POLITICS

11 Reasons Why A Government Shutdown Is Terrible For You

09/30/2013 08:03 pm ET | Updated Oct 01, 2013

The government is hours away from its first shutdown since 1996. Here's why it would be awful:

1. HUGE NUMBER OF FURLOUGHS: As many as 800,000 of the country's 2.1 million federal workers could be furloughed as the result of a shutdown.

2. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ON HOLD: The head of the Environmental Protection Agency says that the regulator would "effectively shut down" without a deal to fund the government. The EPA wouldn't be able to pay its employees and most of its regulatory functions would be put on hold until a deal is reached.

3. DISEASE MONITORING: In the event of a shutdown, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would have to halt a critical seasonal influenza program that monitors the spread of the flu.

4. NUTRITION SUPPORT SLASHED: The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, a program to provide healthy food for low-income pregnant women and new moms, would have its federal funding cut in the face of a shutdown.

5. MAKING THE BUDGET DEFICIT WORSE: Despite the Republican party's insistence on fiscal responsibility, a government shutdown would "likely add to the budget deficit," according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch economist Ethan Harris.

6. FOOD SAFETY: Most routine FDA food safety inspections would be suspended in the case of a shutdown.

7. NO BACK PAY: Employees of one U.S. attorney have been warned that there is a "real possibility" they may not receive back pay if the government shuts down.

8. WORKPLACE SAFETY: Most Labor Department investigations into workplace safety and discrimination would cease if a deal is not reached to avert a shutdown.

9. NATIONAL PARKS, MUSEUMS (AND PANDAS!): The country's national parks would be forced to close without a government funding deal, as would Smithsonian Museums, disappointing countless potential visitors. But humans wouldn't be the only victims of a shutdown. The National Zoo would close and turn off its panda cams, which means no more livestreaming of adorable pandas.

10. STOCK MARKET PANIC: The stock market reacted negatively on Monday amidst worries about a shutdown and an upcoming fight to raise the country's debt ceiling. The lack of a resolution could mean more market madness to come.

11. DOJ DISRUPTION: Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday warned that a shutdown would have a "disruptive impact" on operations at the Justice Department. He pointed fingers at the House of Representatives and stated that there are "good, hard-working Americans who are going to suffer because of this dysfunction."

Click here for a broader picture of the effects of a government shutdown.

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