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. Thor

    Too many fingers on the hammer....

    April 8, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • No pain NO GAIN

      We need to shut it down.
      Only way we'll ever DO anything about the mess we're in.

      So it'll hurt. Welcome to a real world economy, where things have to be paid for.
      Bring an end to fiat money. We need the pain and the lesson

      I'm hoping for a shutdown of BigGovt. despite the pain involved.
      99% of us WILL SURVIVVE this, but it will alter our consciousness
      – and THAT's what we need. a change of heart about fiscal discipline.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Conqui

      What's holding things up is the Tea Baggers not understanding the words "compromise" and "mean-spirited". Quite willing to reduce revenue by reducing taxes to the wealthiest folks (I have read NO economist who says this will produce even 1 job, and many who it doesn't) and making up for it by reducing unbiased news (NPR) and health services for women (Pl. Parenthood). Abortions with Fed money are already prohibited by law, so no reason to reduce Pl Parenthd except to be mean-spirited. How about taxing oil companies, who continue to show record profits? Etc etc etc etc etc.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ash

    To the people who complain they can't/won't be able to afford heat & gas....did you post this on your laptop at home or your blackberry? There is almost $100/month right there. There is at least some of your heat & gas.

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

      They may have been at the library...or does anybody remember that those exist?

      April 8, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Deployed Marine

      No I'm in Afghanistan putting my life on the line for this country.

      April 8, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • odubhain

      Maybe they used one of the computers that are available at most public libraries?

      April 8, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chatmonger

      Even if they are at the library, they should be focused on the employment ads and selfhelp sections, not politics.

      April 8, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lazy Student

      Ash got burrrrrnnnnneeeeeddddd.

      April 8, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Ash – didn't you hear? The poor get free cell phones now. Blackberrys for all!

      April 8, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • nortel1

      though its possible they are at a public library: San Francisco has a fantastic, amazing library system but still has at most 250 computers for 1 million residents. Hear hooves? think horses, not zebras.

      April 8, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leave Ash alone

      Ash is right, people with low incomes don't belong on the internet.

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

      Many people can afford that $100/month when they are being paid. Imagine if you lost your paycheck indefinitely and how you would pay for everything. I'm sure many of these people would suspend those services while their paycheck is cut...unfortunately most of those services are contracts and cannot be suspended or cancelled (w/o large fees). I have numerous friends that work in government sectors (for not very much money) and are living well within their means...they should not have to dip into their savings or be penalized because the morons in DC cannot get it together.

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

      So wait ash, are you suggestion people actually take personal responsibility in their own lives and actually have to do some prioritizing, like do I feed my kids this week, or continue playing on my iphone?? How dare you think that Americans would give up their "must have now" electronics, smartphones, luxury items of life! (for those of you that didnt get the sarcasm, insert it now)
      How can a country of people who demand everything now now now, must have the best, newest most expensive, worry about the real bills later, expect anything more out of their elected officials. If you want your politicians to start doing things smart, one, stop elected people who are tied to special interest groups, two, start acting the way you want our country run, and use that to influence your friends, neighbors, co-worker ect, and it will spread.
      But sitting hear crying that they cant balance a budget, when neither can most Americans, does no good.
      Oh, and yes, I served in our military for 10 years, and continue to work for the DoD and DHS, so yes this entire shutdown directly effects my life! However, sorry, I saved enough to make sure that if a day like this comes, Im not stressed over it!

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

      Ash......what about the students that are trying to get an education to get better paying jobs? We should go without our internet service too?.....are you serious.....college level work requires internet service as much of the work is research and paper writing. How about thinking outside the box? Poor people do need the internet, or they will always be poor.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Where's the Love?

      Hey, I have an idea: why don't we just round up all those poor people, who are clearly lazy, unemployable morons that free-loading on us upstanding, tax-paying citizens, and have a contest, with an entry fee, because we must make some money off of this, to see who can shoot and kill the most with a single 6-shooter!! You tea-partiers are the best!!! I love how your compassionate souls love America but clearly can't stand Americans....you guys ROCK!!! I'm positive none of you will ever get laid off because your plant was shipped over seas or your wages cut because your self-serving governor decides to slash your collective bargaining rights because teachers make way too much money! Let's hang all those lazy teachers, too. After all, they only got into teaching to get 3 months off, anyway. Those free-loaders!! You people are beyond stupid with your myopic views of the countries...oh is that word too hard...guess what... a teacher taught me that.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • proper

      oh i see to pay for gas/heat in the moronic mind of liberal/progressives and the moron odumba. instead of cutting govt spending, the citizens should cut their spending or give up our phones and tv's maybe a meal or two so we can heat our homes??? wow! Incredible the stupidity of demorats! CUT SS CUT MEDICARE, CUT MILITARY CUT EPA, CUT NEA, CUT CUT CUT CUT CUT CUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CUT TAXES AND SHRINK THIS OUT OF CONTROL GOVT!!!!!!!!

