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. Jeff

    We all like to sound off with these issues but when does our vouce actually get heard? These forums don't do that. I found a forum that does get our voices collectively heard. http://www.HelpMeMrPresident.com is what I found to get Our Voices Heard to halo make changes.

    April 8, 2011 at 1:26 am | Report abuse |
  2. Blake

    Thanks a lot Democrats. You failed to pass a budget last year and you still can't pass a budget this year. The House has sent up about three proposals to forestall the shutdown, but the Senate and President aren't interested in keeping things running. This is not a republican problem.

    April 8, 2011 at 1:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Amen to that! The Democrats controlled the presidency, house, and the senate for multiple years and did not do jack. If government shuts down, the democratic members of congress and the president are to blame.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Fed up w/the zeitgeist

      Of course it's not republican problem, they stand in the rain and don't get wet. I thought that was common knowledge. And anyhow soldiers,sailors and marines are all democrats. Right. Moron.

      April 8, 2011 at 3:26 am | Report abuse |
  3. dryhole

    shut 'er down

    April 8, 2011 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Amanda

      That's easy for you to say, when you probably won't be missing work due to the shut down. I will. So, hmmm. I thin k we ought to try and avoid it.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
  4. Amanda

    Give me a break! This article is putting the blame on the republicans, who were overwhelmingly elected last year. The people want these cuts. It is the dems who are refusing these cuts which is causing the shut down!

    April 8, 2011 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      Those 'Dems' were elected, too. If you don't like them, vote them out in 2012. In the mean time, stop threatening to hold your breath until you turn blue.

      April 8, 2011 at 2:21 am | Report abuse |
  5. student in florida

    What is funny, What about the DEPT OF EDUCATION? I depend on federal loans and grants. what happens to them?? I HAVE NO IDEA. Not even my financial aid office at my school can tell me. If I dont get these loans, I DO NOT GO TO SCHOOL.

    That's the case, i would rather revolt than the government tell me that i cannot go to school. It is about time that the MASSIVE country had a wake-up call.

    we are Number 1... with the Eurozone and the EU right behind... and they are not even true countries...

    when service men and women are RISKING THEIR LIVES pro bono?

    personally, i WOULD go awall


    April 8, 2011 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
    • whoknows

      Who cares if you don't get a grant....that's one of the things I think they should cut. I was only able to get student loans, that I now must pay back, AFTER I graduated. No sympathy from me. No matter what your social or economic background might be.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Jane

      Yes, I'm SURE your college...just like EVERY OTHER COLLEGE IN THE US, is going to kick out the majority of its students due to a potential shutdown. Please. Not going to happen.

      The bellyaching on here is starting to reach epic proportions.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Jane

      PS...rather revolt? This is so rather infantile, I can't believe that this is the future of America. Do me a favor and please lay off whatever Kool-Aid your professors are serving.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:56 am | Report abuse |
    • student in florida

      first off, I am HUGE proponent of a revolt and rebellions. They actually get things done and prove points.
      Secondly, as a student with a parents pay under 20,000 a year. I am UNABLE to get student loans. I HAVE tried, didn't work. I am overqualified for jobs in my area. Plus, education is not cheap anymore. My Cost of attendance is 19,000 a year (in state as well). If they were to cut the Pell Grant, many students around the country would not be able to afford the cost of education. That grant has been around since the 70s and only those who are qualified can get it. in which i do. I do not take those federally backed loans (from the department of education) and grants that I have worked hard to get, It is not a free ride, but it makes life affordable. Especially when you are trying to pay rent and bills without the help from parents. I am sorry that i am not rich enough to afford college nor have parents make enough to co-sign a loan. I grew up lower class, i do not expect to stay in it. I WOULD GLADLY pay a Clinton Era Taxes for the rich. but right now, i cannot even find a job.

