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Shutdown: 8 things you can’t do

By Mark Hamrick ·
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Posted: 2 pm ET

With the failure of Congress and the president to come to an agreement on a budget, the federal government began a partial shutdown as the new fiscal year began Oct. 1. "Nonessential" federal workers have been furloughed, and many services Americans rely upon are affected.

But what are some of the things you won't be able to do? We've compiled a short list.

  1. You won't be able to visit a national park. Not only are the parks closed, but the National Park Service website has been taken offline. This includes monuments such as the Statue of Liberty, others in Washington, D.C., as well as parks across the U.S. such as Yosemite, which is celebrating its 123rd anniversary as a national park.
  2. No national museums either. Had you planned on visiting the the Smithsonian Institution this weekend? Think again. Although billed as the world's largest museum and research complex, including the National Zoo, its facilities around Washington, D.C., as well as two facilities in New York, are all closed.
  3. You won't be able to watch the panda cam! Thanks to the shutdown, your daily afternoon pick-me-up of watching baby pandas waddle around has been taken away. While some members of Congress joked that the National Zoo's panda cam live stream will be a casualty of the government shutdown, it actually is offline. If you have your heart set on watching animals in real time, the San Diego Zoo has several available to fill the void.
  4. No calling the Internal Revenue Service for free income tax help. "Hi, you've reached the IRS call center. Sorry we're not here to take your call right now; our government arm has been shut down." While this isn't the exact message, the Internal Revenue Service does have a recorded message indicating that all IRS offices are closed. At last check, the IRS website was operating.
  5. Good luck getting a new or replacement Social Security card. Want to replace your Medicare card? Sorry, you can't get that either. Thankfully, Social Security payments will continue as before -- at least for the time being.
  6. That first trip overseas may need to be postponed. If you'd planned on stopping by a local passport office to submit a new application, you're out of luck. While expedited passports already in the system are still being processed, new applications aren't being taken. You're stuck stateside till all this passes.
  7. No business loans from the Small Business Administration. Would-be entrepreneurs will have to look elsewhere because the SBA is one of the government arms that have closed.
  8. That research paper on Abe Lincoln will have to wait. All of the locations associated with the National Archives, including presidential libraries, are closed.

Follow me on Twitter: @hamrickisms.

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Dave Meyer
October 14, 2013 at 3:27 am

If you owned a business and a group of your employees shut down your business, would you call them childish and hope they grow up? No, you would determine that they did it on purpose,you would fire them. Are we ready for Recall, anybody, everybody? It has worked for us in Colorado. We the people.

October 13, 2013 at 11:31 pm

I can't believe that they are acting like a bunch of two year olds. I can't believe that we haven't been in a bigger mess before now. They can't make a decision on anything. I feel that they should all be fired and start over again, it can't be any worse. They salary should be frozen, they pay their own insurance, work a eight hour day, just like the rest of us and we could save a lot of money. The country has other issues that need to handled, but we have to baby-sit our government. We hired them to run our country, work together, lets fire all of them.

Dave Meyer
October 13, 2013 at 10:46 pm

This IS exactly why they should ALL be fired! The country is now like a table with two legs, it sways far from side to side expending energy only on self-preservation to their party at a huge cost to us the People. The present, repeated and predictable performance is exactly why we are desperately in need of a strong third party. A tripod would stop the swaying and stand secure in any predicament, guaranteed!

Teresa Hyde
October 13, 2013 at 10:07 pm

I will agree with everybody else they need to grow up. I tried to call my congressman and senator but due to the shut down they are not available. But they both are still getting paid. I just don't get it any more. there is no American way any more like getting a job and growing with the company and having a retirement. We are all going to lucky just to survive.

Veda talbert
October 13, 2013 at 9:22 pm

Grow up and make a decision, nothing is as important as our country, Both parties is acting like two years old, just because they dont like each other, Grow up before you ruin the whole world, we were forced to buy auto insurance, medical is more important, even tho I don't think we should be forced in to anything, it is not as important as destroying the world, boys you guys are self centered and don't give a dam about anything.Get the government going and stop acting like you are two years old.

Carmen Prouty
October 13, 2013 at 8:13 pm

I believe our congress and the president are behaving like small children and because they will not be losing any benefits or perks due to shutdown of the government, they are acting as if there is really no pressure to act responsibly. I include in this indictment both sides of the aisle. And interestingly they are being paid full salary during this crises.

Overall the president and the congressional personnel are a disgrace to the country and their positions.

Nettie Wingrove
October 13, 2013 at 7:59 pm

Tell them to "Grow UP" and start acting like they care about the American People. Everyone has to give in on some things.