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. conoclast

    To the 800000 of you who might not get paid, just remember that all this pain & economic hardship is being asked of you because certain members of congress didn't get their wish regarding an unrelated social issue. Whatever it is that motivates them to do this to you must be very important or they wouldn't ask the better part of a million of you to suffer for it, would they?

    April 8, 2011 at 2:19 am | Report abuse |
  2. Adam

    If Republicans are so bent on cutting and saving money, why on Earth would they not do EVERYTHING in their power to avoid a shutdown that not only disrupts government services, but it also COSTS more money than if they just let things run as normal. Yeah, can you say ideological agenda? In the name of some pet projects, they'll cost us all. Thanks Republicans. Don't think I'm letting Dems off the hook, they're just as much to blame.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:26 am | Report abuse |
  3. struggling

    You think 100k a year is poor? try $20,000 a year ......and 4 kids who have a dead father, one of which has a disability. i am completly broke and yes i need help from welfare right now but ive paid taxes since i was 16 years old. and i am going to school to better myself. welfare is important not everyone who recieves it just sits around doing nothing but living off the goverment ...open your eyes

    April 8, 2011 at 2:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Marine vet and spouse

      I may not totally understand your situation, but I do understand having to do what it takes to take care of your Family. I came from a town to where welfare was a potheads way to make money and still get their fix. I believe if you do need help then fine reach for it by all means, but the ones i criticize are those who are lazy, drug addict idiots who make it hard for people in your situation to get help.

      April 8, 2011 at 2:33 am | Report abuse |
    • wiz

      The point is, you tweak the process (i.e., you weed out the folks abusing the system) you DON'T dismantle the program

      April 8, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Marine vet and spouse

    Let's Stop and think for a minute America. I know it's in our nature to point fingers, but as a Vet and a spouse of an active duty Marine I see so much. Yes we volunteered for this job, but when it comes down to it we did it for our own reasons. The shutdown is not only going to effect my family, but countless others who are not military. It will cause a chain reaction. First, the Military wont get paid, and they wont be able to pay their bills. Then, the economy will drop even further because the companies will not be able to pay their workers. Everything has a chain reaction. Think about it. It effects everyone in this country whether you know it or not. Oh and an FYI did you know that the Active duty Military is paid under the poverty line. Yeah that is right we get paid less than most of the civilian jobs out there doing what we do. Except we fight for everyone. Alright, I may not know exactly why we started fighting in the first place, but a lot of military personal joined to get Al Quada for the 9/11 attacks. For those of you who are like"I am so tired of hearing about the military and vet being affected by the shutdown" Get over it. There are those Americans who are Patriotic and have the most respect for the military and vets and you are not going to change their minds.

    Let me say this it is not the Dems or Rep we should be angry at. Stop blaming the parties and just straight out say "Congress it is your fault". The political parties have divided us. Stand together and say "NO MORE" "We Want a say in things from now on". I don't want "Fat Cats" up there taking advantage of my Tax Dollars. I want someone up there who is willing to look me straight in the face and tell me the truth. Wow sorry I was dreaming out loud there. I know it will never happen. Oh and for the Budget cuts take away Welfare, and if they are unable to work they must do a physical by a Government Doctor to qualify for Disability. Welfare is a lazy mans way to get paid and smoke pot. Now do not get me wrong if you need help to get back on your feet fine, but you will have a time frame to get there and get off. If you still need help then you will refile. I consider myself a Republican, but I hole heartedly believe in pro-choice. Because it is my right to have choice. Lastly every president makes mistakes lets just hope that mistake doesn't sink us as a country.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:29 am | Report abuse |
  5. Fed up w/the zeitgeist

    What the fuzz? All this of ideologue of patriotic duty by Tea Baggers, Repulsicans, Dumacrats sounds a lot like BS!!! Here are the words of a REAL leader and patriot, " I have no private purposes to accomplish, no party projects to build up, no enemies to punish- nothing to serve but my country. " Zachary Taylor. Now do your jobs you souless sacks of greed.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:30 am | Report abuse |
  6. conoclast

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: it's now obvious that the far right wants not only to shut down the government; it wants to BRING down the government! They 'love their country'; they hate its people.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:31 am | Report abuse |
  7. Leftrightparadigm

    The cuts we are talking about amount to less than one 20th of one percent of our current budget. The fact that it has come this far is only evidence of party politics, and acts. True leaders in the congress would not have chosen such divisive programs to cut from, and would have instead put their attention to more meaningful cuts, trimming the fat of non performing nonessential programs, and looking for ways to operate more efficiently. Instead the result we have is everyone is either engaged in fighting one another, or have completely tuned out die to the numbing effect of such issues. That's the game my friends, keep you fighting or numb to the fact that this whole issue is really about the banks that robbed you, and the massive debt you've been signed on to pay to cover their losses on worthless derivatives, their gambling debt. So let's work together on solving the REAL issue. Let's get Glass Steagall back, and put control of our currency back into the hands of the people as designed, as five states are currently moving to do. Peace!

