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. glen

    I am so very happy i live in Canada. we have healthcare, we don't spend a third of our budget on military... and we don't have pre-teen whiney politicians running and ruining the country.

    April 8, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      Glen . . . Congratulations on Canada not needing to spend 1/3 of their budget on national defense. Guess what . . . that's because you know the USA has your back. You are welcome. Maybe we should send a bill up to Ottawa.

      April 8, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  2. Interesting

    Funny how most on this board will take the time to whine about how are Government runs but don't even take time to VOTE. Others know more about whats going on with American Idol and have chosen to turn off/ignore what has been going on in the Government over the last YEARS... Only reason people are complaining is because after all these YEARS of complacency and doing nothing it is now affecting them personally. 800,000 not going to get paid..and Congress is?? . Rightfully we should be upset...What are we doing NOW? Are you picketing, are you writing letters to your representatives, are you organizating demonstrations? No you are putting posts out here. Angry? Good. Stop whining. Do something. Take Action. Recently we have witnessed other countries not happy with thier Goverment take a stand. These people took huge risks for standing up for what they believe in. At what point will the US stop being complacent and do something.

    April 8, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Saylorjerri08

      Most of us on here are probably prohibited from pickiting and demonstrations. So instead of tell us to do all that tell us what you are doing? Hmmmm I have written to my congressman and I get emails weekly and I did vote and I didnt vote for Obama to be my Commander in Chief thats for damn sure. But I bet you did.

      April 8, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  3. A Concerned American Citizen

    It seems that the only people who are really able to afford to make a living in the U.S.A. today, are Bankruptcy Attorneys. :>(

    April 8, 2011 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  4. Logikflux

    Most people in the military live paycheck to paycheck. Even a delay in being paid is going to hurt them financially. Not only are they going to need to decide between food and rent, but the government is not going to pay them for all the late charges, they accrue on their bills. For those that say they have no sympathy and they signed a contract. You have to be an idiot to not see that an unpaid military with all the weapons and training poses a risk to national security. What's going to happen when the local special tactics team decides to knock off a bank to pay their bills?

    April 8, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Ron

      What will happen is the police department will arrest them like common criminals and if they put up a fight the SWAT team will shoot them in the gutter like dogs. They have dishonored themselves and the uniform. There are plenty of Ameicans out there that have it WORSE then military people and will not resort to robbing others. They will not have back pay sent to them. They are not guaranteed 3 hots and a cot. There is no GI bill or healthcare. I am grateful to the Military people who serve. but realize that for all of you you are getting REGULAR paychecks even if its small. I read these posts and you have children and pets. Those are life choices and bugeting habits. You can always quit the military and see how hard many Americans have right now. Military people you protect us..but dont forget we support you. With our prayers our support of you at the home front, sending packages, and paying when you lose your lives. How many workers in Michigan have sons or daugters in the military and now their collective bargining has been stripped way. How may of those service workers affected by the shutdown have relatives in the military.

      Military people..thank you and I will pray for you, but please dont complain to people who have less then you. We lose services everyday that you take for granted.

      April 8, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Saylorjerri08

    I am in the navy and I have a family. I am the sole provider for my home. I have a husband and a son and I am expecting and not knowing if my bills will be paid scares me. I dont want to have to choose between diapers and milk for my son or food for my husband and I. They say all sailors should have a 3 month savings plans but who can survive on E-3 pay every two weeks when you have bills to pay. And I think that those dumb politicians in washington need to stop fighting over the amount of money they want to give to the abortion clinic and give the military that money. Stop bullsh!**** and get the budget together and stop complaining about how YOU live paycheck to paycheck. I wanna see your car and your house and your lifestyle and compare it to mine and you will not be saying anything.
    SoS- um did you know that the federal government is not funded to pay for abortions any money they recieve has to go to the other programs Planned Parenthood has. And for you who say the men and women in the military choose to work without pay "since we signed up for it" no the hell we didnt. We signed up to serve our country.

    April 8, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  6. Dave Smith

    Maybe the Dem should have thought of this last year when they held control of both houses. Because they want to spend they decided the would not set a budget so they could spend more this year. Not going to happen! 800,000 people on the payrolls not important enough to keep. You think we have over employment in the Gov.. You can not run an effective business with that much labor cost. Oh, yea we are talking about the Gov., then it must be ok. Get smart people, we do not have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. There is only one way to solve it and that is reduce spending.

    April 8, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  7. WOT

    What can you do with 7 dollars a month in food stamps...give it to Congress! SAD. "Love begins at home, not overseas".

    April 8, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  8. Greg

    This is exactly what teh Dems wanted. Chuck Schumer was overheard on a phone conference saying they can successfully mark the GOP as extreme. They love to play politics at any expense. Does anyone besides me think it's rediculous that the Dems can come up with 2% of potential cuts yet our coporations are capabale of cuttin 10 even 20% of their budgets and still survive? And what is more extreme, shutting the government down or forcing the american people is an abyss of debt becuase everyone wants a free piece of the pie. YOU are forced to lie within your means but you don't demand the same of your government. SHAM on all of you who don't support fiscal responsibility. You deserve what you get.

