Poll: Is Sequestration a Good Thing?


“Yeah it’s taking away some of the stuff I use or things I think I need, but it’s cutting down spending which definitely needed to be done. So it’s OK.”

I looked at my husband in shock as he said this. Every night since sequestration became a reality I have been regaled from his seat on the couch with stories about training he won’t be doing, military school slots that have been closed and programs that have been cut by sequestration.

“Did you hear the ___ family isn’t going to Monterey for the language school anymore? Because of sequestration.”

Insert visual of Army dude shaking his head in disdain.

It surprised me to hear his reticent acceptance of the whole thing as a necessary evil.

And it got me to thinking – do other people feel the same way? So the commissary is going to be closed one day a week starting the first week of April. So the contracts aren’t being renewed. So tuition assistance has been shuttered for the time being.

So what?

We ran a poll a few weeks ago asking what you think about the commissary closing. Almost 44 percent of the almost 7,000 respondents said the closing is something they’ll just work around. Nine percent said the extra day closure should stick around forever.

With sequestration looking more and more like a rather permanent fixture on the American fiscal stage, I wonder if many are as resigned to it as my Soldier. Take the poll and let me know, then check out the results.




About the Author

Amy Bushatz
Amy is the editor in chief of Military.com’s spouse and family blog SpouseBuzz.com. A journalist by trade, Amy also covers spouse and family news for Military.com where she is the managing editor of spouse and family content. An Army wife and mother of two, Amy has been featured as a subject matter expert on CNN.com, NPR, Fox News, NBC, CBS, ABC and BBC as well as in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. Follow her on twitter @amybushatz.

98 Comments on "Poll: Is Sequestration a Good Thing?"

  1. sabrinacking | March 12, 2013 at 9:53 am |

    My primary problem with sequestration is it mostly affects the same people who have already been paying the price of two protracted wars: military personnel, DoD personnel, Civilian contractors and GS. Meanwhile, out in the "real" world their lives are still fairly unaffected by the astronomical cost of the wars in both humanity and financially. I understand sequestration as a necessary evil, but I would like to see the ENTIRE NATION undergoing the same cutbacks. Cut back the post office, cut back all civilian government services etc. Share the wealth already. But instead…its, well we are going to send your soldier to a training mission, but we can't afford to pay for it, so not only will you not be getting separation pay for the four months, we'll be taking his BAS to pay for it. We're watching senior NCOs be all but run out of the Army on reduced retirement schemes after serving their country honorably through two wars, and the threat of that looms over every E6-E8s head right now. Its those sort of things, which we have never seen in 18 years, and are becoming considered "necessary evils" that are just becoming that last straw on the camel's proverbial back.

    • Niels Slater | March 12, 2013 at 4:31 pm |

      With my wife, who is civil service, wiil be losing 1 day of work a week, that's half a car payment and 3/4 of our mortgage payment. I'm hoping that my military retirement pay won't be affected.

      • Whoa! If one day of your wife's salary is 50% of your car payment and 75% of your mortgage payment, you must live in a primitive, no-electricity shack somewhere in the outback, and drive a 1956 VW bug, right? Either that, or, she's getting far too much of MY tax dollar each month! And you also receive a (tax-on-the-working-folks-funded) retirement each month? Move over Mitt and Carlos, youse guys got something to learn from Niels' family!!

        • sabrinacking | March 12, 2013 at 7:20 pm |

          You speak as if you think military personnel or civilian DoD employees don't pay taxes…they do. Also, if she is losing 1 day a week…that is 4 days of pay. Which could easily be 1/2 a car payment, or if they bought a modest home 3/4s of a mortgage payment. If she made only $20 an hour that'd be $160 a day x 4=$640….could you just lose $640 a month?

          • Sorry Sabrina, Niels said "that's half a car payment AND 3/4 of our mortgage payment.
            If 4 days take home pay covers all that then the remaining 18 days should cover everything without too much trouble. QUIT WHINING Neils!
            Many TAXPAYERS in the private sector are making do with less than they earned more than a DECADE ago.
            As long as unemployment stays at these levels employers know they don't have to offer much to keep their employees, where else can they go? We won't see major improvement until we get rid of the obama administration and most of his ilk in congress and elect some true conservative, free market representatives. (Not the RINO's we have today).

          • sabrinacking | March 12, 2013 at 9:45 pm |

            I am not going to disagree with your sentiment regarding the current administration. However the logic here is still bizarre-o…you aren't for socialism…but you don't want anyone making more than what can cover their basic needs? You do realize, she IS a taxpayer, too? I am not sure which textbooks you were using but that is not a free market.

