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?

Post by:
Filed under: Budget
soundoff (2,555 Responses)
  1. Frank

    People of the United States of America and President Obama,
    What would the Deficit of this country be if the Government was Not allowed the dip into the Social Security Trust Fund to pay it's bills.Social Security would probably have plenty of cash to do what it is intended to do.The Government Taxes everything legal you could image and it still does not have enough money.We spend Billions on Wars each week that have gone on for almost 10 years.plus now Libya is fair game.When GE Corporation does not have to pay Taxes on it's 5 Billion plus in Profits.something is really wrong with that since the Democrates would scream During the Bush Era that Big Oil and other Major Corporations were making to much in profits.

    April 8, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Just Tired

      Guess what! The Republicans are against having the rich and big corporations pay any taxes!

      April 8, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  2. Roland

    I think we need to qualify 'small businesses'. Anyone who employs 400 people is not really a small business. There are very few small business employed by the federal government. It takes too much time and money to setup government contracts. I empathize for the employees of the so-called small businesses working for the government, but the owners do not need any additional tax relief or pity from us.

    April 8, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  3. sandra lord

    This is the most absurd thing that politicians have ever done. They get paid so they make decisions that will impact millions without any thought of the consequences.
    Boehner has spent too much time in the tanning bed. His brain is either fried or he is the stupidest man to serve in Congress. This will cost the taxpayers money and impact the economy in ways we cannot even begin to understand.
    Just the thing to do as we are trying to claw our way back from a near Depression.
    Politicians take note, if you start this snowball rolling downhill, you will cause an avalanche...and you will not be excluded from its devastation!

    April 8, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      Check the Congressional Budget Timeline. The budget was due back in October 2010, when Democrats had majority and could have pushed it through. Stop blaming Boehner like the story suggested and do some unbiased research to come to conclusions.
      Then again, coming up with mindless insults to attack a person is much easier.
      Don't hurt yourself.

      April 8, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Susie

      There is NO either/or in that case. The proper word is AND!

      April 8, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Uraluni

    Maybe the mighty Army of Fiji will rise up and take advantage of our moment of weakness and invade our country, forming the United States of Fiji.

    Wouldn't it be nice to live in Fiji?

    April 8, 2011 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  5. Marion

    Someone said:
    Let's make a note of the elected officials who should not get another term!!

    Let's make a note of the citizens in this country who are DEMANDING this or that from these lawmakers.....those are the one's responsible, in addition to the lawmakers. It is mostly the right wing citizens unreasonably and irresponsibly demanding the lawmakers make cuts that are the true culprits here..... just for the sake of making cuts. These citizens are the one's responsible for the lawmakers (who know exactly who votes for them) and are trying to please them. .

    April 8, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  6. Steven

    If the government shuts down I swear I'll never vote republican again. 800k people shouldn't have to be bothered because you idiots cant make your mind up about miniscule things like planned parenthood. Maybe if the salaries of congress were halted instead of the SOLDIERS AT WAR the budget would get passed a little more quickly....

    April 8, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Beebo

      Sadly, many members of Congress (especially the Senate) are already independently wealthy and thus not motivated by their paychecks.

      April 8, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      Again, check the Congressional Budget Timeline. Budget was due before start of fiscal year in October 2010, when the Democrats were in complete control.
      Who is to blame now?

      April 8, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  7. SoS

    Here's a question for all you people angry at the Repubs over this...

    What's a better solution, shutting down the government, or cutting spending and letting the government continue to function?

    I'm guessing only the crazies will think doing away with government is better than cutting spending. So for the sane people out there, let's go to the next question. Who is it that is preventing the necessary spending cuts to allow the government to continue?

    If you answered Democrats, you're right. The simple fact of the matter is Dems don't want to do what is necessary to allow this country to function. Their favorite programs will get hit the hardest and they'd rather punish everyone than do what is needed.

    Now before you rabid liberals start attacking me, let me add this caveat. I am very bothered by some of the proposed spending cuts. I am a strong believer in the right to choose and I think the Planned Parenthood program is very, very important. I am also very against the Republican tendency to try to take away a woman's right to decide whether she wants to have a child or not. Regardless of my stance on this matter, I understand that Congress can't magically produce money.

    We put ourselves in this situation by being complacent and irresponsible in our voting. Now we have to deal with it and try to make the best of it that we can. I highly doubt the shutdown will have any noticeable affect (sp?) on me, but this is still ridiculous situation.

    What we need is someone who is both a fiscal conservatives AND a social liberal. Does this person even exist?