      April 8, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • MostlyAmused

      Really, Ash? Internet costs a lot less than either of those services. Besides, nowadays just about every employer out there (including mine) requires one to apply ONLINE and have an email address. So, whether at home or at the library, people are going to log in. Are you saying they are not allowed to view the web if they are poor? It's that Republican mentality that poor people are inherently not deserving of anything that screwed up the country.

      Those who do not have access to the 21st century tools are doomed to stay poor and, somehow, I think that is what the wingnuts and tea-baggers want. However, they fail to understand that an increase in the "poor and uneducated" portion of our population is a bad thing for everyone.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • wendy

      I think you just tripped the ignorance meter. LOL

      April 8, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • SNarf


      How many of your borthers over there knocked up a girl and have uncle sam paying for your child support? have you all already talked about post war syndrome and getting that free car payment each month. Remember all you have to do is say you have trouble sleeping when you hand off your child support check to the random one night stand one of you all had. How many free kids you all get now? also don't you get a bitter sweet interest rates and health care? I bet they tricked you and said you wouldn't be in war when you were trained to be a killer. How does it feel having obama keeping troops around, when he promised to pull out. Is that the change you can count on?

      P.S. our freedom isn't in afghan, but thanks anyways.

      April 8, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • SNarf

      correction... "trouble sleeping and you get your check, which is your free car payment" ... Now "how many of you knocked up random girls and get those free child support checks"

      Sounds like tough times for troops.

      April 8, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jon

    The Republicans trashed the private sector in 2008. Left powerful American banks on their knees and millions of families were left without jobs. So what do they do? They regroup and work real hard to trash the public sector in 2010. If this government is shutdown more American families will be out of work. Whatever your politics is American going in the right direction here.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • BillyBob117

      You must work for the dems or Big Union.

      April 8, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really?

      Hey Jon, just so you know the Dems. had control of both houses from 2006-2010, so anything that came out of congress can be blamed on them. And since Obama took over he has added nearly three trillion to the debt in 2 years. Makes 4 trillion in 8 not seem as high.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • MostlyAmused

      The banking failures were pending BEFORE the Dems took "control" and the bailouts you two want to blame on Obama were instigated by BUSH and pushed through in order to get some other needed programs passed.

      This budget is being held up by arguments over Planned Parenthood (and the lies being told about the services they provide) and the Republican fight to abolish the EPA, along with Medicare. Those things are necessary. Bombing another country farther back into the early Stone Age and then paying to rebuild in our image is NOT.

      April 8, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. John doe

    It is totally ridiculous that the troops dont get paid because of the congress. Boehner doesnt care about anyone in the armed forces, he just care about himself, his party and to make obamas life miserable. He boehner should resign and leave some in there that really cares about the american people regardles of political view, race, etc.

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

      Boehner and House Republicans passed a bill to keep pay going to the military. But if you want to let your political biases affect your version of the facts, thats cool too.

      April 8, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Completly outraged

      Hey David...read your facts...its half pay...do you know what the half pay is for an E3 w a fam?? Probably not...

      April 8, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • BillyBob117

      Nice try but "We the People" know that you are lying.

      April 8, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • tyler durden

      Well lets see now. When was this budget supposed to be passed? Oh last year when the other political party was in charge of the house. In fact they had control of both houses. Facts are facts

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

      As a military wife, I am tired of military families complaining that they will not be able to support their families. There is a regulation in the UCMJ that states that military members will have 3 months worth of pay in savings. If they were to follow the rules that are set to protect them, people would not be complaining about not being able to purchase diapers and groceries.

      Also, republicans did propose an extension that included a provision to fund the military for the rest of the year and the democrats labeled it as a non-starter and Obama threatened to veto it so get your facts straight. While a shut down is not ideal, don't blame the republicans for not supporting the military because they tried and democrats denied it!

