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. Steph

    My income tax I had to file by mail this year (due to an adoption credit) will be delayed in processing. My information systems co-workers who work for the government either directly or as contractors are going to have an even harder time doing the job they are tasked with. But the thing that really made me see red? The idea that any man or woman in our armed forces, here or especially deployed overseas, should have to worry about if the baby they have yet to meet (due to their commitment to this country) is able to be fed in the absence of a paycheck delayed for they don't know how long. Our troops deserve better. Our country deserves better. Our congressional leaders need to get over their political agendas and learn the art of compromise real quick.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Angie

      RIGHT!!!! Why not cut Congress' pay instead of the military? They're the ones that can't make a decision.

      April 8, 2011 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
  2. Daniel

    Baggers are bogus. Far-right Republicans are Christian Talibanners.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
    • uscitizen

      Very well thought out and constructive argument Daniel.

      April 8, 2011 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
  3. David B. - California

    Shut 'er down. And I'm a federal employee. I can't believe how the media is distorting this. Shutting down the gov, down to make a point about a few billion is better than to keep spending trillions of extra $ your children and grandchildren can't afford. What gov. handout or service will YOU give up so that the government can balance its budget. If your answer is nothing, then we are all srewed and we might as well shut it down now for good.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Doughboy

      I think you're my new hero!

      April 8, 2011 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jordan s Name*

    Ignorance isn't bliss

    April 8, 2011 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
  5. Steve Rogers

    How is this Boehner's fault, and not also Reid's?

    April 8, 2011 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Catherine

      I agree....Dems got to blame someone. They don't understand what BROKE means. I can't get into this it's so frustrating. We lost everything in this DEPRESSION. I could careless if the Gov shuts down. They didn't care that I shut down.

      April 8, 2011 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
  6. John W. Hinze II

    Hey it worked for Bill Clinton, maybe it will work for Obama as well.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
  7. Doughboy

    Modern Americans don't have brass enough to revolt. Most people are so terrified of this so-called shutdown they can't see straight. When it was leaked that EVERY SINGLE cell phone call ever made had been monitored for content, instead of an outcry about the invasion of privacy or the abuses of gov't power, America said "huh..." With so much panic about an orderly (and historically not uncommon) shutdown, it's obvious that America is incapable of revolution. I suspect that if Thomas Jefferson were alive today, he'd be living in Idaho stockpiling assault rifles.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
    • JBH

      If Jefferson were alive today, which is highly unlikely, he's probably be talking and asking parties to communicate with courage and honor. Not trying to scare people

      Kind of like what you're trying to do.

      April 8, 2011 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
  8. Bill

    The root cause of the problems today is the fact that the federal government spends more than it takes in. The root solution to this problem is reigning in the spending spree that has been going on for many years. Unfortunately, in the last two years it has worsened dramatically. Who among you thinks you can spend as much as you want without regard for how much you bring in? That is what the federal government is doing. The Republicans were given a mandate by those who voted them in last fall – cut spending. Since the Democrat controlled house and the Democrat held Senate along with the Democrat president couldn't pass a budget last fall, they now must face the reaper. America spoke loud and clear in the last election – get our house in order! Make the federal government live somewhere close to within its means just like every American has to do.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      Come on now Bill...everyone KNOWS that in order to get out of debt, you have to borrow and spend more money. It's TOTALLY logical. For example, let's say I make $40k per year, and I am carrying $100k in debt, which at my income level I'll never be able to pay off. What are my options?

      1. Cut my expenses, be frugal with my money, and gradually pay my debt off.
      2. Take out 3 new credit cards for $10k each and spend my way out of debt by maxxing them out. Yes, the math is weird, but people say it WORKS!
      3. Steal my rich neighbor's wallet and use HIS money to pay off my debt.

      Let's see...#2 AND #3 sure do look appealing. No consequences! Yay! By the way Bill, you're a great American. (that last part isn't sarcasm)

      April 8, 2011 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
  9. AmerIcan

    This Nation has grown fat, lazy, and now is broke? What is this: Old Rome? America was once a Great Nation and could be again. First Washington needs to be honest about; what is wrong with the Nation "right now" and fix it.
    Talk about the REAL issues and Problems that face our Nation and the people. They hardly mention it in the campaign if at all. They dance around Healthcare and the Budget but everyone here knows what REAL ISSUEs are hurting our economy. Just afraid to say because it might offend someone or start an arguement. America needs supporters that are United. That willbe 2 cents please

    April 8, 2011 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
  10. A worker

    The parks being shut down just makes me wonder why the federal government runs them. Just sell them to me and I'll make them better. I'll charge less than a movie ticket per head.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
  11. Luke

    I'm an "essential" government employee that started 6 months ago, straight out of college. Funny thing is, I turned down a higher paying private sector job because I liked the security of working for the federal government. Starting Monday, I'll be working with no clue of when my next paycheck is coming. Nice security...

