy federal workers have it – my husband works damn hard and is a good responsible worker – as are MOST federal workers. If you want to look at how money is wasted in the federal circle look no further than government contractors – someone in my husbands office (contractor) was given a contract to perform a task over the course of 3 years – for which he was paid close to $1 mil – my husband does the exact same job for a tenth of that!

      April 8, 2011 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
    • n900mixalot

      Well, I don't have a job and I just graduated from law school, so welcome to my world.

      April 8, 2011 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
    • SJL

      What world is that – the one where you just graduated and can't get a job right now – we have all been there – I graduated in the early 80's in the UK – and believe me, there were NO jobs. You just have to stick with it – you will get something soon – you have a great education. That is not, however, relevant to the discussion in hand.

      April 8, 2011 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  7. Anonymouse

    I just have a few words to say.....WE R SCREWED!!!

    April 8, 2011 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
  8. Tony

    I’m a federal employee and if a gov. shut down happened my family and I will delay on bills and other things. The tea partiers do not care if the gov. shut down bc none of them work for the fed. Imagine if you are working for a company do you want that company to shut down?

    April 8, 2011 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
    • James

      That's right. The tea partiers contribute to the economy while federal workers just suck the life out of the country. And don't tell me you are indispensible and do a good job because the obviousness of that lie is apparent to anyone with eyes in their head. If federal workers did a good job there wouldn't be a need for close to a million of you parasites.

      April 8, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Anonymouse

    Were screwed. Thats all i have to say.

    April 8, 2011 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  10. Katie

    Let us not forget that each military person joined the military by free will and choice. They get education, incentives, housing, tax free food and clothing, medical care, etc... I don't really feel bad for them. And I do appreciate them, with all the taxes I pay paying for them.

    April 8, 2011 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Jordan

      Totally agree!

      April 8, 2011 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Katie is a D0uche

      Really Katie?? Really?? If it wasn't for those troops that you don't feel sorry for,you wouldn't be able to enjoy things such as speaking your mind. So do us all a favor and stfu

      April 8, 2011 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
    • MImom

      Yes, they did join by free will...but thank God they weren't forced to serve! They are proud to serve the citizens of this country, even the ones like you. They pick up a gun and would defend you in a moment, would you do the same? If you are so jealous of the benefits they get...go sign on up. This isn't about the the military families, this is about our government who is filled with a bunch of old dogs who will never learn a new trick. Those military families now have to worry about how to feed their kids and themselves, keep the lights and heat on. It would be no different than if the company you depend on an income for shutdown.

      April 8, 2011 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  11. FedUp

    Time to stop the blame game and FIX this! If our troops start going without pay then every politician involved needs to be replaced!

    April 8, 2011 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
    • n900mixalot

      Not just the troops. The ONLY feds getting paid will be Congress!!!

      April 8, 2011 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  12. Katie

    Nichole, why don't you get a job in the private sector?? I believe you made the choice to work in a government office, what did you expect?? I'm sure all the days off and retirement plan had nothing to do with it. For someone who is so greatly educated, I would think you would have made a better choice.

    April 8, 2011 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Seriously!!!

      So I supposed you blame teachers who get laid off because they did not choose to work in the private sector. My wife is one and she did not go into it for the "PAY" (which considering a MASTERs is required to be a teacher) or the benefits. She did it for the children. So lets say everyone in gov't service opts to work in the private sector. What are you going to do when you want your social security, tax refund, etc....??? I applaud Nicole for wanting to work in gov't service!! Let's not blame the workers. Let's put the blame squarely on the politicians!!!

      April 8, 2011 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • n900mixalot

      Private sector isn't hiring either. The LESS employees they have to pay, the higher their income will be.

      All of these people think that private enterprise is SOOOO generous and things will trickle down, etc., but the truth is that the private sector has shareholders and investors to look out for, while the government has the PEOPLE to look after ... so who would you trust?

      April 8, 2011 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Ecar

      Amen!

      April 8, 2011 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
    • naurob03

      What a jerk! You really think that? You are one of the reasons it is so hard to be in public service. You think we all make tons of money, sit on our butts and get so much time off. I spend the last three years without taking one day of my vacation time to focus on trying to get folks who had lost their jobs work through government projects. Public service takes commitment to deal people like you. The benefits are so so and the pay is very low. Many get paid a third (or less) of what private industry makes and the benefits are shrinking everyday. Health care premiums go up every year and if you forgot we did get a freeze on the normal increase in salary that try to match inflation (1.5% increase in pay the year before). We are hurting also. Do you think that the housing down turn hasn't effected us also? I may loose my house from this shutdown and many have lost their jobs over the years. I am happy that I have a job make no bones about that but seriously no one would want my job because it was listed as one of the worst places to work (recently). I work in public service because I wanted to give back to the public and do something for the greater good of public.

      April 8, 2011 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  13. Name*Martine

    It will affect everyone. We are so eager to help other countries. USA is falling apart. Government get it together. You cut your pay and help.

    April 8, 2011 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  14. Billyd64

    So in other words, business as usual in the government beaurocracy.

    April 8, 2011 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  15. Ra

    Obama's ineffective leadership is exposed. How did he let it down to the wire? DC and the nation is even more divided than in 2008; Whatever happened to all the bipartisanship talks during campaigning

    April 8, 2011 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Seriously!!!

      A another right winger!!!! Gotta love it......let's not forget the Reps have enough blame here. They use many political tricks to stop things from being voted on because they want it all. It's called compromise and BOTH sides need to do it. The Dems have plenty of blame on their side as well but give me a break if you thing the Reps are the party that will solve all the worlds ills. Wow you are living in a dream land!!!

      April 8, 2011 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
    • n900mixalot

      CONGRESS submits a budget and the PRESIDENT approves it. THE PRESIDENT DOES NOT SUBMIT THE BUDGET.

      Oh my GOSH, read a book!!!!

      April 8, 2011 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
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