    April 8, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Mikmit

      Caveat or not you can't solely blame the Democrats here. The blame needs to be placed on the two party system itself. The Republicans and Democrats bicker with one-another non-stop and waste our tax dollars trying to pass un-passable bills just to try and prove a point. With party-line voting and filibustering happening non-stop it's making our Government look like a bunch of children who can't agree on anything.

      I won't even start on the lobbyists or corporations hands in the government because that's a book-worth of ranting.

      United we stand, divided we fall; and we're certainly divided these days.

      April 8, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Ron

      A fiscal conservative and a social liberal? that person exists and is called a PARENT

      April 8, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jay

    the government is not going to stop spending and wasting money ever . they will continue until they have sucked everything from everybody and everything, and then they will print more until there isn't anymore trees or ink. the government can finance well into the future because they've been there 200 years and 200 years from now they will still be there but we won't. that's the bottom line

    April 8, 2011 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  9. Reality

    Newsflash to Gov Employees: Your employer is broke and your upper management is more concerned about saving their own paycheck than yours. If you feel your income does not cover your current bills you are free at anytime to join the private sector. Might want to compare benefits before jumping ship.

    April 8, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Gubmuntmployed

      Hi Reality – I am a Federal employee. I have two Masters degrees and a Professional license. Please let me know where you work so I can compete against you for your job. Thanks

      April 8, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  10. nature boy

    "...In addition to trash pickup, the nation's capitol stands to miss out on another cherished tradition: this weekend's Cherry Blossom Festival..."

    haha – is Reid gonna tell the trees not to blossom?!!!

    April 8, 2011 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  11. Jonathan Perez

    I have served 11 years in the Marines and counting. I have a wife and two kids. I am not fortunate enough to have a cushion of money to fall back on due to a failing economy. Less of a paycheck means less bills get paid, less food gets brought home. Not to mention I have two dogs. This is rediculous.

    April 8, 2011 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Ancient Marinator

      Voted for Bush, didn't you? Enjoy it.

      April 8, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Ron

      I am glad for your service Jonathan but 2 kids and 2 dogs sound like life choices. And if I am not mistaken the Marines do not layoff people and you have been getting paid and have regular if not dangerous employment so that sounds like budgeting and financial skills problem rather then a problem of government. Besides you will be back paid all your money. Lastly there are many services supplied to you by the Marines that the average joe does not have you are guaranteed 3 hots and a cot. That is more then alot of American have right now. So I wont shed any tears for you, but I will pray for your safety.

      April 8, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Susie

      Ron, sure the Marines are guaranteed 3 hots and a cot– that doesn't mean his family is guaranteed anything. In case you think I don't know what I'm talking about, I was a military brat before I was born. And as a senior citizen I am volunteering to work where veterans are. So I am still a military brat, tho I am older than the guys I come in contact with.

      April 8, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tracy

    Perfect example why education systems fails, if we can not educate people like Mike they will continue live in narrow minded fear based paradigms.

    April 8, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Nuke Engineer

      ...are you kidding? Every one of those idiots in congress is "educated". I think it is ALL the teachers' fault. Too many liberal arts majors and not enough science majors....

      April 8, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ash

      Nuke- How do you expect students to ultimately become Science Majors? Too bad in your school they didn't teach you to think before you speak. You are a complete idiot for blaming ALL teachers when clearly that is NOT the case

      April 8, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Logical Voter

    Ugh! Irked at the in-fighting... The Gov't. is supposed to be working Of, By and FOR us!
    Since the civilian budget belt doesn't have any more notches to tighten here on the homefront, I have a few suggestions for OUR Gov't. to "get 'er done"

    1. Bring our troops home, secure OUR borders and let the rest eat sand and drink their oil.
    2. END the bogus "War on Drugs", legalize marijuana, and reap the HUGE revenue that we give away to the drug lords and corrupt politicians. If you're worried about drug addiction, save the prison overcrowding (and $$$$$) and build rehabs (hey, that would create JOBS). Why is it oK to be addicted to prescription medication? Oh, because Pharma-Med Industry lobbies for them to be legal and we PAY for it.
    3. END foreign aid! Why are we giving money to support countries that HATE us? Again, drink your oil and eat sand, we'll keep our food right here! We can use the money saved towards REAL Technology to find alternate energy NOW!
    4. NASA, yeah, that's right, cut their budget (and that includes the one we don't know about) .. look, if we can't take care of THIS planet, why seek another one to destroy? That money could be used for technology, education, water purification, etc...

