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. Kismet01


    Well yes, only when there's Democrat in the WH and Republicans in control of the purse strings....

    April 8, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Brad

    Wow – you can run this article but after days and days of coverage of the protests in Wisc, yet you don't cover the latest result of their recent election. Conservatism triumphs once again. Seems that someone was a little too quick with their victory speech. But we wouldn't know that from reading

    April 8, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. parvo

    That picture of all the frumpy crusties, with their baseball caps and idiot grins, pretty much sums up the Tea Party.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lib Earl

      Yo mama is a frumpy crusty.

      April 8, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Greg

    Totally bogus that congress gets paid FOR NOT WORKING. Who passed that law? Oh yeah.... congress.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Cyphase

    I hope this shutdown lasts a long time. The longer it goes on, the more people will realize that the government isn't as necessary as they thought. Let's hope for a year, to start with :P.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • chicago2010

      Yes. I hope all these agencies will shut down. I then would love to talk to you again about your 401K, your roads, your travel plans and your suddenly weird stomach aches. But hey, this is what you wanted.

      April 8, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. egore

    CNN should be ashamed of itself for posting such a ridiculous article. There is nothing humorous about the most powerful country in the world not being able to pass a budget for amost a year, for crying out loud. This is a disgrace that reflects poorly not only on government, but on the public that elected them in the first place. Moreover, the stand-off reflects a deeply divided country that cannot and will not come together to solve serious, pressing problems. Now is not the time for jokes, it is a time for tears.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maryann - Orlando FL

      I think CNN is just trying to polish the turd.

      April 8, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Charlie

    Don't worry folks. If you miss the gov't during the shutdown, go to your state DMV. They'll keep you company for a while. A real friendly bunch, they are.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jay

    What an idiotic column!

    April 8, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. nicholas vandersky

    Im a Federal employee and I will be perfertly fine financially if the gov shuts down for days, weeks or even months. I am not rich, I have student debt, and my parents give me nothing. I just did this miraculous thing that may be new to some people: I plan ahead for unexpected events and actually save money

    If you're living paycheck to paycheck thats kind of pathetic. Thats what the cavemen did... Even in pre-Roman times 2000 BC people were storing grain and chopping firewood for the winter back in summer or fall which means they were thinking more than 2 weeks ahead of time. Hence even they werent living payheck to paycheck. If they can figure that out then there is no excuse for people today who have a job who have no cushion. Having overpriced mortages to pay, 6 figure student loan debt, car payments, credit card bills, etc are not excuses for not saving money. They are simply examples of you not thinking things through and living beyond your means.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • chicago2010

      Nicholas, get off that needle and open the window in whatever basement you live in. There is life around, people live it. You are missing on it big time. This is the funniest post I have read in months.

      April 8, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • pat carr

      well whoopey doo Nicholas. Give this man a cigar, too bad some of us need the paycheck we or our spouse works for.

      April 8, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hot American Butzz


      Please stop spending all your money on crack. And Nicholas made a good point. Your just a typical American hobo who buys everything because it's shiny. You make me sick. I hate you!

      April 8, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Charlie

    Unskilled? Uneducated? Can't find a job? Then go work for the governm..... Oh, wait, never mind.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Federal Employee


      They aren't paying you to facebook, now please go back to the kitchen and get those burgers ready for my hungry co-workers and I. Then mop up the bathroom.

      April 8, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |


    April 8, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • texas pete

      Do we have to pick them up after?

      April 8, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Liz

    Actually, the courts won't be shutdown. They'll be running for at least two weeks and after that it will be only essential personnel.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mike

    "oh yeah what wonderful things those are" lol really why even post this not a thing on there will make much differnce

    April 8, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  14. chicago2010

    I really hope Federal shutdown will mean full shutdown. Why you ask? Because I really want upper middle class and the rich to feel what they are paying for. I want all financial services agencies to stop auditing firms so Wall Street will look at whatever firms try to report and try to price that. So FAA stops working and all the flights will take off regulated by nothing but market and mainly I want TSA to stop and then I want to see all these rich business people try to fly. I really want these people to see what they are paying for. Just closing a few shops here and there will not do it. Let's shut it ALL down.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. AM

    I think this is crap!!!!!!!! That may be an upside for people that don't have government jobs!! Who's idea was this cuz they should be furloughed too for this ignorant column.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
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