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. Allen

    So what is the total cost to run these things listed vs the total budget that is spent now, I bet the difference is huge. Lets set up paypal accounts for military workers, department for roads, national parks, eduction, and social services for the handicapped. Then let us keep our tax money and donate the money to the things we want to pay for. I really don't feel like paying wages to a bunch of overpaid tool bags in washington anyway.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tracy


    April 8, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Josh

    Don't get me wrong I support our troops and all that but everyone forgets its a volunteer military!

    April 8, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ken

    The repugs have wanted to kill the federal government for years. Now they get a chance to see what America would be like with one.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jerry

    I say Congress should forego their pay should the government shut down, since they are the ones causing this mess.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. KTnNTX

    What ever happened to "too big to fail"?

    April 8, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Steve29376

    This is the democrats budget they should have passed when they controlled all branches of government. It should have been passed LAST YEAR. Idiots. Shut it down. All non-essentials go home. Hmmmm wht do we even have any non-essentials in government jobs to begin with? Obama is a wimpy, candy ass of a President who cannot LEAD.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Andrew

    How come people in other countries and past Americans stand/stood up for what they believed in and did something about it. All us Americans are doing is going onto websites and writing out complaints. No one is really doing anything about this. Our forefathers would be disappointed.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Maybe beacuse we all have to work our A$$e$ off 5 days a week to live a paycheck to paycheck life......THE GODD OLE AMERICAN DREAM! IT IS A SHAME!!!

      April 8, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Randy

    Bad timing on our part...we've been planning a trip to DC starting 4/22 for a week to see the capitol for the first time.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Harry Norman, Realtors RESource

    Will a government shutdown will impact your buisness? We want to hear from you: http://on.fb.me/hygLYP

    April 8, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. John

    "We the people" should do something about our own country. Away with congress!

    April 8, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jb

    So let's keep spending like we are rocks stars. That's the solution. Oh wait we have already tried that and were are more in debt than ever in the history of The world and the world is laughing at America.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jonboy

    commenter "caesar" is right. Remember, these guys don't live paycheck to paycheck like we do. Most politicians are millionaires going into it and they wouldn't even feel not getting paid. If you cut Senator McCain's paycheck, he'd have to go cry himself to sleep in one of his 9 homes, if he can remember where he left them. I love how these guys show up to work in 10,000 dollar suits and 180,000 dollar Limos, then tell the rest of us that we need to be cautious about spending.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Eddie Quinn

    If the paycheck and healthcare of all Congressional delegates were held hostage to the budget, a budget would already have been passed and health care would already have improved. While Bush, no doubt increased the National Debt, he has long been out of the drivers seat and the current occupant is to blame for any increases since Bush. I have lived within a budget for the last two decades. Budgeting is not all that difficult. If I don't have the money and/or cannot make the payment, I don't buy it! It is as simple as that. The Federal Deficit problem is a direct result of the collective Members of Congress wanting to be re-elected. To get re-elected, the have to keep shelling out "free-bee's" to all the special interest groups. Most people want a realistic Federal budget, but no one wants to cutback on the "free-bee's". To clarify, "free-bee's" are NOT something that you have already earned. A "free-bee's" is someone, some group or some company getting something they have NOT earned. They are getting the "free-bee" totally free because the fall into a particular special interest group. To get out of this financial nightmare, there will have to be a drastic cut in "free-bee's"! NO CUT – inevitable financial ruin on a national scale, with global consequences!

    April 8, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mick Goodfriend

      And someone please tell Boehner enough with the tears. The American people are the ones who should be crying at the incompetence and hypocrisy of this government.

      April 8, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jsweet404

      Ahhhh..soooo the defense budget is a freebie?

      April 8, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bobby

      I'm so sick and tired of both parties blaming each other for this potential shutdown. As far as I'm concerend, both parties are to blame. Do me a favor sit down and get it fixed. Time and time again, all I hear is how they are there representing us and taking care of us. All they are doing is beefing up their resumes and lining their pockets with benefits. Here is an idea!! Why not contact all these agencies we bailed out; and tell them it's time to return the favor.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • scmom61

      Two thumbs up to Eddie's comment!

      April 8, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer


      April 8, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • serenity0202

      A simple solution..."If I don't have the money and/or cannot make the payment, I don't buy it! It is as simple as that."

      Another simple solution..."If the paycheck and healthcare of all Congressional delegates were held hostage..."

      The USA once the most powerful in the world has fallen into corrupt, greedy, and self-serving political leadership!