    I could care less which party grows a nut to do the logical approach, but I would stand behind anyone who does what it takes for OUR country, not some lobbyist group, Corporation or Religious Organization.

    If you're against abortion, don't have one. If you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em! I surely don't want to pay for YOUR irresponsibility. Wear a condom, get on birth control or simply control your hormones. If you want another kid that bad, adopt one in America, there's plenty of hungry throw-aways in our system right now!

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


      April 8, 2011 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Ancient Marinator

      "We can use the money saved towards REAL Technology to find alternate energy NOW!" You cannot predict or schedule scientific breakthroughs. The break could come tomorrow or in 3011. And if America completely abandoned its foreign policy and pulled back all troops, China would be happy to take our place. Start learning Mandarin because you will need it. The space program is a mine of scientific breakthroughs, even medical ones; Obama and Bush are both fundamentalists who feel that they are offending God by sending up rockets to His Heaven.

      April 8, 2011 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Tracy

      I agree!

      April 8, 2011 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Logical Voter

      "You cannot predict or schedule scientific breakthroughs. The break could come tomorrow or in 3011."

      Mind Reading costs extra and there is an Aggravation Tax.. Back in the 1970s, when the "Oil Shortage" happened, solar speak and invention once again came into play... guess who purchased and snuffed the solar patents? Oil Corporations, and they SAT ON THEM! But foreign countries, like Germany, kept working on it.. Now we're behind because we were too 'busy" spending money putting people in jail for pot, we were too "distracted" being the world police and going after invisible WMDs to invest in education and technology.

      "And if America completely abandoned its foreign policy and pulled back all troops, China would be happy to take our place. Start learning Mandarin because you will need it. "
      Good, Let China spend some of that WalMart Money to be the world police and let us get on with dealing with OUR restructuring and protecting OUR country. Don't be a fear monger...
      For the record, I'm a Veteran, war is hell.. I've served with Americans from all walks and I make an effort to learn a bit of every culture and their language, that doesn't scare me, I already know quite a bit of Spanish, French, Italian and Tagalog (uh, that's Phillipino, FYI), the folks at the local Chinese Restaurant are good people, they even have Chinese language info on Fortune Cookies. Your point on that is moot and laughable .

      "The space program is a mine of scientific breakthroughs, even medical ones; Obama and Bush are both fundamentalists who feel that they are offending God by sending up rockets to His Heaven."

      I regress to what you stated in your first sentence of the reply "You cannot predict or schedule scientific breakthroughs. The break could come tomorrow or in 3011."
      NASA is a well of misspent funding!
      Congress has again failed to rid a temporary spending bill of language forcing NASA to waste $1.4 million a day on its defunct Constellation moon program.

      This so-called “Shelby provision” — named for U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, who inserted it into the 2010 budget — is expected to cost NASA roughly $29 million during the three-week budget extension through April 8. It has already cost the agency nearly $250 million since Oct. 1.

      Unfortunately, this isn’t Shelby’s only act of defending his home state’s pork. He previously forced NASA to spend $500 million on the Ares 1 shuttle program, which was also canceled by the agency and considered defunct.
      For more on that report, here is just one reference... http://thinkprogress.org/2011/03/24/richard-shelby-nasa-program/

      I read alot, not much into the idiot box and FCC censorship. They are another Federal money sucker that can go!

      April 8, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Justme

    Notice the big boys at the top in Washington can refuse pay with no problems. Remember these fat cats set up on the hill and collect thousands of dollars from all those big business lobbyists. You know, the ones that like to hang out in Washington and throw money to the leaders. Those leaders who are supposed to be doing well for their own people who elected them, but they themselves just don't feel our pain during economic hard times. So it's easy for them to give up pay and try to make themselves look like heros to the voting public.

    April 8, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jessica

    I am in the US Army and just saw that the military has pro-rated my paycheck for April 1-15 and I am only getting paid up until April 8. As of right now any pay earned after the 8th HAS STOPPED!!! My paycheck for April 15 has just been cut in half and after that it will be big gOOse eggs! Thanks congress.

    April 8, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Ron

      Jessica we are grateful for your service but dont forget that Millions of Americans dont have checks coming in at all. You will be guaranteed your 3 hots and a cot which is more then MANY people have now. You have services in the ARMY that are provided to you for free and benefits when you leave. You will be back paid your money if there is any disruption. So instead of hopin on the b%tch bandwagon YES you should thank govt

      April 8, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
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