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. steven

    Hunting season!!!!!!! Yogi there are no rangers to protect the 20 point bucks in the campgrounds. My day wont be ruined.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
  2. Mike N

    I think it's healthy to shut it down to see what is really essential to the country. I bet the morning after and even the week after the shutdown, the country is doing just fine.
    Here's a test: turn off all the lights in your house for a week. Leave all essential utilities on but turn the lights off. You'll eventually figure a way to get along without it after a while and save a lot of money in the mean time.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
  3. Tim

    Is landscaping at the federal buildings as "inessential" as having our National Parks open ???

    April 8, 2011 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
  4. Sman

    Public service is not going to happen anytime soon. We all should prepare for a long war on our economy and personal rights which is really at stake here. Money is the tool to force change. I wonder what will actually change when the money stops?

    April 8, 2011 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
  5. Merlin

    It is most unfortunate that so many folks are going to have to suffer because of the stubborness of both parties. Jesus, the congress is still going to get paid and I am not. Will I receive my paycheck next week for the pay period that ends tomorrow? before this uneccessary shutdown. I budget everything and onw paycheck is a significant loss. Will you politicians be sticking up for me when creditors come knocking? What makes you folks better than everyone else. I don't see you guys carrying arms to defend our country! You are screwing with the livelihoods of 800,000 hard working folks and all you can do is bicker over who's to blame for the current situation. Well are far as I am concearned ALL of you are. You are resopnsible All of you! Good luck maybe someday you folks will grow up and realize your employees are important. Remember this next election time for all of you!

    April 8, 2011 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
  6. Danny

    The problem with everyone here is that we all talk but there will never be any action taken. We can all say what we want, but we all know that nobody will actually go out there and make something happen and speak out against the Govt. What will happen if we do so? We go to jail – hmm maybe the jails in DC will be shutdown too

    April 8, 2011 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
  7. Da truth

    I'd bet less than 1/2 of the '800,000' government employees put in a solid 8 hr day. Truth.

    April 8, 2011 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
  8. Bill

    What's really wrong with a shutdown anyway? We don't need much of the government besides Defense, CIA, Treasury/IRS, Post Office, Air Traffic Control and Interstate highway maintenance. So, I say shut it all down. Then bring back what we really need and dump the rest. Leave the rest to the States, where a lot of it properly belongs anyway (e.g. education). The federal budget – and taxes – would go way down and we all would be a lot better off. Think of how proud the Founding Fathers would be.

    April 8, 2011 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
  9. tiny

    That's it? If that's all I may miss than shut it down!

    April 8, 2011 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
  10. Hi :)

    Number 11 ..... Congress still getting paid while 800,000 don't . Why do 535 members that essentially do nothing but PR runs, pointing fingers at each other , and focused on getting re-elected still collect paychecks of a couple hundred thousand and health benefits while the rest of us pay for it .... Pink slip all 535 members of congress

    April 8, 2011 at 1:03 am | Report abuse |
    • charles

      good ides only one thing wrong. we can't fire them they are elected and will be given a free ride till the next election thenand only then can we fire them

      April 8, 2011 at 1:22 am | Report abuse |
  11. Dean

    We just need to start fresh with a new honest government not money corrupt people who only get elected because of their popularity but their values and beliefs

    April 8, 2011 at 1:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Da truth


      April 8, 2011 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Windrays

      Amen, brother. Amen.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
  12. Andy

    These house republicans need to realize that taxes must be raised, business taxes must be collected plus loopholes closed, defense spending should be cut in half, and any important non-military research should be transfered to non-governmental organizations & companies. Also, tax the oil, coal & natural gas companies for extracting fossil fuels, after all they are a national resource. Oh & how about fines for the ass clowns in congress for causing this mess.

    Also, the irresponsible folks who are for a government shutdown, do they realize how much this will hurt the average citizen? Not to mention military families, and oh yea, who's going to be out protecting wildlife from hunters/poachers in the national parks & forrests etc?

    – A

    April 8, 2011 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
  13. WOT

    China you may collect now-Sold, now we all can work cheap! Thanks to Washington. Call in war debts China!

    April 8, 2011 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
  14. charles

    i bet al the people here crying and moaning couldn't wait to get them god awful democrats out of office?and get them gunho tea partiers in ? well? becareful of what you ask for what you get may eurprize you ?It's awful to think people in foriegn lands dying and being shot for this country and can't get paid.what if afterer they get a agreement all the peole affecter by it said buzz off we're not coming back and everything stayed shut down for 5 or 6 months maybe it would get some voter attention and some dumb politicians attention because both need a good shaking.

    April 8, 2011 at 1:10 am | Report abuse |
  15. SadCitizen

    I can't believe our government is this pathetic. I lost my pride as an American; though I must say those of you who push past this silly "idiocratic" government decision and still serve the common populace give me pride as a human. Sincerely, thankyou.

    April 8, 2011 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Jaysea

      well, maybe u should try another gov't somewhere else? By then, all should be fne here & u can go on being such a "patriotic" American?

      April 8, 2011 at 1:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Brenda

      Oh, please! This scenario is just a tempest in a teapot! Where else in the world would you rather live and think you could do better? If you can think of a single country, then I suggest you move there.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
    • sandi c

      If I were in charge of Congress I would have a lock-in and nobody could leave until the budget was resolved. These people need to work together and get it done. No where else in America can you behave that way (like Congress) and get away with it. If any of us behaved that way in our workplaces and could not move forward on projects because of disagreements, we would be fired. I am really frustrated with the political climate in this country. Ugh!

      April 8, 2011 at 1:40 am | Report abuse |
    • zulfiqar


      April 8, 2011 at 1:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Georgia

      MANY people have lost their pride in America. In fact over 350,000 average Americans leave every year and do much better in other countries. This place has become a joke. The fall of Rome all over again.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Gary

      Another ingenious way of delaying the payment of tax refunds. Do you realize how much money the govt makes on the interest from money taxpayers overpay each year and then get back as a lump-sum refund? Kinda strange this comes up right at tax time considering most Americans wait until the April 15th deadline to file.

      April 8, 2011 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
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