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?

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

    I am a female servicemember. "this post is of my personal opinion and does not reflect on the military in any way," but I am mad about the way this is being treated. planned parenting is one of the first things that you learn when you join and it is required for all to learn about. if they are worried about paying for abortions why not just half it with the servicemember, without taking away the rest of thier right to medical care. If that doesn't work then just take that section out of the bill for later discussion and sign it so that the people giving thier lives to defend the country get the pay that they deserve and need to survive. if they cut my pay in half I will barely be able to put any food on my table and i have a husband a son who rely on me. I still have to pay the same amount of money to other people with half the pay and still working without getting paid. I can only go for so long without getting payed. then i will have to take out loans to survive which would put me further and further in debt that builds intrest that i would still owe even if we get backpaid. that interest would eat up every last penny that i could pull out of my couch. then what...I go to jail because i cant pay bills because people in the higher government cant decide if my health is important or not.

    April 8, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Allan

    Did anyone Consider the fact that terrorist attacks might increase seeing the Govt might be vulnerable?

    April 8, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Russ King

    There is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY a shutdown has Silver lining, The government is losing money, we are in debt over our heads. Vacation is NOT the response, WE THE PEOPLE are tired of being disregarded by those powers that lord over us. FREEDOM OF SPEECH; We have gone bankrupt as individuals, unemployed as the masses, and a climbing deficit. The silver lining. Banks got the bailout WHERE IS WE THE PEOPLES AID!?! If you take and divide the 2010 Census Pop by the bailout every American could have bailed our country out far greater then wasteful yacht spending fat cats. If enough of us band together WE THE PEOPLE can change this greed based system, I am Franklin Russell Warren King, of Colorado Springs, CO. Look me up if you feel that this Roman based system is a sinking ship. That we are all going to become very very broke, and we are fighting THREE wars, is it time to pull out and rise up for something new...I think so. FREEDOM TO PROTEST. Let us stand as one, and bring Obama the change he so wanted. Either we are a nation of many nations and we are unified and strong, or we are a series of individuals who enjoy having our rights as free thinking creatures striped away. WE THE PEOPLE NEED TO STAND AS ONE AS HANDS ACROSS AMERICA ONCE DID! This is more important then any disease, or rally, or festival, or baseball game or Superbowl...HOW OFTEN DOES YOUR COUNTRY SHUT DOWN!?! Sincerely...One disgruntled American Citizen.

    April 8, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brattus Rattus

      Sweetie, this isn't a vacation. I'm looking at my gun. I can't be homeless. Yes, I'm a punk that can't handle being without address.

      Just please know....this isn't being looked at as a vacation by the masses.

      April 8, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Brattus Rattus

    I'm civil service. you know what will happen...I might be homeless. After 22 years of duty to this country. My guys that are fighting the war...not paid until indefinitely. That means they have to fight and risk their lives and will sooner or later be paid back. This is not our country. This whole thing is just like what happened to Clinton. What kind of crap is that? The Republicans are trying to make a mockery of the Dems. Next voting, i will vote for anyone not screwing with this. Especially sucks since the first people saying "no pay!" are getting paid. Fuc all of this....where's the tequila?

    April 8, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. nibiru


    April 8, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dolly O.

    To those who have been thrifty.. been saving..J are at this point doing well in this time of economical hardship.. that's good to hear; however some have different situation & we can't compare when we dont know their finances to one another. In my opinion..I dont beleive some families went and spent their money carelessly.. yet I do think we should put a little aside for hardtimes..Still in many cases unfortunitly it has to be spent in something which is needed. I don't think any here are whinning.. but more in a desperate situation. If WE are GOD fearing children.. Should we at least show compasion to those less fortunate. We don't have to be arrogant..or cruel by stating what anyone should've done..but perhaps with kind word stand by their side & be less Compasionate. Peacemaker

    April 8, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Daffy Quadahfi

    You Amerikans spent more on the cruise missiles you rained on my head and Saddam's head, than the difference you are debating over. What a bunch of silly fools!

    April 8, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fierfighter 30-70

      stay out of our countrys gov problems u rag head

      April 8, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Kitty

    I think they save half of their budget if they shut down the federal prison.

    April 8, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fierfighter 30-70

      do you want all them high criminals in your house if not then dont be stupid really.

      April 8, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Donald Trump

    Close the f'in government. Just think how much money will be saved.

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

      I know you are not mr. trump but DUH close it down like any responsible company would do. It's so EASY for me to see after reorganizing companies that are private.

      April 8, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Objective reporting?

    Compare the pics they use for this vs. the other article. The one here looks like insane hyenas about to tear into their prey and the other pic has a warm, nostalgic view of people enjoying a majestic national park view. A little biased today, huh, CNN? Implying that the govt's budget problems are the fault of one group of people is wrong. Most Americans live beyond their means... so we haven't cared that our elected officials have been doing the same with our tax dollars. The underlying problem is that America doesn't earn as much as it spends, so we are going into debt fast. Let's fix the underlying problem of fiscal irresponsibility and govt inefficiency. If it takes a govt shutdown to wake people up, then that's what it takes.

    April 8, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. m1sterlurk

    This is bar none the single most trite article to have ever been posted on CNN.

    April 8, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  12. trooper's request

    Due to the potential shutdown of the federal government, we have "taken down" all Leave and Earnings Statements (LESes) or "Advice of Pays" for Active Duty Military and Reservists. We will re-post LESes when we receive more information on the shutdown or enacted legislation that authorizes pay beyond April 8
    All military will get paid on April 15.

    If a CRA or appropriation is not passed before April 15, military members will be paid on April 15 for the period of April 1-8, approximately one half their normal mid month pay.

    If a CRA or appropriation is passed by Tuesday, April 12, military members will receive their full pay for duty served from April 1-15 on April 15.

    If a CRA or appropriation is not until after April 12, DFAS will pay military members for the period of April 9-15 within 3 days of an appropriation or CRA being passed.

    April 8, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. howie weber

    Not having to the president lie to us for a while. What a releif that would be.

    April 8, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  14. toni

    Words from a Soldier: I took a job knowing I would never get rich. I've missed out on many holidays & spent them working. I may have to lay down my life or take one. My life expectancy is shorter than yours because of the stress. But yet you think I'm overpaid & and you won't pay me because you can't work together to keep our govt running but yet you will pay yourself?? SHAMEFUL! ♥

    April 8, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • pod

      i don't think you're overpaid – much respect sir. thanks for your service to the USA!

      April 8, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Claire J

      I don't think you're overpaid either! We all owe we have and all we hold dear to you and your peers! God speed!

      April 8, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. pod

    haha! the feds won't be coming to bust your patch! 🙂

    April 8, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
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