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

      @military wife.... okay u must be married to some higher up right.... u must not know what its like to get 900 a paycheck to provie for 2 kids and my spouse....have car payments rent and food in california right....u might make enough money for 3 months worth of savings but realise we dont make that much money so screw u and screw the ucmj

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

      The democrats rejected it because the issue isn't military pay, its the country's budget. If we start making exceptions for who doesn't get paid, there isn't pressure to get the government on track.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angela

      @ Military Wife- Thank you for acting like a responsible person! For some reason I always found a way to maintain at least 3 months worth of bills in savings when I was active duty, even as an E-2! So @marine, as much as it sucks trying to make ends meet, even the little enlisted guys can do, as an E-6 I spent so much time counseling new members of the service on financial planning, all of them in trouble because they lived beyond their means, that includes having kids you cant afford!! Not to be cold, but its the reality of life!

      April 8, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leti

      Although the Republicans did make a bill that allowed the military to get paid it also had a rider attached. They made that bill knowing that it would not pass, just so you losers could say that you tried. IF the Republicans truly cared why did they not propose a straight bill with NO riders.. Don't be left in the dark...the Republicans are trying to use the military to get what they want... they are holding us as a bargaining chip and it's disgusting.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • SNarf


      How many kids by rank can you have.. Like randomly knocking up girls you get a check for child support for each child. Sounds like a Catholic plan almost, spread your seeds! I think the whole system is a joke when it comes to paying service peeps. You get great interests rates, college paid for, if you claim u cant sleep at night. Even if u were at a desk in combat zone you get, what, $300 or so a month for the rest of your life. Sounds like hard times for troops, let me tell ya!

      April 8, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Supermanisdead

    The revolution will be televised...

    April 8, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      It's "The revolution will not be televised" but interesting use of poetry

      April 8, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • veteransq

      Actually "the revolution will be televised" was stated by the rapper Common on the album Like Water for Chocolate

      April 8, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Trying to make sense of it all...

    There is no difference in the parties. I've worked for both. My husband's just lost his job last night...due to outsourcing. And I must say...I'm not too keen on our President flying around giving little speeches here and there. In regular times, this is what they do. But this is not the time to be doing that. Hook up via a webcam and do it from either The White House or Camp David. The President works very hard and between the WH and CD, there's two different work environments for him. I am not trying to cut him down. But it does cost alot of money to take his entourage and cars with him, and the gas, etc...budget cutters at OMB could start there. I don't know about all of the other things...this is just one little simple thing that I'm thinking of. I thank God at least we're not underwater on our mortgage but last night was not the first time we were laid off. Happened to us in 2008, too.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      His opponents will be traveling around the country to give speeches. You can't blame the man for doing what gets him elected.

      April 8, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Are you serious? Blaming Obama becasue he has to do his job unlike our House that cant get anything done but whine and bicker is all you can come up with, Cmon read between the lines you fool!!!

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

      @Chris... Obama doing his job. That is a good one. You must be on the golf course with him or maybe on vacation. Like he was doing his job as a senator. Oh wait, he always voted present instead of yea or nay.

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

      You don't pay attention the president does make broadcasts over the internet all the time. Go you Youtube and you will see daily broadcast and his speeches, press briefings, ect. Oh and those little trips he takes also include trips and meetings with those people called American Citizens. This is his job!! He is supposed to go around and be seen and hear the will of the people from schools, factories to burger joints and he really needs to do it when things are bad. Well why dont we put him in a VW BUG oh and by the way lets only give him a rent-a-cop for protection we will save lots of money then. You complain about the cost for the president to do his job but nowhere do you talk about the tax breaks for the wealthy. How much do you think that cost? A tax break for Bill Gates and Buffet? Or how about the trillions that businesses have overseas in tax havens. No its easier to make the president look poor then get the money from the rich

      April 8, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trying to make sense of it all...

      I'm not a fool, nor am I rich. Read my comment again and don't be so damn nasty. You may also want to learn to check your comments for spelling and grammatical errors. You flew off the handle at me. That's your right. But don't be so quick to judge. Think before you speak.

      April 8, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. dave

    This article is biased, CNN should be ashamed of themselves. I don't know about the rest of Americans, but I'm sick and tired of the news sources in this country being unable to deliver nonpartison/unbiased news. Hate to say it, nut the BBC is way better at delivering factual news than anything we have in the us. What happened to ethics in this country?!!!

    April 8, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      So why are you here on CNN, again?

