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. Tim

    Here's an idea:

    1) Term limits for Congress
    2) Repeal 17th Amendment so Senators are elected by States and not by how much their parties can spend
    3) Eliminate the privatley controlled Central Bank. It's the root cause of most of middle class America's problems.

    April 7, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Federal Tech.

    Ok, America I have been sitting here for the last few days looking at this mess and reading the stories and the post. Is no one thinking of our National Guard? We are not the Army so we don't get back pay. If this shut down lasts longer than a few days, then whatever state you live in will cease to have it's militia. Never mind the poor soldiers whom are fighting overseas, they are stuck, but think about this. Phone rings, its the call up to go to an emergency. Would you really go knowing that you won't get paid? Not that you do it for the money, but you would have to leave your paying job to risk your life for the promise of future monies?!?! You can't feed a family on promises, pay a mortage, drive a car. Think of how many people you are going to lose who would have joined some branch, but not now. Just a Federal Tech about the be furloughed and a member of my states National Guard. God Bless us. We really need it!

    April 7, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Penrath

      Right there with you!

      April 7, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Backpay would be required

      It is illegal for non-essential or non-exempt Federal workers to work during a furlough, so they wouldn't ask you to. If the National Guard got called up, it would only happen after being declared exempt, in which case, backpay is guaranteed.

      April 7, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Federal Tech.

      Do you know that as "non-essential" personal, I can't take another job until the budget mess is resolved? If I do, I in effect "quit" my job. In my state I can't draw unemployement(not that would, because it would have to be paid back in full as soon as the new budget is passed) until I have sit at home for 7 days! And to answer your question about being declared exempt, how you going to call me when I know you don't have any money? You think I am really going to answer that call? NO, I will be out working, or looking for work. Not empty promises.

      April 7, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Joseph owens


    April 7, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Howard Johnston

    This is another act of political theater by Boehner and Company. It won't save money, it will disrupt the orderly operation of the nation, and it will serve to showcase the agenda of a lunatic fringe. Unfortunately, that "fringe" use to be a mainstream party dedicated to public service: the Republicans. Now, clearly, they are a wholey owned subsidiary of big business, the insurance companies, the far, far religious right, and the Tea Party - most of whose members receive government subsidies in the form of Medicare or other aid. We are becoming the laughingstock of the world, starting with Sara Palin, who managed to tarnish the reputation of a genuine American hero - John McCain - and moving through rest of the sell-outs who are turning our Congress and our state houses over to the radical right. I certainly hope that everyone remembers who brought us this fiasco when we go to the polls again.

    April 7, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. mike s.

    What a fantastic photo! ! Unfortunately the Tea Party Oh yeah ,,they can't use the bus>cut,cut,,No Amtrak cut,cut>>and if they look up they can see a plane crash because in the midnite hours they amended the FAA Reauthorization Bill too....Because all your planes except AA are not subject to safety regulations! what a bunch of Hypo/clueless fools...............

    April 7, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      Sorry, I thought you were describing ACORN. Oh that's right, they were disbanded after being exposed as FRAUDS!!!

      April 7, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. nur amabo nur

    I have sympathy for the troops families not getting paid for a while – that's a low blow to them. Government is government weather its a white skunk with black stripes or a black one white stripes. If you work for smith and wesson and the government has a contract with smith and wesson YOU WORK FOR THE GOVERNMENT. American military ARE a nobel bunch but not working for the American publics best interests. Did someone from Iraq pee in your corn flakes ?

    April 7, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Souldier

    Time to seriously start looking at capitalizing on your (legal) talents in order to start generating your own capital and revenue. And yes, savings is smart investing.

    April 7, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Change this already

      So I am guessing being a ninja doesn't count towards legal talent

      April 7, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      Bartering and trading of goods.

      April 7, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Matt

    If our elected 'government' officials were not payed while the government shut down...somehow I have to think a deal would be reached....quickly.

    April 7, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Fed Employee

    I am a Federal Employee. What about our paychecks to support our famillies and pay our bills. The cost of gasoline and food is too high as we do not get paid nearly as much as we should for the work that we do. I do not want to go bankrupt because of this coward decision by the dictators in congress. Whose side are you on! Leave us Federal Workers Alone. We are not the millionaires. Go after them to pay your debts!

    April 7, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Change this already

      I think you all should go on strike for a week

      April 7, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mrs. Somebody

      That'sal wll and good for you. Everyone else in this country has already lost everything. We are forced to work for meager wages, and told be thankful you have a job. All employers are using the economy as a way to get workers to work for pennies, with the threat of losing their jobs on a daily basis. So excuse me while I don't feel sorry for you.

      April 7, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mrs. Somebody

      I can spell. My keys on my keyboard are sticking, I can't afford a new one, lol.

      April 7, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      to Mrs Somebody, just because most of us have an education, don't go attacking us for getting 4 year degrees, and deciding to help our country instead of chasing the mighty dollar. In my agency alone, 90% of us have 4 year degrees, many of us have masters, and a few of us have PHDs, all working as GS-12's and under. I started as a GS-5, making 26K a year, while my buddy ran to the private sector and started making 49K a year, with the same benefits. I did it because I wanted to make a difference. So go whine to someone else.

      April 7, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. egore

    No, you are the idiot @ Tim. The Democrats did NOT have a super majority last session. They had 58, a super majority is 67. Further, it takes 60 votes in the Senate, if one Member objects, to break cloture, i.e., stop a filibuster and force a vote. Please, next time take the time to do your homework before labeling someone else an idiot. Dud!

    April 7, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Surrounded by Idiots

    I think it's time that we as Americans rally behind our troops, donate some money, and try to help them out. How much would it hurt you to give a few bucks to someone who agreed to give up their life for you?

    There is nothing we can do to stop the shutdown, and there is no use arguing blame at this point because no one is ever willing to compromise or think they mught be wrong. But we can do sometihng to show our heroic soliders that we value their sacrifice and that we honor their committment to our country while they struggle with hazardous conditions, separations from their families, and so many other tragedies.

    April 7, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ray

    who writes this stuff . You really think that the goverment is going to pull there websites. This whole shutdown thing is a joke. All federal workers will get paid you have a goverment job. This is not google or any other company you worked for it the goverment. I worked for the goverment in 95 and 96 they told us not to come to work for 2 weeks i treated like a vaction cause i still got paid both times for sitting at home. and remember this is how clinton got reelected cause of the newt shutdown so the republicans are falling right into obamas hands what dummies first cut ss and medicaid and now lets shutdown the goverment way to go republicans keep screwing our company oh i mean country up.

    April 7, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sovereignty is a thing of the past

    This country is over guys, no republic has lasted longer than the USA, were due to separate any day now... VIVA LA REVOLUTION!

    April 7, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      I agree. Individual states can choose the leave the Union AND the MASSIVE DEBT it has accrued.

      China can go collect from the other 48 states and leave ours out of it.

      April 7, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • ray

      until china takes over your state and you dont have a military without the feds. so good luck texas thought about it also then they remembered that texas used to be mexico and soon as the leave the united states you better bet that mexico will take there land back.

      April 7, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Bob

    This doesn't sound so bad. National parks closed? Let's permanently do this. Your taxes could be slashed 90%!

    April 7, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Tim

    I wonder if everyone knew here that there are AS MANY law enforcement officials in the US as there are active duty military personel???

    Why such a need for so much law enforcement? It is because there is that much crime OR because government is affraid of the people finding out the truth (that Bankers control the Country) and turning against it????

    April 7, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
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