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?

Consider:

– 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?

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Filed under: Budget • Economy • Finance
soundoff (532 Responses)
  1. Tede

    Fire all the bums in washington and elect people tha aren't tied to special interest,lobbyist or big bussiness.common sense should be a qualifications for these dimwitted beaurocrats

    April 8, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. wabina

    ... to "military family"....I don't know anyone who has a year's worth of salary saved up.....and they aren't living beyond their means.....you don't have a clue.....just a mean know it all....people have emergencies all the time.....do you have any friends???

    April 8, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • military family

      I have friends and they ARE terrible at saving. you not knowing anyone who has a year saved up just shows how many people are not responsible in the country. I was taught that since i earned my first dollar. which by the way, i still have and saved through out the years.

      you can always blame your parents for not teaching you fiscal responsibility though. mine did. Tell this to your kids, my mom told me this when i earned my first career paycheck. tell this to them when they do "save at least 15k a year, always have at least 6-12 months of mortgage payments saved up"

      so what does that mean? I earned about 65k a year with my first career job. i started from video store rental btw at 5.25/hr. see what ambition and hardwork does to your paycheck? anyways, i planned it out with my mom's advice. 65k – federal taxes (i believe it was 25% at the time) – 15k = 33750. i lived and spent like that was my salary.

      my philosophy? work hard, work smart, work honestly, everything i make belongs to God, and everything i make will be returned to God. You see, you all think im a jerk. But my long term plan is to donate all my money and live to serve those in need in the future. I believe that is my calling. But i refuse to help whiny crybabies who think they need help when they DONT.

      April 8, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Marti

    Hey folks, Please know that the democrats introduced a proposal to exempt the military pay from the shut down (just as the congress is). The republicans would not sign that agreement..... We knew this was coming last election.... We are back to the "Do Nothing" congress....

    April 8, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Natch

    What a foolish way to make fun of a bad situation this story is! Shame on CNN for being so moronic as to put it online!!

    April 8, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Al from CA

    Forcing the EPA to stop monitoring air pollution is rediculous! Do we want our skies to look like Beijing or Mexico City? The only people who benefit from this are those who are polluting our air and water! Oil companies and others should be ashamed! What kind of planet are we leaving behind? This planet is going to continue to shift geologically. Mountains come and go. Continents will ALWAYS move. No matter where you put a nuclear facility, eventually (maybe 100 years from now, or 1000 years from now) the earth WILL move. This is even more predictable than death and taxes. Long after we kill each other off the earth will move. Knocking out major parts of a division like the EPA is only going to help those who are cheating already!

    April 8, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Fierfighter 30-70

    i say get rid of the towle head in office and get a real united states citizen in there instead of a mohamed allah lover....................

    April 8, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amanda

      AGREED!!!!

      April 8, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Amanda

    I want to know what happens to a soldier who is checking for car bombs but is worried about his family back home who cant put food on the table????????????? Can anyone answer that question????? Thank god my husband is home now! Because that would be him!!!!!!!! And the power company said they are NOT working with the military "its like anyone else who loses a job"????!!!!! NO ITS NOT!!! ANYONE ELSE GOES AND GETS ANOTHER JOB. MILITARY CAN NOT JUST GO GET ANOTHER JOB! WE ARE UNDER A CONTRACT!!!!!!

    April 8, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • kaitlin

      I totally agree with you!!! Your husband and family should come first!!! Its sad that that is how the companies feel, i guess as long as they can sleep at night.

      April 8, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Gary Cates

    This is the most worthless incompetent congress we ever put in office. Our troops are risking their lives to protect these slugs and our honored way of life. And NOW they are being ask to do it without pay, putting their families in dire straights while they live and die to protect THIS nonsense.Everyone of these slugs need to be removed from office and replaced with people with common sense. Lets set the record straight come election day.

    April 8, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  9. military family

    it's too bad this isn't state governments. Federal governemnt has done a lot of good. They have done more with much less than states have. Federal government has decreased since the 70s, and state has increased by more than 100%.

    Our problem is really with state governments, federal employees work pretty damn efficiently. state employees have principals getting paid $200,000 annualy, teachers with golden healthcare and paychecks, tenure that can't be beat. Construction workers (not state employees, but contracted) with 1 guy with a shovel, and 6 others just watching.

    We need to shut down state government too. The Fedreal shutdown is a terrible mess, but it's a good eye opener to see what fat we can trim. We won't know what we need until we see what we lose.

    April 8, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • military member

      @military family
      As a military member, I understand your point – have some money saved up for unexpected expenses. That's responsibility as a citizen and a financially responsible person. You have to understand everyone else though – I understand their desire to vent on a situation where others controlling the budget and flow of money get paid while they themselves cut off the flow of money.

      I never realized that the new savings pad is 6-12 months of savings. That comes as a surprise to me as well. Quite honestly most people may have retirement plans that have rather large sums but readily available cash is something else.

      All that being said, see you on Monday or maybe even this weekend (i know I will be working this weekend while I am deployed) when your paycheck is 55% of what was expected. You can feel free to argue how others are being or not being responsible as you sit at a desk posting on CNN during work. In either case, I'm still rather dejected that I am not being paid while they get paid to hold the money hostage. You obviously have a budget and are doing well, I just expect Congress to have done the same.

