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. VInceRN

    Wow, 800,000 non-essential workers. Here's the solution, once the shutdown is over only bring half of them back. Even 400,000 non-essential workers is way too much, but we can;t expect to go from 10% efficiency to 100% efficient overnight. At an average pay of something like $70k, plus benefits and retirement, that will save us something like a hundred billion. That should help.

    April 7, 2011 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. jesse

    The tea party should cease to exist because a two party system is hard enough. The failure for the budget is the tea party is getting in the way and they don't care. Tea party go home don't be part of the problem be part of the solution. Don't hurt the elderly and the people that depend on the government for there health and living either disable or on ss. Pass the budget. Have the tea party go without while the government is shut down. Thanks

    April 7, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • KL

      I agree, and I'm a republican! The tea party is a dangerous, unpatriotic, evil organization that has invaded my party, and it ticks me off. I've watched my own party, over the last ten years, go from being the party of the Christian to the party of the sleazy businessman. I think I'm going to vote democrat awhile (I would MUCH rather have Obama in office than Mitch McConnelly or Michelle Bachmann), and once the tea party implodes, we can talk about balancing the budget the RIGHT way (by raising taxes back to where they should be, in the pre-Clinton levels, and THEN talking about cuts).

      April 7, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      How is this failure the Tea Party's fault? The federal budget proposal is made by the administration on the first Monday in February, the year prior to execution. In other words, this administration proposed the FY11 budget to Congress over a year ago. Now, prior to January 2011, there were no Tea Party members in Congress. The FY11 budget was supposed to be approved and in place pror to October 1, 2010. Please, if you decide you need to comment on a situation, become educated about the topic you are commenting on. The budget submitted by this administration was presented to a Congress that was overwhelmingly controlled by the Democratic party, with ample votes in both Houses to approve the submission prior to last year's elections...and, yet, it was not approved. If there is anyone to blame in this fiasco, it is the Democrats, for not doing their job when it was supposed to have been done, prior to the start of the Fiscal Year.

      April 7, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. disgusted

    First, the military deserves respect and kindness. They are risking their lives for us! If the shutdown happens it just proves our government doesn't give a crap about us. Democrat, republican, green, independent, doesn't matter the party. Its not like they had 2 days to figure this out. There's always a budget! Laying off hundreds of thousands of employees who work hard for their money, because the children in the house and senate can't compromise is absolutely disgraceful.

    April 7, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  4. just saying

    the top 2% of the country's wealthiest own more than half of the money in america. once they have it they hold onto it and none of it gets around, which would explain why the rich get richer.

    April 7, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Fat

    I am in the Army and my personal matters are ones I can't speak of. However, I know my family will be hurting if we don't get paid. We will survive, somehow, but it will be tough. I guess this is just another sacrifice we Soldiers have to go through. We have all appreciated the support the American People have given us throughout the years in service. Just would be nice to know that we were appreciated by the people that sign our paychecks. It sure is hard curving my tongue! haha.

    April 7, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fat

      One more thing. Feels good to be considered non-essential. They didn't say that when they needed me for 4 deployments. Ok, soapbox complete.

      April 7, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • idontwantidiocracy

      the govt will never say it, but thank you and I'm sorry – you and the thousands of others serving in the military do not deserve a kick in the teeth like this.

      April 7, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sayward

      Fat, I would like to thank you for your sacrifice and your courage. It hurts my very soul when our military are treated this way. I hope things will be okay for you and your family. They, and all the military and their families, are always in my thoughts and prayers. My grandfather was a WW I Vet. My father a WW II Vet. My father-in-law served in Korea and Viet Nam. My brother-in-law is a Viet Nam Vet. My husband is a Desert Storm Vet. The roots of military pride run deep in my family. Bless you all!


      April 7, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Name*

    Ftz ?

    April 7, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Brian

    "The top 10% wage earners ($75,000 and up) pay nearly 90% of the taxes collected by the government. "

    Those are figures. You know what they say about figures. Are you talking about Federal income tax, state income tax, sales tax, property tax – or what.

    April 7, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Teacher Brian

    CNN is democrat, Fox News is republican. If you want unbiased news, you have to go out of the country to BBC. The only problem with BBC is that there is much less sensationalism.