          • sabrinacking | March 12, 2013 at 10:00 pm |

            I am not going to disagree with you on the current administration. However, your logic here is bizarre-o. You do realize she IS a taxpayer too? Also, you only seem to want people to be able to earn enough to cover their basic needs. I don't know what textbooks you have read, but that isn't a free market…

          • You misunderstood my comment, Sabrina. She's a civil service employee, paid by our taxes. Yes, she has taxes withheld as well, but ultimately her income is provided by us taxpayers who earn our money in the private sector.
            I have no problem with anyone making as much as their skills and business acumen will allow, as long as they're not doing it on the backs of TAXPAYERS.
            Civil service jobs SHOULD pay comparably to a similar private sector job, including similar benefits and other perks.
            There are too many government employees (and politicians, for that matter) that, especially when their benefits are included, make considerably MORE than they would in a similar private role.
            It's way past time to eliminate unnecessary government positions, cut pay and benefits to equal those of private business, and generally cut out the FAT in the federal budget.
            I'll bet that we could easily CUT 25% or more from the overall federal budget without serious negative impact on 98% of TAXPAYERS. (Freeloaders on public assistance don't count).

          • sabrinacking | March 12, 2013 at 10:48 pm |

            I am again, not going to disagree with your general sentiment here. Personally, I am more concerned with blanketed sequestration vs. What should be calculated fine tuned cuts. It's not dissimilar to services provided to us as military families. I could care less if you close the commissary 1 day, anyone who can't shop in 6 other days…or who doesn't have more than one weeks worth of food at home at all times has worse problems than sequestration to begin with. However, certain blanketed cuts don't seem to be very thought through. Today a memorandum came down here that CYS will now be closed every Friday. That is likely a force stability and strength issue for single soldiers with dependent children and already resulted in one 1SG we know announcing "well I guess we just wont require any work on Fridays from now on so soldiers can watch their kids". We are at a very remote post, there really are no other viable childcare options for soldiers off post and few family child care in home providers on post, certainly not enough to meet the demand. Meanwhile, for working spouses who you would like to be taxpayers and pay their own way, are now left scrambling for Friday care. My point herein, is the same families who have been suffering the war the last 11 years, will now suffer more…and the totality of their suffering greatly surpasses the American citizenry non military.

          • Then that sounds like the PERFECT opportunity for those spouses that complain they can never find a job to fulfill a much needed niche, our neighbor got her in home daycare certification in under 3 months. Perfect for the soldiers, perfect for spouses that claim they can't find employment. The free market at it's best

        • That 1 day a week for a month – that's actually 4 days a month. And I perfectly understand what Niels Slater is saying. I too will loose 4 days of pay a month which equals to about $350.00 or so, which technically IS a monthly car payment and IS technically HALF of my monthly mortgage payment. Depending on what grade you are within the GS hiarchy this figure could be way LESS then some (I am a GS-6).

    • do a search on how many spouse buzz events this writer and her cohorts are going to be sponsored for by our tax dollars. Then they'll be attending the after-events with their husbands campaigning for the next job on our dime. Disgraceful useless people while we all have to suffer paying for them.

      • do a search on amy bushatz and jacey eckhart, you'll see what their relationship is and what they did to have us distracted from their ultimate goal — free trips and free everything on our dime. Your fraud will be exposed

      • jacey_eckhart | March 18, 2013 at 7:00 am |

        NYC546–As we have explained to you before, SpouseBuzz and Military.com are not government agencies. We are not sponsored by federal money. Our live events are free. Our sponsor pay for the trips because they, too, want to provide a little inspiration and innovation to military spouses. The most important part of the event is when spouses get a chance to meet other spouses in their local area.

        We bring the live show to the bases where they invite us to come. Last year we went to Eglin AFB, 29 Palms in the desert of California, Miramar in San Diego, and Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. This year we are going to Aviano–a tiny Air Force base in Italy where there is no base housing. We are going to Quantico–near where most of the team lives in Washington, DC. We are going to Goodfellow, TX and Norfolk, VA.

        Many members of our staff put untold hours of work into these live events. And we think our audience members are totally worth it.

    • they like us talking about local nonsense. go around spouse buzz and see the spouse buzz live events that these sponsors — Jacey Eckhart and her cohorts will be getting freebie trips throughout the world while people are suffering. Disgusting

      • Amy_Bushatz | March 13, 2013 at 10:03 am |

        Hi — I replied to your comment about this below as well but want to do it here, too. SpouseBuzz and Military.com are actually privately owned companies and therefore no tax payer dollars fund anything that we do. That includes this site, Military.com or any SpouseBuzz or Military.com events. If you'd like to give me money I won't argue with you, but I can assure you that is not happening right now.

  2. And as a PS, both my husband and I are all for the cuts, we don't like the rigidity but they are necessary.

    • Amy_Bushatz | March 12, 2013 at 2:15 pm |

      After some conversation with my dearly beloved he admitted to not liking the rigidity either :-)

      • then stop travelling on our dime

        • Amy_Bushatz | March 13, 2013 at 9:59 am |

          Hi — Thanks for your comment. I think you must be confused about who owns and operates SpouseBuzz and Military.com. Both are private companies owned by Monster, also a private company. Unless you're mailing me checks I don't know about, I definitely am not traveling on your dime.