      April 8, 2011 at 2:12 am | Report abuse |
    • student in florida

      Also, the way my state government is acting, in the fashion of a business who expect bills to be paid on-time. I would not doubt that. If you do not have your tuition paid for in the state of Florida, you will not be able to register for classes. otherwise, they are not "kicking out" per say. but they would not let you attend another semester until your balance has been paid. same with most school across the nation now

      April 8, 2011 at 2:18 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      It IS rather odd that when these people who are so concerned about leaving debt for their children talk about cuts, the first thing theycut is prenatal care for poor mothers, food for poor kids and education for all public school children. And they refuse to cut the military. Guess where all of those uneducated kids are supposed to work?

      April 8, 2011 at 2:34 am | Report abuse |
  6. Cathy

    We have troops dying in the Middle East for their country. OUR country! So our troops are good enough to fight your wars for you guys but not good enough to receive paychecks on time? Thank you to the servicemembers, present and past, who have thrown yourself in harms way to protect our rights. And yes, most of these people will get backpay but its the principle. People wont forget during the election. At this point, Donald Trump sounds like a good candidate to me. A man who can maintain over 1 billion dollars in his bank account sounds pretty reasonable to me!

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

      With all dues respect to our troops, they are not dying for our freedom. We are not under threat to be occupied and taken over. They are being used as pawns to push a corporate, elitest, imperialist agenda!

      April 8, 2011 at 2:17 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      Hey Cathy – I didn't ask them to join the VOLUNTEER army and I'd prefer they NOT fight for me. If anyone invades, I'll shoot them myself. The only people interfering with my life at this point are the people who call themselves the Tea Party, so I'm buying ammunition.

      April 8, 2011 at 2:39 am | Report abuse |
  7. Terry W. Brookman

    The government should not be in the business of creating jobs but rather protecting our jobs. They are inside out, they allow our jobs to leave and create thousands of jobs that can't be paid for. It is way past time for this too end. There was a time where they could only make money on whiskey and tobacco taxes plus on import duties, we had the most prosperous and benevolent country on the planet.

    April 8, 2011 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
  8. Sitnalta

    Just remember, people: This is the government you voted for. A group of neurotic man-children who are more than happy to crush your neck with their heel if it means they get browning points with their base.

    April 8, 2011 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Who are the real idiots?

      Sitnalta: "This is the government you voted for."
      Gerald Franklin: "Why do we keep electing these high functioning idiots? The time to clean house is long over due. "

      Me: A majority of you re-elected George Bush when he was spending wildly and creating this crisis.
      Then a majority elected Obama on a completely different set of principles and political promises.
      Then two years later you all send these Tea Party people to Washington with a third set of principles.

      You send these people to Washington. You expect them to keep their campaign promises. As far as I can tell, each side in this discussion is doing exactly that - each obeying the will of the segments of the public that elected them.

      THEY are not the idiots. THEY are all standing up for the principles and promises you sent them to Washington to stand for. YOU, THE PUBLIC, ARE THE IDIOTS. You vote like a booby hatch full of nuts with multiple political personality disorder, and then when each group of politicians stands up for what YOU told them to stand up for, you blame them.


      Did you ever ask yourselves the obvious either-or question when Bush was President: do you want budget sanity or the Iraq war? (There is no third choice, and anyone who thinks there is a third choice is indulging in the stupidity that created this budget crisis.) Answer: NO. THE PUBLIC WANTS TO HAVE ITS CAKE AND EAT ITS CAKE AND BLOW UP ITS CAKE AND THEN STILL HAVE ITS CAKE.

      You are all getting better government than you deserve.

      And this will sort itself out.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:56 am | Report abuse |
  9. doomed

    So the FDA is shutting down right after radioactive water was dumped into the ocean.....

    April 8, 2011 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Travis Hulbert

      I know pretty sweet right? Good thing I'm a government employee and I won't be getting paid, so I don't have to worry about eating glow-in-the-dark seafood.