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


    Thank you for all of your help on our current situation... Your worrying about perfect grammar on a yahoo forum is much more important than worrying about the topics at hand. Am I writting a book? Oh good i'm glad you just saved me from failing the spelling bee too...how about caring about the topic instead of punctuation. If we all stop caring so much about being right and started caring about doing the right thing maybe we could form a solution. Or perpetuate the cycle of only caring about ourselves, that seems to the be the way these days.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Keri

      @Karl...i don't know what your stance is but either way people from whatever "side", resort to correcting grammar only to try to make the other person appear dumb. I only correct the spelling of names, other than that mistakes happen, it's late and if they can not pick up what you're putting down, than it proves them ignorant.

      April 8, 2011 at 2:54 am | Report abuse |
  9. RobbyD

    Socialism is not evil, it's just different...If you don't believe Obama and his Democratic friends would love to move America towards greater government oversight and control, you're out of touch...Moving teh country towards crippling debt results in greater gov't control, not less...Obama's not evil...He just thinks he's superior to 'greedy' individuals and businesses because he could run and control the country to take care of those who are unproductive and have less than those who are productive and have more...Obama wants more spending?...Shut down the gov't until he learns he is out of step with over 200 years of relative American success...The vast majority of Americans have had to sarifice over the past 3 years...Gov't employees should be no different...

    April 8, 2011 at 2:32 am | Report abuse |
  10. SS

    Before you blame either the left or right, look at the CIA World Fact book before you make up your mind. The stats say it all about everything with us, what's true and what's hype.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:33 am | Report abuse |
  11. JJ

    I don't understand all the whining about furloughs? I had to do 5 days furlough last year. It was broken up over the rest of my pay periods and barely noticed it. It was for the good of the company so I understood. The gov't employees should take the furlough and keep their mouths shut. In the real business world you don't get the protection they have for salaries, pensions, and protection. It's almost impossible in CA to fire a state employee unless it's something big. In the real business world if you don't perform you get let go. That's life.

    Personally I can live without mail on Saturday. A guess what, USPS even when you're fully staffed the lines are out the door. This is why UPS and FedEx have higher earnings and are more profitable because they don't have union protection.

    Close parks on a Monday, people will live. Keep the pay the same, but no mail one extra day or a park closed one extra day will decrease operating costs.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Unionization is intelligent

      You're bashing USPS because they have unions? My parents both work for USPS and one is a significant member of their union. If you ever heard half of the things people in charge of them try to pull, you would unionize immediately as well. You can't intelligently generalize an individual experience at one or two USPS locations. Don't be guilty of the same false conclusions many of the people here indulge themselves with.

      April 8, 2011 at 3:57 am | Report abuse |
    • JJ

      Having worked for the state I hold true to my opinion. The USPS was just one good example. Unions are the reasons good guest lecturers are getting let go. The tenured track folk who don't want to teach and are protected by the unions now have to. The unions have created so many rules and regulations that people get hired up until the decision time to tenure track or hire fulltime, then they are released and the cycle starts all over. I've seen it in many different industries with unions. I work for a big global company without a union and I'm much happier, far less politics and people are held accountable.

      April 8, 2011 at 4:48 am | Report abuse |
  12. Angie Gutierrez

    I am an Army wife and a mother of two. My husband and I are astonished by the actions of this ridiculous government we have. We like many other military families would be devastated if there were no paychecks on the fifteenth or even after that. I had to go grocery shopping today and I was so stressed about this budget plus hearing the concern of every person I passed by I'm not sure if I even got enough food. What are we supposed to do when the food runs out and there's no money to pay the bills?

    April 8, 2011 at 2:48 am | Report abuse |
  13. Keri

    nice so see some unbiased reporting...The Boehner line in bold is shameful. Use facts next time...20+ months and NO balanced budget and that is acceptable to you? To help save this country from economic collapse, cuts and budgets are needed not vacations, parties and spending.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:49 am | Report abuse |
  14. America has never been about the people

    America has always been about Fukk you as long as I am getting paid I am good. That is what capitalism is dummies it not about caring about the next man it about as long as I am good then I am ok. The rich will always win because nobody will fight for anyone if they are eating.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:54 am | Report abuse |
  15. Henry Becerra

    worried about my ssi and my son ssi . If stop will huge upset !!! I has 3 years old son are deaf and I'm father deaf too !! If government shutdown for sure all people and deaf people will having big raid on the street and down the police raid . Police wil out of control of raid ! Jehovah were right "government will never promise to people" Jehovah never lie!!!! Jehovah promise will gave new world with out government. Without suffer.without rent and money no more .. the new world is come tooo soon .

    April 8, 2011 at 3:05 am | Report abuse |
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