      May God have mercy on all of us working people.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • emily

      well said!!

      April 8, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alert Citizen

      My ten friends are going to register to vote soon and we all are going to vote for Obama....now Suck it up!

      April 8, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • LDG


      April 8, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gennine

      That's my opinion almost verbatim.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Donna

      We can manage to find billions of bucks to spend fighting for the freedoms of other countries. Never hear, "nah, we can't do Libya because we don't have the money". We tend to forget our quality of life is going to hell.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • GS12 in VA

      If congressmen, senators, and all other federal employees "on the hill" are indeed employed by the federal government, then why aren't they subjected to the potential shutdown? Just like Eddie said, if their jobs and income was affected by the shutdown, a budget would have been reached months ago!

      April 8, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • edinatlanta

      They don't need their paychecks. Most of them are millionaires to start with - only millionaires can afford to get elected to Congress. And then when we elect them, we pay them $174000 per year + benefits. And when they leave Congress they get pensions averaging $45000 - for life! So missing a couple of paychecks during a shutdown means diddly squat to them.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      If the government shuts down, why will we still be paying Federal Income Tax. Where else in the service industry would you continue paying for services when none are received in return...I'm going to continue paying for my refuse removal service even though they've stopped picking up my trash.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • thedudeaffiliate

      Free-bee's are rampant, it does not make any sense whatsoever to borrow money from China only to give it away. To give it through free-bee's to US citizens, or illegals, or to give money to so called under privileged countries. One more thing, why do we call Democrats or Republicans PARTIES, there's no party in either one of them!

      April 8, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • hash

      If we cut all their salaries by $100k we could re-allocate about $55million to keep thing open and pay people who actually DO THEIR jobs.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rally2xs

      Things we can't afford:

      The EPA (Fold into Interior Dept)
      The TSA
      The NSA (fold it and TSA into FBI)
      Federal Highway Funds
      Unemployment Insurance ($100B...)
      Food Stamps ($70B)
      Foreign Aid
      Hi Speed Trains
      Illegal Aliens
      Student Loans
      Research Grants For Anything
      Bridges to Nowhere

      April 8, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eddie is a moron

      Hey Eddie- Where did you study economics? Greece? The current president is responsible? how do you figure? It takes several years sometimes for shifts to start and stop. Here's an analogy that's hopefully not too difficult even for you. You take 8 years pushing a boulder to the edge of a very steep hill. You finally get it rolling and then you expect the person in its path to stop it and then bring it back to the edge with less work and time allotted... If you can figure that one out then you sir are a gentleman and a scholar. Until then, don't even for a moment assume that you know what you are talking about.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sublime


      Because you don't understand it I'll give you a freebie. You take down the NSA, you bring the U.S. (from a security standpoint) to its knees. The reason I say you don't understand it is because NSA and FBI are so completely different that it's almost laughable. Plus it discredits (in my eyes) all your other proposals due to the lack of understanding for this one.

      April 8, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. grunt

    If the government shuts down it will be the perfect time to do a god thing for the economy. Disband the marine corps. We barely have money and supplies to do a 2 week training op. We get broken gear and if we just get disbanded we could go our separate ways and save the usa billions.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • gatorfanatic

      Did your Gunny chew you out this morning and now you're pouting??

      April 8, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • JO

      It has always been that way, they give us orders and nothing to execute them with, whats new? We still get our job done! Military personnel will continue to get paid. Your direct deposit will continue and will not be delayed as the media wants you to believe. When we had shut down in 95-96 military pay was NOT AFFECTED. Defence Finance and Accounting will give you the information 1-888-332-7411 also you can check with your command disbursement unit if you are concerned. This is political rubbish.

      April 8, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • X

      The lack of intellect of your post proves why you are a grunt. You're probably Army, or some PoS shower shoe who just hit the fleet, and still have the aroma of cash sales that can't handle the Marines. Good day, sir.

      April 8, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sublime


      Even the marines I know say they are not the most intelligent lot, just courageous. So by accusing him of being army, you come off as if you are unintelligent. Or an ex-marine.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • seriously worried

      Lost gift shop sales is what will bring us to our knees.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • gosniper

      Hey grunt. Dispand my marine corps. Huh? We don't even GET billions of dollars. The navy does. You must be some pfc. Or junior marine of some kind to utter that blasphemy. The marine corps has ALWAYS

      April 8, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rally2xs

      Of course your military pay will be delayed. That is up to the President, and there has never been a president who hates the military like this one.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
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