      Good day to you.

      April 8, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • military family

      @ MILITARY MEMBER

      My goodness, your maturity is something to be strived for. Thank you for your service and i will from now be more understanding. To be honest, you HAVE to admit, that there are a lot of WHINERS out here that it's hard to keep calm.

      I came from a family with nothing. there are no excuses. there is nothing that hard work, smart work, and sacrifice can't overcome.

      Your ability to respond to my immaturity without insulting me and keeping a level calm head is truly remarkable. And i pray that all soldiers have your level headedness despite how immature we as citizens and those in congress can be.

      April 8, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. David

    Craig JOhnson, this is a terrible article.
    You joke about the upside of a government shutdown as if there is no possible silver lining.
    There are real benefits to a shut down, the best being that it forces politicians to work honestly with each other about the TRILLIONS of DOLLARS of tax payer money. Only under real pressure are they willing to honestly work toward compromise, versus just filling their self interest.

    April 8, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. kaitlin

    We should really cut welfare. Give the money to those that have jobs and work before we just give to those that do nothing. Want some money? GO WORK!!! Prioritize the paychecks= 1-Soldiers 2-Government Employees 3-Congress, senators, and president and lastly 4- Gov't Assisted lazy bums aka welfare, unemployment, etc

    April 8, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. avsecbostjan

    IN A WORLD OF LIES, ONLY THE TRUTH SETS YOU FREE(even before work...find out why) !!!!

    WHAT DO LIBYA AND EUROPE OR USA HAVE IN-COMMON(DICTATORS vs DIC TRAITORS !!? What is worse !!!?...LEARN TRUTH ABOUT LIBYA WHICH NEWS/MEDIA DOESN'T WANT YOU KNOW ABOUT OR SEE AND THEREFORE LIE JUST AS ORDERED BY USA FOREIGN DEPARTMENT OF AFFAIRS...STOP THE VACUUM WORLD OF LIES !!! http://dictatorsvsdictraitors.wordpress.com/ OR http://dictraitorsvsdictators.blogspot.com/ OR CONTINUE FOR FULL VERSION OF DICTATOR OBAMA = STALIN = BUSH or USA = SOVIET UNION....TO LEARN WHO, HOW, AND WHY RUINED YOU…FROM 911 TO WHITE AMERICAN REFUGEES IN EXILE SEEKING ASYLUM RIGHT NOW - ARIZONA SHOOTING – AUSTRALIAN FLOODS - LEARN ABOUT REAL HUMAN FLASH EATING MACHINE - WIKILEAKS is CIA - BREAST FEEDING INSANITY PROTESTS - LEARN TRUTH ABOUT SO CALLED COLD WAR - NWO MULTICULTURALISM INVASION ON EUROPE AND N. AMERICA WITH HELP OF SWINE/PIG FLUE SYNDROME - EUROPEAN NATIONALIST PARTIES OR HEAVILY LOADED WITH LIES SINKING WRECKING SHIPS - CIVIL RIOTS IN ARAB COUNTRIES - WHO, WHY, HOW FORCED KIDS IN SCHOOL RAMPAGE SHOOTINGS - ESKIMO SARAH PALIN'S "BRIDGE TO NOWHERE" - NEWS/MEDIA OR SIMPLY BIG FAT WORLD OF LIES/DEMENTIA !!?? - THE REAL DON'T ASK DON'T TELL, BUT DIE !!! NWO POLITICAL PARTIES(not there for you, but instead to seal your faith for their own parliament pay$$ scale !!! http://avsecbostjan.wordpress.com/ or http://avsecbostjan.blogspot.com

    April 8, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. fisherman

    Excuse me if my sympathy lies with the military members. We all will have problems because of this fiasco, but if push comes to shove, the rest of us have the luxury of quitting their jobs. Military members DO NOT. The government thinks of them as indentures servants. To not pay military personal but continue to pay congress is unconscionable. I’m livid.

    April 8, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dolly O.

    SIGH.... SPEECHLESS.. FRUSTRATION.. ANGER.. WORRIED.. PENNYLESS.. add to list if you wish. Should I dare say PATIENCE..TOLERENCE? ¶I wonder if our political leader are sincerely visually aware of the reality in Our NATION..or do they just go by numbers in paper? Our Country has been in trouble for a long time.. we have been together in good times & bad time.. (we don't complain when things are going good)..but here we are complaining when things go wrong. I'm in agreement..P.L. should come to terms & stop playing politics as if it were a video game, cause WE, The People..want progress & quick results so that our lives can continie as smoth as posible..or at least with a little less worRies. WE as a people will stand back so you can do your jobs..PERO YA! NOW! with a smile:) I was taught to respect our LEADERS, can WE expect the same from them as to showing compasion with their imediate actions? ¶ANYONE READ THE LYRICS TO THE SONG.."HE AIN'T HEAVY, HE'S MY BROTHER" By Rufus Wainwright?The Hollies. Peacemaker

    April 8, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  15. fisherman

    unfortunately, congress has had 6 months to do their job..... what happened.

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