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. TIm

    Cut off the Tea Partiers' social security and medicare. Then we'll see if they want the government shut down.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • texas pete

      You can cut off my social security and medicare, because at age 27, I know those will be broke long before I am eligible to collect a dime.

      April 8, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Shantelle

    My husbands LES shows a partial pay and the shut down isn't even in effect. I have decided that since Congress and the president will still be receiving their checks then I will send them my bills so they can pay them. If my husband still must report to work then the least they can do is pay my mortgage. Considering him and many others risk their lives fighting wars. He has just recently returned from his 4th deployment. He has more time overseas in his military career than most. 12-15 month tours do the math. Our government is corrupt and we need some serious change - It is our job to get America back on course not money grubbing Politicians that are only worried about themselves. Take from welfare,take from Medicaid, Take from Planned Parent Hood, take from the other categories. SSI rules need to tighten up- you get in what you put out not you come up with a reason not to work and go through the process of being denied 6 times before finally being approved just so you and your family get to sit home and collect a check while others are busting their butts. Welfare has good intentions however people abuse it and choose not to work and rather collect a check there needs to be a time limit on welfare- I see plenty of people with their food stamp card by nonsense. How come they can afford to by the expensive meats when I have to skip past it because it doesn't fit in my budget oh thats right because I work for mine and they get to spend it. Medicaid is out of control as well woman pop out babies for another child to claim, and to continue to receive federal assistance. The middle class americans are always the ones that get the shaft. Our deficit is ridiculous and we should be making bigger cuts than the 38 billion that they are talking about. This economy is horrible

    April 8, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mrs S

      Perhaps taking away funding to family planning and reproductive healthcare isn't the way to go, even if your racist, classist and totally uninformed hypothesis is correct?

      Your plan for those children in bad situations is what, then? Let them go without food? Just let them die in the street? Turn into criminals?

      April 8, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. joey

    Here's good upside: We will realize that as a country we can function just fine with less government!!!!!

    April 8, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Gary

    STOP!!!! You people voted to put every single one of these people in office, you have noone to blame but yourselves, next time try to vote for someone thats not a republicrat...

    April 8, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Brody

    Alot of posts here say things such as, "it's not the governments job to support you" or "you have to work for what you want". I am literally sick to my stomache. I am active duty military, and I work for what I want. Our paychecks are meager (and public knowledge),and we are deployed constantly away from our families. For all those that would say, "you chose that life" or "you live beyond your means", I chose an honorable life – to serve my country and protect my family. Until now I of course knew exactly when and how much I would be paid, so knew what I could and could not afford. All of you screaming "SHUT IT DOWN!", thanks for all of the support you show for the many many underpayed, over stressed, and worried military members and families. By the way that last statment is dripping with sarcasm. I don't care whether you wear red or blue or something inbetween, but I have lost all faith and confidence in anyone within the executive branch.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      I'm with you on that Brody. I'm sitting here in Afghanistan right now thinking about putting my Soldier's on half day schedules since they have cut our pay by 50%. I'm done, why should we defend people who do not care to defend us.

      April 8, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mrs S

      Thank you for posting this. More people need to read it and quit being so selfish.

      April 8, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tony

    People who don't get paid don't have to work either. It's not an unreasonable trade.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Denise

    So if the senate & house both had to give up their pay if the government shuts down, I think they would come up with a solution......

    April 8, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Xplain Plz

    Take a look at the people in the picture at the top of the article. Gives you a real good view of the type of people involved with the tea baggers – a fading demographic group scared that white church-going conservatives are finally losing their grip on this country.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Brody

    No Tony, we still have to go to work.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joseph L Cooke

    At home, bureaucrats do less harm to normal people.

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

    Don't worry Congress and the President will still get paid. Is it possible what they are are fighting over should not have been funded by our taxpayers money to begin with? How about letting taxpayers (and I do mean those people who pay taxes) decide what they want to support. All the government would have to do is add a list to our income tax forms and let us check off where we want our money to go. If one organization/group/etc doesn't get enough money ... take the hint congress.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. kes601

    It's the Norfork National Fish Hatchery.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. telman999

    For those of you who are acting all high and mighty because you "live within your means" remember you have a paycheck coming in lets see what you would say if your pay went to $0 for the next 30 days. that is what we are talking about 1 million people not getting a paycheck while the morons in washington still get there check right on time.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • pat carr

      Yes wow there are a lot of jerks on here. I hope they will at some point lose pay so i can say HEY JUST LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS. i hope you lose money and have to default on bills. I hope you stop sitting here on a keyboard with no concern for your fellow americans. shame on you

      April 8, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • texas pete

      Because I live within my means and have done so for quite a while, I could go much longer then 1 month without a paycheck. Heck I could probably do 1-2 years.

      April 8, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeramy

      I learned the hard way to live within my means, so when i preach that you need to do the same i have merit. Most people complain about not being able to make ends meet, on their brand new iPhone, watching TV with 1000's of channels then take the hummer out to the mall to buy more useless crap they dont need.

      April 8, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • telman999

      Yes we lived well too until like millions of other people we had my pay cut by 20% and then my wife got laid off which cost us and the government stopped paying for 1/2 the money they are supposed to for our former foster kids so we lost 75K in income a yr. But i forgot i am supposed to have saved up(which i did it is in a retirement account) if i touch that they take taxes plus 10% .... and since i did volunteer to raise 2 kids that had a drug addicted mom it is all my fault... yes i know i took that on but someone around here has to do the right things because there are too many people saving 2 yrs worth of income to get their hands dirty. Yes i adopted a biological brother and sister to give them a better life when i did not have to shame on me for being concerned about my fellow man(children) rather than seeing how much money i can save up

      April 8, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • texas pete

      Very charitable of you telman, but charity is your choice and if it doesn't work out for you, don't cry to me.

      April 8, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • telman999

      you are correct that it was my choice. i was raised in a home that taught me good morals and that helping your community is a responsibility. Just like the soldiers that sacrifice everyday for your rights there are thousands of families sacrificing their time and money to care for innocent children who also will be hurt by the shutdown. the children i adopted were just 9 wks and 8wks old when they came to our home they were far from able to care for themselves so someone had to. If i lose my home as a result of my choice then so be it i will at least know that i did the right thing rather than turn a blind eye to people in need and that i did not sacrifice my soul for money.

      April 8, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Bulligan

    If you are blaming one of the parties for this but not the other then sadly you are just brainwashed and following the party talking points. These are two private corporations controlling the government, they really don't care about you, they just need you to get reelected so they can continue feeding their egos.

    April 8, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  15. BJ

    Short of how the military families will be affected, the government shutting down is a small issue compared to the decisions about how to run our country, our debt, and deficit and how millions of people will be affected by the decisions of congress. People of congress, you need to stop acting like kids on a playground and do your work. How you are handling this is down right SHAMEFUL not to mention embarassing.

    April 8, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16