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. Amy Hussar

    The only upside to this is that my husband – an Army civilian – will get a much-needed vacation without having to use leave time. Then again, he might not since he's considered emergency essential ...

    April 8, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Telida

    If a military member gets killed in the line of duty during this shut down, no benefits for the death will be paid to the family... That's BS!!!!!

    Govt workers, such as myself, will not get paid. We have bills to pay like everyone else and get paid MUCH LESS that teh private sector. How are WE to pay out bills???

    SHUT IT DOWN??? WHy don't you idiots who want it shut down SHUT UP!!!!!!

    April 8, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • KE

      I have no problem with the federal government shutting down. I'm a fed contractor and I'll be out of a job if it lasts for more than 2 weeks but I'll be GIDDY. The federal government is the biggest waste of money I can imagine. Shut it down and never pass another budget. I'll be JUST FINE with that.

      April 8, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gladys

      Wow, you should check your facts.
      Gov't workers on average, currently MAKE MORE than their private sector counterparts.
      It sounds like you have an axe to grind against the private sector.
      USA Today says:
      "At a time when workers' pay and benefits have stagnated, federal employees' average compensation has grown to more than double what private sector workers earn, a USA TODAY analysis finds."

      April 8, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      If you are a government worker than your pay is inflated with regards to your profession and educational experince compared with that in the private sector. So yeah, stop whining.

      April 8, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amanda


      April 8, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Retired Vet

      @ Gladys...

      I don't read USA Today, but I am a gov't contractor. Basically, I work for a private company that works for the gov't. Every now and then, our positions get converted to Civil Service. If my position was converted, I would earn LESS money.

      Seems like there are a lot of you out there just talking smack...with no real idea of what you speak.

      April 8, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Esteban

    No Federal Drug Enforcement in Cali, Oregon, Michigan, Colorado. Happy buds day!

    April 8, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      What a loser you are.

      April 8, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. brian

    @ that beverly broad .... why does jesus always have to come into a topic ? all you bible thumpers do is try to force that nonsense down everyones throats ..its getting old and ridiculous ....some of us dont believe .. and you know what ...that is our choice ! this situation going on with the government has absolutely nothing to do with the first part of your comment about taking the bible out of school or whatever the other nonsense u spewed was . grow up and stop turning everything that happens in this world into some apocalyptic end of the world BS .

    April 8, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. AGuest9

    "Washington bureaucrats obviously don't know how to cut off the lights when they leave the office."

    Yes, because all those lights, TVs and computers on in those homes that are usually off won't be consuming any power!

    April 8, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Josh

    Does the IRS shut down, requiring an extension to the April 18 deadline?

    April 8, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dan

    To all you idiots who say "shut down the government. You won't notice the difference." You won't notice it right away because there are safeguards in place to prevent the country from going into a tailspin immediately. But you will notice over time as soldier's equipment breaks down and is not repaired (above the organizational level of maintenance) or replaced because DoD acquisition personnel are not there. Or as defendants in federal criminal trials go free because the court personnel needed to prosecute the cases aren't there. Or as water supplies become undrinkable because the EPA is not there. Or as nuclear power plants start melting down and leaking radiation because Nuclear Regulatory Commision inspectors aren't there (Remember Chernobyl?). Over time, you idiot tea baggers will find out just how much the government does for you (particularly that moron in the picture dressed like a colonial era catimite).

    April 8, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt A

      Easy Dan – it wont e shut down forever.

      April 8, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Randy

      Amen brother...amen

      April 8, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gladys

      And you had to go and use that offensive Tea Party acronym. I may not like the Tea Party either, but name-calling does not help your cause no matter who's "side" you're on.
      The government will not shut down for more than a few weeks – at most. We've been through this before...Political games/nonsense is all it is. We, the people, will make sure of that.

      I just don't understand why the Democrats, with control of the Congress and White House, didn't pass a budget when they could? They had the chance to pass ANY budget they wanted. Are they that crazy, or crazy like a fox, planning to pin a shutdown on the GOP instead of passing any budget they wanted themselves? Please give me a better reason for not passing the budget when they were supposed to and when they had total control.