      April 8, 2011 at 2:10 am | Report abuse |
  10. mike

    obama strikes again,,yes he did inherit alot of crap,,but in reality,,he has created a ton more,,he was so damn busy praying with the muslims,,and cancelling national pray day..he was so damn busy pointing a finger at someone instead of maning up and doing what "we"pay him for..he should of gotten rid of palosi,and the rest of the ignorate staff he has and be a man and run the show,,but we dont even know to this day,,is he legal to be president,his ssn,doesnt match,no one remembers him from school,none of his college papers can be found,yet all you idiots elected him,couse he could talk a good talk,and couldnt see through all his b/s,,well talk is cheap,gas is through the roof again,and now we have obama to look for as a man to save this,,well guess what,,its all cheap,and those of you who elected him,ya hungry,,eat youre campain posters now,,stand up america.fight back,,befor youre a 4th world country

    April 8, 2011 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Angie

      You spelled ignorant wrong dufus

      April 8, 2011 at 1:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Annoyed

      Ignorate? Palosi? Are you 12 years old?

      April 8, 2011 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
    • marmorata

      This guy is a joke. Pulling the ole' muslim card. First off, he is not muslim. But the last I checked, it isn't against the law to be a muslim president. And, if he was a muslim, I don't think he is scoring any brownie points with the terrorists by continuing an American military presence in the middle east. As a side, I am actually embarasssed that I am responding to this nonsense of yours. You are what I despise about Americans. It isn't even that I associate you with a political party. Your comments are crap, Full of low level thinking.

      The president is not responsible for passing a budget. This is congress.

      April 8, 2011 at 2:11 am | Report abuse |
    • wiz

      Are you high??...........

      April 8, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Gerald Franklin

    Why do we keep electing these high functioning idiots? The time to clean house is long over due. America has become far too complacent.

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

      You are so right. What a bunch of self-serving traitors, all of them.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:45 am | Report abuse |
  12. Just a man with a thought

    I find the conversation facinating in many ways. First, to the government employees. What you are experiencing with the potential shut-down is what we in the private sector deal with all th time. Layoffs, offshoring, wage "adjustments" are all something we deal with on a daily basis. As someone who has been involved with all of it, I can tell you first hand it is horrible to be a part of (even if it isn't you directly, you know people impacted). I know it isn't easy to do, but any financial advisor says you should have 3-6 months of savings in case something happens. If you did this, you should be fine. The lucky thing for a government employee is that a shut-down is temporary. Layoffs are permenent.

    Second, the comments from several people outline the exact issue. Several of you are struggling financially. So is our government. People are generally logical and cut-back spending where they can when they are in debt. Unfortunately our government has a nearly endless credit limit and therefore when they need more money they can easily get it. If government doesn't adjust spending relative to income like you and I do, we are doomed.

    So what's the solution? Couldn't our government mandate a 3% decrease in spending across the board in one year then another 2% the next? Of course some areas like education would be exempt. They could then leave it to the individuals who are more involved and run each part of our government to figure out how to most efficiently cut the spending.

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

      I've been laid off before and, I hate to burst your bubble, but they are not permanent.

      April 8, 2011 at 2:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Just a man with a thought

      Travis- Not to burst your bubble, but when you got laid-off did you get backpay for the time you missed? Did the exact same company hire you again for the exact same position? No. Generally you have to go find another job. The government workers who are affected by the potential shut-down will have the same job, at the same place when the government starts running again.

      April 8, 2011 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Travis Hulbert

      Well excuse me all to he!!. I wasn't aware of the fact that you knew me and you knew my situation. Now let me say this again. A LAY OFF IS NOT PERMANENT! When I got laid off, I returned to the same job, same postion, and same pay. True I did not recive back pay, but I did draw unemployment so it would be a little unfair for me to get paid twice for not working. If there is anything else that you KNOW about my situation, please let me know. I just love learning things about myself.

      April 8, 2011 at 2:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Just a man with a thought

      Congratulations Travis. You're in the 5-10% that have the term "layoff" mean temporary and not permanent. Yes, there are exceptions to everything. Thanks for adding value to the conversation by pointing out that you are the exception.

