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. Phil

    Shut it down! Better than only having 33 Billion in cuts..

    Doesn't anyone realize 33 Billion is only about 1% of our current deficit?!?!

    If the US Govt were a person making 55,000 year.. using the same ratio's. It spends 88,900/year. 33 billion in cuts would be equivalent then to $800. 8 Hundred... And oh by the way, this person is $360,000 in credit card debt.

    It's time for the govt to get serious about talking the national debt.. here's the numbers
    National Debt: 14.2 trillion
    Tax Revenue (Income): 2.1 trillion
    US Federal Spending: 3.5 trillion
    Current Deficit: 1.3 trillion
    Biggest budget items are things like social security 800billion,defense/wars 600 billion, just the net interest on our debt is 200 billion. First step of getting out of debt is to stop spending more than you make, but we couldn't come close to cutting 1.3 trillion out of the budget... 33 billion is a joke

    33,000,000,000 / 1,300,000,000,000

    April 8, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  2. Marie Anita

    now it makes sense why Suze says to have 8 months of emergency savings; why it makes sense to have a good relationship with your landlord/mortgage lender and creditors. I think most people even some federal workers and Soldiers do not really understand the conditions of a shutdown and what really happens. There is information available to explain it and help everybody understand it so that they are more at ease with the process. It affects me in several ways but I have informed myself and those close to me so that we are not in a panic but being proactive and ready to deal with what happens. I went through a shutdown before in the 90's and it all turned out okay in a few days. Let us just pray that this one is okay too and nobody winds up suffering any real loss. In the meantime, goto google and research information on government shutdowns or goto fedweek.com and read all the info you need to know. Most government workers should have received some information from their organizations already. Those who don't work for the government and not in the military, just wish well to the troops and their families and try not to be negative about anything federal because the impact affects more than some federal workers, it affects the mom and pop businesses who depend on those feds to buy from them and keep income flowing to their livelihood too. The best way to deal with this is at the polls, vote them out if you don't like how the congress is handling your business. They work for you and if they are not doing the job vote them out. Would your job keep you on if you are not working up to standard. NO

    April 8, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  3. sunbash78


    April 8, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  4. RichP, easton, pa

    Wonder what the savings on the electric bills will be ..

    April 8, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  5. Sandra

    Ridiculous! Congress members are the ones who should not get paid if they are unable to perform the job they were elected to do. Republicans are already responsible for creating an economy that favors corporations and the wealthy. Now they want to take away funding for things that help the average person get ahead- Pell grants, housing assistance, health care, and on and on.

    April 8, 2011 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  6. Navy Wife

    I am a navy wife and we have a 3 yr old daughter how in the world am I suppose to feed my daughter if my husband doesn't get paid how are we suppose to keep our place of residence so she has a nice safe bed to sleep in at night and a bath to keep her clean so she stays healthy but congress and their family will be safe and healthy no problem my husband risks his life on a regulaur basis but now the government wants him to do it free if I was still navy too id probably go ua because if I'm not gonna get paid basicly its like I got fired

    April 8, 2011 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  7. jfc1

    "A poster named Laura hit the nail right on the head. Stat at the TOP and let those holding the cards take the first hit for the team!!! Mr Speaker? YOU will not get a check while this issue is in limbo!"

    ...look, the one thing that Bonehead and Reid and Pelosi know is that this is not up to them. There are 435 votes in play here in the House and 100 in the Senate. The Tea Party is a legitimate 3rd party masquerading as a Republican offshoot. What you are seeing is classic fragmentation that was actually the *goal* of the founding Fathers.
    Who wanted the government to do nothing when there was no overriding reason for it to do anything.

    No unity, no government. That's how it is.

    April 8, 2011 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  8. ImminentRevolt

    We're headed toward a cataclysmic breakdown of our government that has been in the works for decades. The great economic crash of our time has given way to impending outrageous inflation and a shift of power away from our, the American people's, eyes. It happened with Rome and it will surely happen with the U.S. Change all your currency to gold as oil prices skyrocket and wait for the militias to start forming once We the People and our children start starving.

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

      I saw Satan laughing with delight the day the music died – Don McLean

      April 8, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • concerned citizen

      I agree ever great civilization has fallen guess its our turn

      April 8, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  9. jj

    The headline is too flippant. A shut down will do more than "ruin my day," it will ruin people's lives in many ways.

    April 8, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  10. cdh13

    What really needs to happen is hold a special election this year for all seats in both houses of Congress in order to clear the out the dead weight. Those elections should incorperate a cap on the amount of money that can be spent in the campaign and then pass a campaign finance law that limits all spending on campaigns in the future. There are estimate that President Obama will have to raise a 1 billion dollars to win election in 2012. That is nonsense. The second part is pass a term limit bill that prevents members of the Congress serving more than two terms.

    April 8, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • David

      I think if the government shuts down, non of them will be reelected ant any price

      April 8, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Miranda R.

    My husband is in the Air Force. I am a full time nursing student. If we were to not get paid, we would not have the money to pay bills, buy food, purchase gas to drive to work and school, etc. Luckily we have a LITTLE bit of savings that might hold us over for a week, but MANY young airmen do not have that luxury. They will have no pay, no backup plan, and will still be required to report to duty. If this country's MILITARY is not essential, then I don't know WHAT is! They put their lives on the line every day for this country, yet they might not get paid?! Yes they will get backpay, but what are they to do in the mean time? FRUSTRATED

    April 8, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  12. sunbash78

    THANKS REpublidots, for securing another term for Obama.

    April 8, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  13. dont believe the hype

    DOnt believe this article. There are too many complete inaccuracies. Anyone with government contracts still continue to work as normal, the contracts are guaranteed. If 1995 is an example, no employee will lose a dime, and in fact they get paid for the time they dont have to work. Yes, many checks will be delayed, bu they will still get paid. Furthermore, military paychecks are guaranteed for 3 months. They only would feel the pinch if this mess lasts longer than that. Many more just plain stupid statements are in this article. I guess thats what happens when you let the huffington post run your media.

    April 8, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • NotfromtheMillionairesClass

      Actually this is not true. Each government contractor is different. I work for a government contractor and we've been told we will continue to work for about two weeks (our contract has allocations for that). After that, they are not sure. So I think each contractor will have a different shut down date, depending on their existing funds.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. chris

    How come when the banks needed money, it was handed out like candy, " so our country wouldn't crash" but now, it doesn't matter if so many lose their income? This will be the last straw for so many of us that are barely making it now.

    April 8, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  15. Civil2

    Wow. There are a lot of angry people out there. Combine that with an average room temperature intelligence and responses like those seen here are no surprise.

    April 8, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
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