      April 8, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Kyle

    I love all of those smiling old faces. Would be fun to see the change in facial expressions if they announced social security and medicare were included in the shut down!

    April 8, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • AGuest9


      April 8, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Femi


      April 8, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      Won't happen. We live in the land of "IS" not if.

      April 8, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Thomas

    All these idiots screaming shut er down along with the stupi politician need to overseas to the worlds hot spots and fill the boots of one our country's true patriots. I wish CNN would let say what I really think. Just plain stupid is what it is.

    April 8, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • ActnJackson

      Why can't you say what you want to say? What does CNN have to do with it? You know you can communicate without using using offensive words. Feeble mind.

      April 8, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jack hallowell

    Just a little peace and quiet.....

    April 8, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Matt A

    its funny to read what is being written. I wonder if those being effected by this (Govt workers) were so upset when everyone else was getting laid off? I bet not – I would guess they were thankful they were Govt employees...HAHHA out of the pan and into the fire!

    April 8, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Femi

      Dude, really? Where did you get that idea from? I'm a government worker and when the layoffs started we were all biting our nails because we remember the last govt shut-down and had a feeling a reduction in force or a furlough would soon be in the offing. Specious reasoning is not reason. My "guess" is that your "guess" is far from the actual facts. ugh!

      April 8, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jesus

    Doesn't anyone here know how to use the apostrophe? This is so depressing..

    April 8, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt A

      sorry j'e's'u's

      April 8, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • ActnJackson

      Matt A – you just proved Jesus' point. You don't know how to use the apostrophe (at least not properly).

      April 8, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. outlan

    Are you F'ING kidding me with this list??? Arkansas fishing???? What about my $1000 trip to Rocky Mountain National Park that is now in jeopardy?

    April 8, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • ActnJackson

      Dude, you overpaid.

      April 8, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • outlan

      Dude, I live in Ohio. It costs money to travel across the country.

      April 8, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • ActnJackson

      Dude – just hitch a ride with some yokel going West. $1000 bucks??? What are you taking a limo?

      April 8, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. sam

    to all the military spouses, If you are in the situation that you are living pay check to pay check maybe your job should be a little more than "taking care of your family". Get a job and the government shut down wouldn't effect you.

    April 8, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt A


      April 8, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Varian Wrynn

      for sure, with a U-6 unemployment of 16% there are lots of job out there. Then there's teh nasty state law that says you can't leave kids home alone, so now you're looking at 200/wk in day care per kid. Hmmm... $200/week takehome amounts to $5.00/hr, so one must make at least $5/hr per kid over and above taxes. Many military families have 3 kids, so now the spouse must work for $20/hr to break even. Really? Get a job? Let's not forget the spouses deployed overseas that compete with all teh other spouses for the Commissary cashier jobs or working for tips bagging groceries.

      I think your answer did not take into account the reality of our wrecked economy.

      April 8, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      If you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em! Pretty simple.

      April 8, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      Sam, what is your response for the dual-military family when both adults are active duty and there is the possibility a shutdown could linger, and both active duty members would be without a paycheck? Who would need to get a job then...the children?

      April 8, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Natalie

      @ SAM haha you got pwn by Varian Wrynn.. Im a army wife and i do not work or plan to work. we have 3 kids, bills to pay and we live off post. even if we lived on post. They would still take away your check. and actually you get less money in the check when u live on base because they take away ALL of your BAH even if the house is not worth as much. we get 1270 for bah but rent is 1200. we have 70 left over. Anyways, im not gonna work. i only have 1 child in full day 1st grade. the other is in half day preschool mon-thur from 1200noon to 225pm and one baby whos 11 months old. so stfu thank u

      April 8, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • ActnJackson

      Why you having so many kids? Maybe because Planned Parenthood office was shut due to lack of funding??? Dam republicans!

      April 8, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Femi

    That's quite a demographic in that Picture...

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