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. Greg

    Read Thoreau's idea of self-reliance. But, we still need a benevolent government, but that is where its limits should be. Its budget should reflect that it is for and by the people. Remember it is that which will make it never perish from the face of the Earth..

    April 8, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Lorraine

    I'm already being furloughed and I work for state government. So the fact that federal employees are going to furlough. Oh well, welcome to my world. I've had to downsize, and use go phone, and cut coupons out.and call all my creditors to make arrangements over the past 3 years. Did I mention that we don't complain about not getting cost of living raises? we're just glad to have a job. I'm sorry for your pain . I feel that electing persons to offices that will result in too much opposition was possibly a bad choice. How can two walk together unless they agree? Some people live to disagree. Both parties should be willing to compromise and not insist on always having things their way. I thought that's why we elected them to come to a workable solution, not be polarized around party prejudice. To bad Obama can't veto their pay for a month as a penalty. He's the president, an elected agent of the people. If I asked congress to accomplish something, then they should be penalized.

    April 8, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. giving person

    Easy fixes to the budget mess:
    1. Stop paying people who never contributed to Social Security. What's next are they going to start withdrawing from my 401K. Hands off my money.

    2. Stop paying for other countries problems, we have enough of our own. Maybe our companies will be less inclined to leave our country,and ship jobs overseas. People look at us as a charity bank.

    3. Change the political election system. Attach a luxury (like baseball) tax to campaign expenses, for every dollar over a ceiling they would have to pay double giving half to a pot for the other candidates. Even the playing field, and get a congress representative of the US. Think of it, why would you spend millions of dollars for a $174,000 year job...unless you are giving tax breaks and pork belly projects to your supporters.

    4. We should vote if Congress gets pay raises, based on their performance

    April 8, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Krik

      Hey giving person, totally agree.. Too bad common sense isn't common. Marketing, the push on television, constantly redefining the American Dream causes too much wasteful spending at home. The push for technology will be the end of us..

      April 8, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • FEDUP

      As to your point in number one: YES, they will go after your 401K and pension if Obama has his way with the distribution of wealth. Think about it.

      April 8, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Justin

    Looks like the Griswolds won't be going on a family vacation this summer.

    April 8, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. keylargo

    I'll bet Boehner's liquor cabinet doesn't close!

    April 8, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Johnny Rhodes

    Military personnel will NOT be paid???...Wow!!!...that is unbelievable!!!....Personally, I am really ticked that the White House Gift Store will be closed!

    April 8, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. JOSIE

    MAN U PEOPLE ARE IGNORANT............TO THE CORE.....................................

    April 8, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. offloader

    Mabey if the people on the hill and in the white house were getting paid like the military ....as in not at all we would not be in this situation. Stoping the pay for the men and women who are fighting overseas is just wrong.

    April 8, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. JOSIE


    April 8, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Krik

    The problem with the United States of America today is that we spend too much time playing World Police. Ego gets us into trouble, and the length of term in office doesn't allow us to get ourselves out of trouble. First...Planning, Second Yr... Driving.... Third Year....Re Election..... Four Year.... Re Election..
    We aren't prepared, educated to go into areas with different ideologies, some moron says "we can change these people and thousands of years of culture" We end up getting ourselves in situations we shouldn't be in, while at the same time creating generations of those that are destined to hate us.

    Our education system fails to teach us personal finance. Hey happy 18th birthday, here is a Credit Card. Wow, good luck buying a house in 10 years. 10 years later, 350 credit score rating, 18.2 percentage rate. These numbers mean nothing to those that don't understand personal finance. To break it down, if you were paying 9% interest on the house you shouldn't be buying in the first place, you would be able to afford that I Phone as well as saving for your kids college fund.

    History Repeats Itself... Think world war II Nazi Germany, propaganda.... We have blinders put over us.

    BTW These people in Congress aren't about the money, its the power...... Its the Ego...... They are set for life either way..

    Enough pointing the problems, lets discuss solutions....
    Stop kissing half of the worlds ass, come home and lets rebuild our own country.
    Educate our kids on Finances, and real life subject matter
    Our people need to get their butts to work, have some pride. Get a job a McDonald's, who cares, at least you are working. Teach your kids the same values at home you expect them to learn at school.

    April 8, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. BOB

    What the hell. I can't believe we pay these people to make our decisions! Cut the crap, make up, and make some progress...NOW! The American people are counting on you to make a difference, no job could be that hard! Pending a shutdown you (lawmakers) should have your credentials looked at. How embarrassing to have such a strong nation be troubled by such a minuscule problem. FIX IT.

    April 8, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dino58

    This might effect all of the college students who depend on federal funding to pay for school. A government shutdown shouldn't even be considered.

    April 8, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. JOSIE


    April 8, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Patrick

    My understanding is this budget was supposed to be built/passed by the end of October 2010 for the upcoming year. Why wasn't this done?? We had a majority of Dems in the House and Senate. We could have passed any budget we wanted and the Republicans and Tea Partiers couldnt have done anything but cry about it!

    April 8, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Pedro

    To all idiots: TAKE YOUR MEDS and walk a straight line, people. No-government reminds me of this blog and the way we're blathering on, spouting ridiculous idiocies. Oh and by the way, to all of you, your capability to spell words correctly is a national disgrace!

    April 8, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
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