    April 8, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • *

      What is extreme is the Republicans holding this country hostage by attaching "riders" to defund planned parenthood, NPR, gutting the EPA, to the budget bill. It is not about the debt. What is extreme is handing the richest citizens in this country a huge tax break while cutting services to everyone else. What is extreme is the bait and switch that the Republicans have pulled on this country...remember "it's all about jobs, jobs, jobs?" It is obvious that jobs come after their pet social issues, gutting regulations and setting the stage for the next election. Chuck Schumer is stating the obvious.

      April 8, 2011 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  9. David Worst II

    I am currently serving in the United States Air Force, but these r just my opinions about it. We, military, will be paid next friday april 15 reguardless of what happens today. The pay is already processed, and seeing that may is still relitavely far away, the shutdown will more than likely be over by the first of may when we wouod get paid. Most military members shouldnt worry about the shut down, just wait till it actually happens.

    April 8, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  10. Daniel

    I'm a military service member and regardless of whether or not we get paid we will still come to work. You don't have to pay soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen to do their jobs, we do it for the love of our country. Yes, it will put us in a financial pinch, but the military is about adapting and overcoming, not about giving up and complaining. There will be several thousand government employees losing their jobs, imagine what kind of livelihoods are being wrecked. There will be several thousand veterans who have given limb or eyesight who will lose benefits. But we should learn from this; take care when voting, and if you don't vote, get off your ass and get to the polls. Don't be suckers to pop culture fads like you were with this last election. People want to blame Congress and the President but don't forget who put them there. The amount of money spent "campaigning" for political parties could be well spent elsewhere, like revamping education, or helping out small businesses.

    April 8, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  11. crippler

    FOR SALE- UNITED STATES of AMERICA- see congress for details.
    Buyer must be willing to leave incompetence in place during transition.
    To qualify dial 1-800 letsscrutheamericanpeople.

    April 8, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jackie N

    Will retirees new effected?

    April 8, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |

    I've read through most of these 100's of replies to this article. The one thing that strikes me as truly "American" is that all these people are complaining about their livelihood, their businesses, how they won't get paid, how everything affects them and they won't know where their next meal is coming from.

    LISTEN UP, Americans...STOP being stupid, arrogant, reckless...we're one of the only countries in the world where we live WAY above our means – consistently! We sign mortgage loans for houses that are TOO BIG, that we know we can't afford on our meager salaries. We buy trucks that are TOO BIG and eat up way too much gas, transporting one idiot redneck to and from work every day. We eat out all the time, eating portions that are way TOO BIG for our fat stomachs, portions that would be enough to feed a family in another part of the world. We smoke and drink TOO MUCH, become fat, drunk, and diseased, then (is this a surprise) can't work and are on medicine or doctor visits for the rest of our lives...

    What does this have to do with the article? It means that we're arrogant and take whatever we want all the time, we take too much, we don't worry about tomorrow, we don't save and plan intelligently. We don't get a college degree and get a great job, one that will provide a decent salary for decades, then we end up HAVING to sign up for the military, or take a seasonal job that we know won't pay us the other 9 months out of the year.

    WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!! No one is taking care of us but us. SAVE your money, GET a better education, STOP using up all of your/our resources, LIVE frugally and healthily. If you do, you will stop whining about what the government, or someone else, will or will not be able to give you. Depending on other people to make choices for you (i.e., the government which is made up of a bunch of rich but stupid people) is a quick way to find yourself on this page complaining that you won't get paid and your life will fall apart.

    April 8, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  14. Johnny

    Let's get one thing clear. The reason the government is shutting down is because the Democrats did not pass a budget for 2011 at the end of last year when they had the chance. At that time, they had control of the House, the Senate, and the White House. The reason they did not act to pass a budget? They were afraid that all the spending they had planned would be used against them in the November elections, so they passed the first of several continuing resolutions to push the decision back until after the elections. As it turns out, the Republicans kicked the Dems out of the House because the people were already fed up with all the deficit spending by the Democrats. Now you have Democrats in the Senate and a President in the White House who have decided not to listen to the will of the people as clearly expressed in the November elections. In reality, they have no one to blame but themselves. They should have passed the stupid budget for this year when they had the chance in 2010.

    So all the "non-essential" government employees are going to be furloughed because the Dems wanted to hold onto power in the mid-term elections. Come on people. Let's put the blame squarely where it belongs.

    April 8, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Reality

      Rated #1 Post by me.

      April 8, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Ron

      They could not pass because of a Republican filibuster...record filibusters I might add..you forgot that whole party of no thing right? This is not fiscal policy the agreement breakdown is becasue of the riders the Republicans are attaching to the budget. The Dems have already agreed to cuts. Taking on the Health Care and Planned parenthood is not fiscal policy its social and needs to be handled in another bill at another time. This IS the Republicans and the Tea party bootlickers fault. Doing their classic over reach like they did in Michigan. And just like there its the service workers and average people who are suffereing. Where people give an inch and they take a mile for their own misplaced ideology

      And while Dems have had 2 years Reps had 8 and things were not all that great either. Personally I think Dems and Reps are 2 different frat houses and it dosent matter since the policies need to change not the parties. So I dont care for either one of them, but I make sure to watch them and call out BS like yours Johnny

      April 8, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Havicnkaos

    If I was in Afghanistan, I would ask when my plane back home is leaving. If the service men and women aren't getting paid they should be able to come back home. If Congress was really interested in saving money they would stop the multiple military campaigns they have going on and attempt to address social security in a way that works and is cost effective.

    April 8, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
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