    April 8, 2011 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
  12. bretdeployed

    Wait wait wait I'm over here in Afghanistan...theyre already telling us WE gotta keep doing this job over here whether were paid or not. Government shuts down it still needs to work. Thats crap I have to stay over here I dont get to go home If my money freezes everyone above me to the presidents should freeze too... This is garbage I can't believe America has gotten to this cut funding fine but we've got 50,000 plus military over here that DOES not want to work for free, and for anyone that thinks we have to anyone cause we signed up. The Fed has to cover its own part of the "agreement" that it promised when we all enlisted and comissioned.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Sunnnnny

      Sounds like you are a slave and not an employee. That's what America is about, we are slaves to the elite. We are theirs to do with as they please. Do you really think you are "free"? No taxation without representation...funny how they pull this act after most Americans have already paid their taxes this year. Personally my interests are not represented so maybe I shouldn't pay my taxes...hmmm interesting. But for those spouting revolution I bet you just got yourself on the no fly list. No real freedom of speech...thanks Patriot act!

      April 8, 2011 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
  13. Selfmade

    I started with nothing- born poor. worked hard, did 8yrs in the navy. started my own business and made something of it. how is it that other people think i need to pay more because i make x amount? i would go back to scrubing toliets before i took one penny of welfare or unemployment. everyone can make something of themselves if they would just work for it instead of sticking their hand out all the time! and i was in the military with a family. guess what? maybe you shouldn't have had 4 kids on that little pay.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      Glad to know there are still people out there who still have a strong work ethic and independent spirit. Lately I've been wonderinf if there are any left...kudos to you sir.

      April 8, 2011 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Glad to see somebody work hard and make it. But 8 yrs in the navy made you a gov't employee, collecting a benefit paid for by the tax payers. It's not welfare, but you got a good start in life due to a gov't program.

      April 8, 2011 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Ceadda

      @Tom eight years of military service doesn't grant you a pension benefit of any kind. You should do your homework before you start orally defecating all over the place.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Nemo

      There is something more valuable than physical possessions, rare earth, and bank money. It is health. You try and complain about social programs when you CAN'T WORK. I was born disabled and I am dependent on taxpayer money. My medications cost the government about about $2,000 to $3,000 a month, 12 months a year, every year and sometimes more when I have to be rushed to the emergency room every couple months. Why am I allowed to continue my existence as a cancerous tumor on society's ass? Because this is AMERICA. It is in our belief system that all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or disability have access to a very high standard of living. Seriously, if you want to balance the budget just KILL ME and kill all the other disabled people while you are at it. If the Fed can't find ways to balance the budget other than to make cuts, then it NEEDS to shutdown FOREVER. Because if we accept losing the things that people criticize as wastes of money and reckless spending, we lose ourselves, and there is no argument to that. If you don't like what I'm saying, by all means, cut off my Social Security, and I will fade away, just like the America way of life is fading because of crooks in D.C. My only hope is that now with my father also being disabled from a stroke, I am "supposed" to become eligible for Medicare in a few months. My dream is that with Medicare I can see the doctors that won't accept Medicaid, and I can become healthy enough to get a job and pay back my debt to society. Maybe I will do something great for the world and change it forever in a positive way. Maybe the government shuts down and I die at age 24 after a life of pain. Cuts are what a corporation does when it is dying a slow death and the CEO and the board want to squeeze every last dollar they can into their offshore accounts. MORE SPENDING IS THE ONLY WAY OUT OF DEBT, cuts only delay the inevitable. We need money invested in education, healthcare, and science. Our top scientists are moving to CHINA because there they will get paid! People like me are too sick to pay taxes. Our schools have turned into street gang recruitment centers. You have to spend money to make money.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:56 am | Report abuse |
  14. Godscitizen

    I am sickened by the state of the world. I think our government officials should get paid minimum wages for a year and lets see how well they survive. They increase prices and taxes but don't increase our pay and benifits. They are going to eventually see an uprising here in the usa that are happening else where. Back a starving vulnerable animal in to a corner and it will lash out and attack to defwnd its self. We have a God given right to feed, clothe, shelter and provide medical treatment to our families without having to pay over priced greedy politicians. The government was supposed to be the voice for the people instead it is a self serving group of power hungry self men and women who do not deserve the paty checks our hard earned tax dollars provide them. We need God back in the heart of this nation. Until then we will continue to fall.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
  15. RK

    Maybe if we stopped giving our money to foreign countries that hate us,keep it here our economy would be better, the government could pay its bills.Fire all the politicians and regroup.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
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