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

      This article is biased against whom? Or what? I suppose I'm curious more about your use of an obviously loaded and somewhat duplicitous word in what seems to be a factual representation of what may happen if a government shut down happens. Again, just curious.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Tfjas

    The inconveniences from the shut down will be an example of the services and benefits many elderly and financially strapped americans can expect permanently if the republicans have their way. I hope you all choke on your tea waiting for assistance.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • BillyBob117

      Great to see that the left is still desperate, pathetic and still lying.--keep up the good work--

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

      Once again another person blaming the republicans when this budget should have been passed last year when it was a democrat controlled congress.

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

      Tyler is exactly right, we all should've known the current Congtress wouldn't be able to handle passing a budget!

      It's my understanding that passing a budget extremely late isn't that uncommon for our Distinguished Gentlemen in DC...no matter what Party is in charge, they both muck it up at about the same frequency.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Tonya

    I think it is a bout time to get rid of all the people in Congress and the Senate and start off with fresh new faces and ideas. Obama had good ideas to start with but because of the conflicts over the parties, all of what he wanted has went to hell. Now it boils down to trying to get these 'kids' to figure out what game they are going to play and get on with the show. I say let them go without jobs, join the people living from day to day trying to survive. Oh, but that will never happen...they seem to be secure in their jobs no matter how much they hurt other people...they get a check regardless!

    April 8, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • responsible

      They keep getting that paycheck for life too........

      April 8, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. somuchfor

    We paid our taxes to support this period of time - so stop the shutdown rhetoric and make a plan for the future. There's no way there isn't enough money to keep us running today. It's all posturing and play–while the game pieces suffer. I find it utterly reprehensible that military families won't get their paychecks–especially as so many of them are in active war zones. NOT ACCEPTABLE!

    April 8, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • KK

      Thank you. My husband is a pilot in the USAF and I'm glad someone else agrees with me. Not that we don't have savings to get by on but just the fact they think it is acceptable to not pay the military on time WHILE we are at war baffles me. Backpay or not it's still crap.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Charles Brabec

    What a travesty that our Representatives and Senators won't do their job but they will still get paid. The few who said that the will give up their pay are rich enough to afford what they will be giving up. So are the ones who won't volunteer.

    What we really need is something that will get their attention. Perhaps something like a $5,000 fine per day per person for each day that the government is shut down. Maybe then they will have more incentive to come to an agreement.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. spiritual anarchy

    If over a million of us citizens refused to pay our taxes, we just might get our lawmakers attention. Can the government really go after that many of us to collect? I work hard, always have and always will. I don't have a problem paying taxes but I want to be the one to dispense the money out to what is necessary. Bottom line, I don't trust the government with my money. I sick and tired of not having a voice. My vote has never felt like it mattered or made a difference.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      I agree with you on that. However...somehow I think that they will continue to pay the people who come after those not paying taxes! lol

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

      Yeah, You will get their attention all right,From federal prison!Ever heard of tax evasion?Render unto Cesare what is Cesare,a and unto God what is God,s !

      April 8, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ron

      Over a million do not pay taxes they are called rich and they already have the attention of the government

      April 8, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • MostlyAmused

      Interesting idea, BUT... Taxes are not paid separately. They are withheld from your pay, collected when you buy goods/services. Besides, in the end, about half the country ends up with no tax obligation and gets back more than they paid in anyway.

      April 8, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. sheem

    really, what happend to the millionaires, billionaires, celebs etc. of america??? and other countries dont wanna support?

    oh well, YAY america is leaving!!! 😀

    April 8, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Julie

    Honestly I think Congress should take the hit..not get paid and let everything run..think of the money we would save by not paying those that can't seem to get the job done anyway...

    April 8, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. airial

    I'm worried that people will believe all the scare tactics coming from the Democrats, like Pelosi. They keep talking about all the perceived bad that will happen, and how much $ will be lost, but how much $ will be gained in agreeing with the republicans budget. Lets focus on that, the good part about this. Also why do the Democrats worry about how much $ will be lost, or another way to say it, not spent by the public going to Parks and other places, which they probably won't do because of gas prices any way, but are unconcerned at how much $ they will spend, or another way to say it-waste in the coming years? Lets keep the blame where it belongs with the Democrats in the fact that they won't agree with the budget and the fact that they refused to do the job last year when it could have been done their way, they had the control. And please stop making Obama out to be the good guy because he stayed in the Whitehouse and dealt with this instead of spending money campaigning in Indiana.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
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