Government shutdown: The upside
Protesters call for cuts in federal spending Wednesday on the steps of Capitol Hill.
April 8th, 2011
12:50 PM ET

Government shutdown: The upside

We posted an item here on Thursday on 10 things that could ruin your day if the government shuts down.

Which got us wondering: Is there a silver lining to a shutdown?


– Less traffic. Roads around federal office epicenters in every city would see a noticeable drop in motorists. That’s a good thing. A new study by the Environmental Health Perspectives highlights the link between traffic pollution and brain damage.

– You won’t get audited. While the tax filing deadline is still April 18, a federal shutdown means you can stave off the bean counters – people whose sole purpose is to get you to explain how that monthly Netflix subscription helps your home-based business - at least for a while.

– The White House gift shop will be closed. YIPPEE. You know that miniature flag-striped lapel that can pierce a small organ? We won't be seeing those or that commemorative snow globe your weekend-getaway co-worker erects at their cubicle. Freedom!

– More fish to catch. In Arkansas, anglers will be able to go all out. The Norfolk National Fish Hatchery will release two weeks worth of rainbow and brown trout.

“This would be the week to fish,” Craig Eaton, project leader at the hatchery, told CNN Friday. “We normally release 10 to 14 deliveries a week,” Eaton said. Each delivery contains about 29,000 fish, he said. Do the math. That's a boatload of fish. Can you say reel deal?

– Bankruptcy deferred. About to go bankrupt? Not after Friday. Federal bankruptcy court will be running largely in name only. The online filing system will be up and running but federal buildings will likely be closed.

– More electricity to go around. With average consumption larger than some states, Washington bureaucrats obviously don't know how to cut off the lights when they leave the office. A shutdown means less strain on the power grid.

Anything we forgot? What else can be considered an upside to the federal shutdown?

Post by:
Filed under: Budget • Economy • Finance
soundoff (532 Responses)
  1. Michael

    Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.

    April 8, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • ActnJackson

      GEORGE: Ah you have no idea of the magnitude of this thing. If she is allowed to infiltrate this world, then George Costanza as you know him, Ceases to Exist!

      You see, right now, I have Relationship George, but there is also Independent George. That's the George you know, the George you grew up with - Movie George, Coffee shop George, Liar George, Bawdy George.

      JERRY: I, I love that George.

      GEORGE: Me Too! And he's Dying Jerry! If Relationship George walks through this door, he will Kill Independent George! A George, divided against itself, Cannot Stand!

      April 8, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Doris Neal

    Interesting that all the people in this photo are ALL Social Security recipients . How about we stop them checks and see who's side they are on.

    April 8, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Rebel_42MDx

    There is no "NORFOLK" Arkansas...they must mean the "NORFORK" river. Looks like CNN edits references to fishing like they do politics.

    April 8, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Doris Neal

    These tools would believe anything Fox News told them to believe.

    April 8, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Lisa

    CNN information just given out concerning the military paychecks did NOT have all the facts. Our pay has already been loaded into the system and we have already received our LES (leave and earning statement) TODAY, electronically. Our pay has already posted as ONE WEEK of PAY. Therefore, unless this shutdown is avoided AND finance changes our pay on Monday, military paychecks are already in the system and again only for one week of pay.

    Also, we have just been informed that when the budget is finally signed, we will not receive any back pay for at least 7 days from the date of signature on the budget.

    April 8, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. soldier

    oops! i meant "get" not "take" LOL

    April 8, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. KevinRan

    When will boehner and his fellow extremists get the message that most of the country is NOT interested in their crazy agenda. If this shutdown occurs one of the first measures that need to be changed is banning the pay of the members of congress if this were to happen again. The teaparty is slowly destroying the if they need help!

    April 8, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • vbscript2

      Perhaps when most of the country doesn't vote for them? Last I checked, most of the country was very much for their agenda as of 6 months ago, hence the reason Boehner, not Pelosi, is now Speaker of the House.

      April 8, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Fierfighter 30-70

    If the gove does shut down will that effect us vol fire companys as well. and does that effect the police departments. if so then we would be in a stat of caos. people would be robbing others and murdering others and nothing would be done. in west virgina if the gov does shut down i am telling my family to keep guns at all doors and loaded.

    April 8, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • vbscript2

      Not true at all. First off, this is the FEDERAL gov't, not state and local governments. Local law enforcement and emergency workers are unaffected. Federal law enforcement agencies are also consider "essential" and are unaffected by a shutdown.

      April 8, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Doris Neal

    The military is the largest social program in the budget. I work with many different bases over the years and it's loaded pork. But don't think of cutting a dime there or you are bashing the troops and being unpatriotic. The govt funds so many govt contractors it's beyond absurd.

