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. Steve

    Being a disabled veteran and hearing that a war I once served in Desert Storm, how long ago now (21 years?) and that military servicemen and women will not be paid (although I know they WiLL get paid their backpay) while the elite who can't seem to make a conssesion with eachother or party to come to an agreement is abosolutely the most asinine thing about all of this. Forget the fact that thousands of Federal workers will go unpaid, which in comparison to our congrassman's pay I'm sure is pale. Services stopped around the country. To the elected elite this doesn't seem to matter. Instead, it's a great stonewall again.

    I don't blame the Republicans or the Demacrats. I blame them both. You guys/gals in D.C. still don't get it. You are completely screwing up this nation that has and I'll hope to be still the greatest on this planet!

    On a selfish note, you are now screwing up my vacation plan with my wife and 10 year old daughter to D.C. during Spring Break. Not to mention many a thousand others who have the same trip planned, the local D.C. hotels, restaurants, and tourist vendors. Shall I go on? We've planned this for ages and finally made the commitment to go down and see our great capital and all that it has to offer. Now it looks like it won't happen. What a pity.

    If there is a shutdown I'm cancelling our vacation and it will be a cold day in hell before I book another trip to D.C. For the good of all of us stop being so hard nose and come to an agreement.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hot American Butzz

      Wow Mr. Ramble, I am quite sure the politicians are taking your well worded essay into consideration. Boo diddly Hoo...spring break got cancelled.

      April 8, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Retiree

    If all you do is confront someone that doesn’t agree with you you’ll never get anywhere. The answer to this, and almost all of the financial problems out there is, …….step back. I keep hearing everyone complaining they don’t want this or that cut, they don’t have enough money to support their lifestyle, bla, bla, bla. Since by far the most expensive part of most businesses is EMPLOYEES salaries everyone needs to take phased in reductions until their budgets are balanced. Even if it is a little as 1% every month until we get balanced. This way you could easily project when that date would be and how long the cut-backs would be needed. This includes double retirees salaries like me (soon to be a triple retiree), unemployment checks, welfare checks, CEOs, congress, everyone except minimum wage people (and maybe even them in necessary). I could handle a smaller income a lot easier than no income, how about you? I could plan for a phased in reduction and start making arrangements with creditors if necessary, if I knew when and what was coming. If I was dependent on a government agency for say food stamps, I would still get them even though the employees providing them would be taking the same equal income cut-back I would. Only then will we see how valuable everyone’s pet projects are. One way or another we are going to have to learn to live within our means. If you are just too good to take a cut back then find another job, because someone else would love to have yours, even at a lower salary.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Matt

    there's only one solution... complete extinction of the human race. This may seem like an issue within the United States, but it just goes to show the lack of intelligence that exists. Hopefully the world WILL end in 2012, causing the human race to become extinct and have to start over from the beginning.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • warytraveler

      If the human race were extinct, how exactly would we "start over"?

      April 8, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Derp

      @ warytraveler

      Evolution of course!

      ...or we could wait around to be 'intelligently designed' again!

      April 8, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Maryann - Orlando FL

    The upside for the GOP is that they can blame all of this on Obama in 2012.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fonz01

      It is Obama's fault. He spent way too much money. More money than any other President ever. Do the math retard.

      April 8, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  5. txkboy

    Just a comment. I think it is wrong for the Congress and Senate personnel to receive their pay and take care of their families well being, when they are leaving military service personnel without a paycheck. This people are risking their lives on a daily basis, believing that their families will be taken care of while they are deployed. The politicians should have to explain themselves to our service personnel and their families for their shortcomings.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Josh

    The point is, ST, it isn't Dems that have written tax laws to protect large corporations. And for every GM that Obama bailed out, there is a Lehman Bros that Bush did. You can favor or oppose bailouts, that's fine, but you're mistaken if you think both sides aren't offering these bailouts, that this is somehow a Dem thing.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Lex

    there is NO upside! And those reasons listed above? Lame to the max. Hopefully, that was its intended nature. BLARGHH!

    April 8, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Iaian

    I'm surprised word hasn't gotten out yet about what has really happened to the military. Our Mid month Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) is already available for viewing and is showing half only one weeks pay. So either the military is expecting the worst or someone already knows something. Either way, I'm tired of listening to lies and want to see results. I'm not blaming either party, I believe its the fault of both and the American people. It all comes down to two words: pompousness and greed. Thanks for caring.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Matt

    If the human race were extinct, how exactly would we "start over"?"

    How did the human race start in the first place? No one know's for sure, everyone has their opinion, however it happened then, it could happen again.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mac

    I have not heard anything about our disabled vets, most of them vietnam combat vets that fought a nasty, bloody, and
    ugly war. mostly political i might add. and the ones who were lucky enough to make it home with all their limbs some
    without, a great number with severe psychological wounds. they come home to be ridiculed for fighting for their country
    (under orders) and then were spit on by their own countrymen and women!! are the going to be spit on again??

    April 8, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. JamieBabineaux

    We will know once and for all if global warming really exists when there is no one left on Capitol hill blowing all that hot air.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • joey

      Yea, good one!

      April 8, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  12. chris

    Free parking in DC!!

    April 8, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. buddy

    I say let the essential services lapse, too. Why shouldn't the cops and teachers get a break along with the SSA? A little looting is good for the middle class. Or is that interest? I don't remember. Whatever. Tea Party self-righteous nutballs. They really need to go die somewhere now. At the beginning, they were a curiousity. Shortly after, they were a nuisance. Next, they were a threat. Now they're facist poison and belong in a country of their own where they can elect the reborn Christ president and wage war in the holy land. Wackos. All.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Nick

    Are you kidding me?! We are talking about 800,000 people out of jobs and your telling me i don't have to worry about fish?! this is so stupid. More electricity?! you have to be kidding me. i hope CNN would shutdown because of this article

    April 8, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Strach

      Yeah all this article is doing is fueling a fire that does no need to be lit.............

      April 8, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. TJ

    Good job!!!! Instead of always thinking "It's the worst since blah blah blah....", you are thinking of how it might be good!! I am SO PROUD!

    April 8, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
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