March 3, 2013

Why You Should Care About Sequestration

One word. Money. For those of you who don't keep up with politics (you really should) a little something called sequestration kicked in a couple of days ago. Sequestration is the mandatory cutting of the government's budget across the board. Or so they say. But "across the board" really means very different things to them, and to us. "Across the board" means, to me, that they take a little bit from the budget of each and every program currently funded by the government. What "across the board" means to them, is sparing nearly no expense for the entitlement programs, and the majority of the Sequestration budget being cut directly from the military. Of the entitlement programs that will be affected WIC, and Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program are included.

The 2013 sequestration cuts total 84.5 billion dollars. Here is the basic breakdown of where the money is being cut.
- $42.7 billion from the defense budget (thats us military people. ALL of us, families too)
- $28.7 billion in domestic discretionary spending
- $9.9 billion in Medicare
- $4 billion in other mandatory spending


I do not know or understand what these cuts mean for programs like Medicare, but I do know what it means for our military. In a thorough discussion with my husband there are places the military could make cuts. But right now all I know is this. Our DoD civilian employees are going to be furloughed. Most notably that means our teachers for our base schools, and our healthcare workers for our base hospitals. This includes overseas workers. This WILL start to take effect in April, giving our government yet another window of time to stop it by coming to an alternative agreement.

Let's make this just a bit more personal shall we? That means, my son, who attends an on-base elementary school, will be receiving LESS educational hours than his non-military peers due to the mandatory furlough of his teachers. It also means that me and my children will receive LESS access to quality healthcare, including longer waits for treatments, appointments, and procedures due to the furlough of our civilian healthcare staff. Now throw into the mix that I'm going to be having a baby.

I don't know about you, but I am angry. I am furious. This makes my blood boil. I am so angry that I don't even know what to do with myself!! I am stuck on this tiny island in the middle of the ocean when all I want to do is scream from the rooftops how ridiculous this is!! If I were home I could and would be doing more than writing a blog and some letters.

The sheer audacity of our government to cut necessary programs from our military and their families is twisted, and sick. Our military is the hardest working 1% of the population of our country and this is how they, and their families who sacrifice so much are rewarded for the last 12 years of war?

And so I ask, WHERE are the budget cuts from the welfare program? WHERE are the budget cuts from the food stamp program? WHERE are the budget cuts from the programs that fund people who sacrifice very little for their nation? WHERE?!?

If you're anything like me, you've thrown your hands into the air and feel utterly helpless. The people that have been elected to represent us have not done their jobs!! In fact, the Senate has not passed a budget in nearly 4 years despite the fact that they are legally required to do so!! However there is no penalty for not passing a budget! WHY?? Where are our leaders and why are they not doing what they've been entrusted to do?

Our government borrows 40 cents for every dollar they spend. Clearly cuts need to be made. By why, I ask, why is the majority of the money being taken away from a military that has spent over a decade at war? We still have people being killed in Afghanistan, and our government deems it necessary to cut from the military first? Why are we as a people not doing more to demand a solution to this? Have we become SO complacent that we just don't care?

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