      April 8, 2011 at 2:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Travis Hulbert

      I am simply pointing out that you are one of the many people posting misinformation on this blog. The fact that I am an exception to the rule debunks your definition of permanent. The real definition of permanent is listed below. Now if you are going to continue to post information on this blog, make sure that it is factual information, because there are enough uneducated, ignorant know-it-alls in America without people like you feeding them inaccurate information.
      /ˈpɜrmənənt/ Show Spelled
      [pur-muh-nuhnt] Show IPA
      1. existing perpetually; everlasting, especially without significant change.

      April 8, 2011 at 3:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Just a man with a thought

      Oh Travis, where do I even begin. First off, as you noted, I don't know your situation and you don't know mine. I find it amusing that you say that you are so grounded in fact then call me both uneducated and ignorant. As I am both highly educated and not ignorant (at least about what I post) then in FACT, you are the one who isn't grounded in fact.

      While the actual definiton of layoff is "the act of dismissing employees." You are correct, some layoffs are temporary. However, a majority are postions that are "layoffs" don't return. Ask the people around you. Ask your friends (who are not in government jobs) and they will tell you that when you get laid off, you don't sit around thinking "I wonder when the job I had will be available again." No, people who get laid off instantly start searching for other jobs.

      When you hear in the news that a company is having "major layoffs" is it an article stating that they are cutting 10,000 jobs but really, really hope that they will all come back within a year? No, it is a company reducing its bottom line for an extended period of time.

      If you need to prove you're right, then yes, some layoffs are not permanent. Generally intelligent people deal in logic and can infer things from statements. I'm sorry to everyone for my blatant disregard for fact and how it obviously caused confusion. Next time, instead of saying "Layoffs are permanent" I'll say "Although some layoffs are temporary, most are permanent or are not positions that are reopened in an immediate enough time for the previous occupier of that position to be uneffected financially by the time between when that position was laid off and when it would become available again."

      For all of the people posting. Please ensure that you put clarity and detail about every comment you make because Travis can't make logical jumps or assumptions.

      April 8, 2011 at 3:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Just a man with a thought

      Sorry to get off topic people. My basic point is that while it always sucks to see people struggle, if you work for the government and are afraid of the shut-down you shouldn't go into total panic mode and are generally in a much better position than people who have been laid off in the public sector. The people we elected aren't stupid enough to let the shut-down exist, or at least not for any significant amount of time. If it happens, they will hear from the people who elected them and if they think their jobs are on the line then they will figure out a solution quickly. You have to love the efficiency and process of the government!

      April 8, 2011 at 4:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Travis Hulbert

      You feel better now? For someone that is so focussed on finding an answer to this problem, you sure dedicated a lot of time and energy to tell me that I was right, and to do so with the highest probability of making ME seem petty. I don't know how many of the posts you have read on this blog, but there are quite a few of them that show the deficiencies in America's educational system, and I was merely pointing out that there are cases where a lay off is not permanent because believe it or not, there are some people that do not know everything about the process of being laid off like you, an "educated" person, do. I would like to take the time to thank you though. I have never gotten under someone's skin quite as thouroghly as I have with you. It is very flattering that you feel the "need" to "put me in my place" when in less than a week, no one will give a crap about this blog and this whole dialogue between the two of us will be lost forever. I feel truly grateful that I, a complete stranger, mean that much to you.

      April 8, 2011 at 4:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Just a man with a thought

      Don't worry. I don't take bloggers or the comments too seriusly. I just don't like people who think they are better than other people and try to point out flaws. And I don't know if the sarcasm comes through online, but I was joking about you being correct. In fact, if you are saying that you are right because sometimes a layoff means that it is temporary, then I am also correct in saying that a layoff is permanent because sometimes layoffs are permenent. In fact, most layoffs are permanent.

      Essentially you just wasted a ton of your time and you were the person who didn't know your facts. I found it amusing that you were proven to be the ignorant person while trying to prove how I was wrong. It may work with less intelligent people, but don't try to poke minute holes in people's comments when they are smarter than you.