    April 8, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Fed Up

    Why are all the Tea Baggers old white fools?

    April 8, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Fed Up

    Insert Tea Bagger here if you want: A Day in The Life of Joe Republican

    Joe gets up at 6:00am to prepare his morning coffee. He fills his pot full of good clean drinking water because some liberal fought for minimum water quality standards. He takes his daily medication with his first swallow of coffee. His medications are safe to take because some liberal fought to insure their safety and work as advertised.

    All but $10.00 of his medications are paid for by his employers medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance, now Joe gets it too. He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs this day. Joe’s bacon is safe to eat because some liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

    Joe takes his morning shower reaching for his shampoo; His bottle is properly labeled with every ingredient and the amount of its contents because some liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained. Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some tree hugging liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air. He walks to the subway station for his government subsidized ride to work; it saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees. You see, some liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

    Joe begins his work day; he has a good job with excellent pay, medicals benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe’s employer pays these standards because Joe’s employer doesn’t want his employees to call the union. If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed he’ll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some liberal didn’t think he should loose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

    Its noon time, Joe needs to make a Bank Deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe’s deposit is federally insured by the FDIC because some liberal wanted to protect Joe’s money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the depression.

    Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae underwritten Mortgage and his below market federal student loan because some stupid liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his life-time.

    Joe is home from work, he plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive to dads; his car is among the safest in the world because some liberal fought for car safety standards. He arrives at his boyhood home. He was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers Home Administration because bankers didn’t want to make rural loans. The house didn’t have electric until some big government liberal stuck his nose where it didn’t belong and demanded rural electrification. (Those rural Republican’s would still be sitting in the dark)

    He is happy to see his dad who is now retired. His dad lives on Social Security and his union pension because some liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn’t have to. After his visit with dad he gets back in his car for the ride home.

    He turns on a radio talk show, the host’s keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. (He doesn’t tell Joe that his beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day) Joe agrees, "We don’t need those big government liberals ruining our lives; after all, I’m a self made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have".

    April 8, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • military family

      Can you site your claims? drinking water was a liberal agenda? healthcare offered by companies are NOT because of Unions. Not all companies give health insurance as you can see. His bacon, eggs, etc came from conservative states. again, where is the site that says that FDA was a liberal agenda?

      LOL paid holidays, retirement, health insurance are NOT required by law. So tell me again where you got your info?

      you sir are very misinformed and a liar.

      April 8, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Karen

      military family, "site" = "cite". Also, Fed Up didn't say anything about vacations being federal law. Your entire rebuttal is nonfactual. I don't know whether you misread the original post or tried to set it up as a straw man, but you are incorrect in word and meaning.

      April 8, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • jcm52

      @military "Not all companies give health insurance as you can see."

      Um, and not all companies have unions. Since you claim to be studying for a PhD in math, you should be able to understand a Venn Diagram. Imagine a circle representing all companies. Then inside that put a circle representing all companies that provide health insurance. Now, draw the appropriate circle for companies that have strong unions. What is its intersection with the companies that provide health insurance? Hmm, pretty large. As in, basically every company with a strong union provides health insurance. Every company that does not provide health insurance does not have a strong union. Sure, there are a few companies that provide health insurance but don't have unions. But that seems to support the argument that unions help guarantee health insurance.

      April 8, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gunner

      You left out the part where Joe is murdered by a burglar in his own living room when he arrives home because liberals took away Joe's right to own, carry, and defend himself with a handgun.

      April 8, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Al from CA

    I'm 1/2 hour behind on my DVR so I just saw the interview with the pres. of Planned Parenthood. Why didn't anyone mention how much it costs to get an abortion? I have 3 friends who have had abortions between 1985 and 1990. BACK TEN all 3 of them had to pay more than $300! The women who get them HAVE TO PAY! Why would PP need fed funds when they charge hunderds of dollrs for the service?!

    April 8, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Fierfighter 30-70

    Would the millitary shut down? The millitary is paid by the united states government i do not beleive it would shut down but still this is why we need to get rid of this president in the white house he has caused us nothing but dept and hard time i vote impeachment..........................

    April 8, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marti

      Are you really that stupid to think that our president had anything to do with this debt???? He is the one that saved us from going off the deep end. Our country is turning around thanks to his efforts.

      April 8, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Fed Up

    These are POOR women ya dope. Republicans and Baggers only care about you are inside the womb. The moment you are born you are on your own. I hope the young women in this country are paying attention.

    April 8, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. kaschap28

    If my boos said that I had to come in to work next week but I would not be paid I would just quit.

    Nothing gained, but I certainly wouldn't be wasting my time or supporting his greedy a**

    April 8, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
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