    April 7, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. United States Marine

    Its the Democrats fault, NO its the Republicans fault, ah hell its the Tea Parties fault. Its ALL OUR FAULT AMERICA. We voted, or didn't, for the idiots in charge. We allowed are government to waist money, and pass ridiculous laws. Now everyone wants an escape goat. Screw both parties. they are arguing over a 60 billion dollar cut to a budget thats in the TRILLIONS. That will do a lot of good.

    April 7, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Kim

    I support our troops 100%...but I think spending trillions on these wars is outrageous. especially when the troops don't get what they need to pprotect themselves better. STOP THE WARS & BRING OUR TROOPS HOME. & bush should be hung for what he did illelaly while he was in office. THE DEMOCRATS TRIED TO BALANCE THE BUDGET LAST YEAR, ONLY TO HAVE THE republi~cons say no to everything ppput in front of them. Stop paying our elected officials & do dump your trash on boehners front lawn! maybe it is time for civil qwsdisobedience?

    April 7, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      The democrats have NEVER tried to balance the budget. All they know is spend, spend and spend. Remember this budget is the one that the democrats were supposed to pass last year when they had control of the house, senate and white house. If they would have done their jobs instead of kicking the can down the road we would not be talking about a government shut down.

      April 7, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vwrtb

      Remember Clinton? Idiot!

      April 7, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Chris

    I don't get it. The republicans have called for budget cuts that will only cut 2% of our countries debt yet the democrats are saying it's too much!? They should be fighting about who can cut the most! Not compromising in the middle. The sad fact is we better cut the debt now or our Nation will go bankrupt and the whole house of cards is going to fall – and no one will be getting social security or Medicare.

    April 7, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dustin

      Maybe that's what needs to happen. Everything needs to fall apart and we start from scratch.

      April 7, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Blerg

    Americans need to speak up and pledge to never re-elect a congressman (or woman) in office during a shutdown. If we could accomplish that, it would never happen again

    April 7, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Americans need to speak up and pledge to never vote for a politician who won't cut the insane government spending.

      April 7, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Orangeblossom

    I work around the clock at my job and the govt takes 40% of my salary plus I support a husband who is a full time student and an 11 yr old son. I know what it like to be unemployed for over a year as well clipping coupons in 2010 and not being able to pay bills or have health insurance. I have been in both places and neither is easy. And while I dont always trust my govt, I love my freedom and my country. But I do not support a government who doesnt support its troops and their families. Makes them endure further hardships than their current sacrifices. That is disgusting. Cut out the HAARP funding up north. And high frequency sonar experiments. I hope there is an uprising if our troops suffer further. We will support our troops if the govt wont. Stop funding bottled water in congress. Idiots.

    April 7, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Eddie

    Maybe I am wrong, but can't the Democrats end the war in Iraq and Afghanistan to save money? Or is it they just like blowing our tax dollars any way they want to. Oh and don't forget that expensive health care bill all of us true hard working tax payers will pay for when it comes into full force. You see, the Democrats are like a teenager with a new credit card, they see what they like, they buy it, and then they run home to see who is going to pay for it.

    April 7, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. HoneyBunny

    In reply to comment made by YOUAREANIDIOT concerning enlisted folks get everything but officers have to pay for their stuff...you really missed the mark on this – it's almost comical. Enlisted folks do not have everything supplied to them. Yes it is true that if you are enlisted and new (first 5 years) to the military you will most likely be housed in a dorm and fed for free. Unless you get pregnant or get married, then they will tell you to move out. Please remember these same young people spend 6months to a year, each 18-24 months, deployed. And if you are among the 300 or so married military (enlisted and officer) who live on any given military installation, you don't pay a mortgage. Otherwise, they all live on the economy like you, paying all their bills, mortgages, car payments, food, child care - just like everyone else. The biggest difference is that the extra pay officers get to support themselves or their families is substantially higher than what enlisted members make. Much like most Americans, enlisted military families struggle to make ends meet unless both parents work. Not a big deal...that's how it is for almost everyone. So a government furlough could very well mean both incomes get cut. One for the spouse who works as a civilian and the active duty member who may or may not get paid after 15 April. Comes down to bad news for all sides. The government screwed up and we are all going to have to pay for it.

    April 7, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mayra

      I agree with you 100%...I was wondering what that guy was complaining about...Officers make way more than enlisted personnel...

      April 7, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
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