      April 8, 2011 at 5:09 am | Report abuse |
    • J.R. Register

      @ Travis – I'll keep this short and to the point. After reading your back and forth dialogue with "Just a man with a thought"...........Travis, your a D!@K.

      April 8, 2011 at 5:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Travis Hulbert

      Wow, you really can't let it go can you? OK fine you win, you were right all along. But consider this, I am getting paid $22.00 an hour to play this game. Any ways, at least we both found some amusement out of this whole thing. So am I really wasting my time? Just a little food for tought since you are so convinced that you know everything.

      April 8, 2011 at 5:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Travis Hulbert

      @J.R. ....Yeah I know. Believe me you aren't the first person to tell me that though Captain Obvious. But if someone is going to give in to my banter and stoop to my level, then I am going to run with it. Lets face it, I don't know a single person on this blog, and chances are I never will. Soon I will log off, go home, get in bed and go to sleep. Then I will wake up, eat play with my kids and my life will go on as usual. I will have long forgotten about all of this because I have a lot moe important things in my life to be concerned with. I am just passing time. But like I told Just a man, I thank you for taking time out of your day to aknowledge little ol' me.

      April 8, 2011 at 5:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Just a man with a thought

      Ahhhhh.... finally. We found out who the real loser is in this situation. The person paying you $22/hr for doing something that people will do for free! What is your job anyways? Didn't you say in a prior post that you work for the government?

      I don't have to always prove I'm right and will fully admit when I'm wrong. And while I am not getting paid, I think it is important that people understand what is going on in the world and how people are reacting. The satisfaction of understanding the world around me. Also some debate back and forth can be fun. All I ask is if someone is going to reply to my comments that people aren't smug or personal in their comments.

      April 8, 2011 at 5:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Travis Hulbert

      Do you believe everything you read on the internet? You are probably one of those guys that got hooked up with a fat chick in some chat room because she sent you a picture of someone else. Well I will answer your questions. Yes I am getting paid right now, no I am not actually a federal employee (that post was meant to be a joke.... I guess you didn't get it), and the reason I don't do this for free is because I have a life outside of cyberspace and I have better things to do with my free time than argue with someone that will not give up. Just so you know, this is my last post on this thread. I am tired and ready to go home and I don't want to "waste" anymore time on this subject. You can feel free to continue to post coments however since you are determined to get the last word in. Goodnight.

      April 8, 2011 at 5:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Just a man with a thought

      Well, it is good to know that just because you're working and messing around on the internet allows you to justify being rude to people. As you're playing with your kids I hope you teach them different lessons. You might want to start with work ethic and manners......

      April 8, 2011 at 6:01 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jim

    This is what we get for allowing Politians to Spend more money than Our Country has, plain and simple. In my House, when we run out of money.... THERE IS NO MORE MONEY TO SPEND !!! We DO WITHOUT. Our Bills come FIRST, so we have a roof over our heads. Guess how I learned THAT lesson as a young person ??? I got my azz booted out on the street !! Our Government hasn't learned this yet.... So WE PAY THE PRICE! Thanks alot, LEADERS (joke) .... YER' FIRED !!!!!!!!!!

    April 8, 2011 at 1:42 am | Report abuse |
  14. Regina Hosebeast

    Nice going Dems for failing LAST years budget passage. Obama is dissing you too, in spite of your loyalty, and he is laying the blame on you for this mess. You will cause hardship for our military and it's all about your power and money. Great selection for our president. What a bunch of self-serving traitors, Dems and Republicans alike. You are worthless to the American public.

    April 8, 2011 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
  15. soldierinitaly

    Does the gov believe that if they dont pay the military that we will still contiue to fight and die for them? everyone is afraid of not being paid but no one isthinking about USsecurity. weas soldiers have itharder than alot of people think and we get paid less then most people working at burgerking. but yes please take our minimal income to secure your pension.

    April 8, 2011 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
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