    • Obviously your not one of the DoD civilians that will take a 20% pay cut from Apr through Sept. I don't know about you but I don't have that much "flex" in my budget.

  3. I can't believe Soldiers are in favor of sequestration. We are the 1% people. This is what the politicians want us to do; bicker amongst ourselves. This is the first step in segregation. The best way to cut spending is to increase employment not decrease it. How can revenues increase without the generation of money into any area/community. Give people jobs and let them spend within their communities; military and civilian communities.

    • We agree because we all see how "rice bowls" and "monopolies" within the Services are sucking very percentages of the budget away from operations and maintenance. I offer up as example: GSA Transportation – our only source for vehicles. My department has a 10 year old SUV that we are charged $788/mo to use. I went to the local Ford dealer and asked about a Fleet Lease. I could replace all vehicles with brand new ones at $287/mo per vehicle (complete maintand vehicle replacement every 3 years). GSA Transportation, by law, is our only source. . . Therefore we spend 3x as much as we should because we must pay for the vehicles, maintainers, admin and legal staffs, facilities, etc.
      it is time Fed leadership begin taking a critical eye to all of the waste and find more efficient ways to do business.

    • Obama wants as many Americans as possible to feel the effects from the cutbacks, not just the military. National Parks to reduce staffing, no more air shows, fewer Coast guardsman for hurricane relief.
      This is why he didn't budge on negotiations with those on the other side of the aisle.
      He wants to show he is the chosen king and no one will dispute him.
      He's not my president, my guy didn't win.

    • Commander in Chief is not affected, he has no problem increasing his spending,
      think he is concerned about anything else? sure—bull s–t.

  4. Niels Slater | March 12, 2013 at 4:36 pm |

    If G.W. Bush hadn't gotten us involved in Iraq and Afghanistan to begin with, it wouldn't be as bad as it is. When Bill Clinton left office, the US was approximately 480 billion in the black.

    • ColdWarVey75 | March 12, 2013 at 4:45 pm |

      Clinton was riding the way of the Reagan Years. What was Bush suppossed to do? Let Afghanistan send more trained terrorists?

    • Of course, if President Bush hadn't gotten us involved in those wars we likely would have had several more 9/11's spread across our country.

    • 9-11 changed everything, Iraq wasn't needed however Colin Powell gave evidence to congress that Sadaam had WMD's and Afghanistan was the home of Al quida.

    • Jeffrey Clark | March 13, 2013 at 11:23 am |

      Yea we should just sit by and let terrorist bomb our country and watch it on tv and do nothing…. you would fit in with Mrs Hiliary Clinton quite well… what does it matter?! wow!! You are part of what is wrong with this damn country. Get some patriotism!

  5. Don Fehlings | March 12, 2013 at 5:36 pm |

    Austerity is not for everyone. The Obama clan has managed many expensive lavish vacations using Air Force One and the services of a large staff. So much for leadership by example. Never has a president and first family lived so lavishly at government expense. Clinton cashed-in the Peace Dividend from the collapse of the Soviet Union, and had a military procurement holiday. George Bush spent some of his government paid vacations on his Texas ranch. Now we have the Imperial Obama life style to pay for.

    • Melanie Bush | March 14, 2013 at 9:25 am |

      Bush spent way more on vacations than Obama has.

    • Obama takes one vacation a year, and since this is not job related, the DNC pays for it just as it pays for the President's campaign trips. but it is a part of his official duties to promote his policies, and these trips are considered official and paid for by the taxpayers. In Dec, the DNC paid for his vacation trip to Hawaii, but then because the house waited until the last minute to avoid the 'fiscal trip', the taxpayers paid for his return to DC, and then back to Hawaii. This is hardly an 'Imperial' Life Style. The trip back to DC and then back to Hawaii, at taxpayers expense could have been avoided had the House acted promptly. At some point the House will have to realize that saving money (cutting the budget) actually costs the taxpayers money.

      • Who paid for the golf trips? . No one has ever spent so much time golfing. just recently with Tiger Woods. Do you consider golf vacation or business? Tiger considers it business. Is Tiger a representive of government? Mr. Obama flies Airforce One all over the country talking about what should be done instead of staying in Washington doing what should be done. Seems he is still campaigning to win the office to me.
        Sequestration is not one parties fault though. We have cowards as representives. Cant make a decision on the budget because they are afraid of making someone mad. Election day I hope we can clean House. Pun intended.

  6. Sequestration is a necessary evil. Do not blame the politicians for the specific cuts each Branch decides to implement. Congress passed the bill that the President signed giving each Branch the discretion to decide where the cuts will come from. In other words if you do not like the cuts the Generals are making then blame the Generals. The Generals are deciding to cuts our benefits instead of junk weapons programs or wasted projects for missions that another service already does well.

  7. Hmm, I always wondered why the politicians only work for half the year, sit on fat bank accounts, take vacations all the time. The politicians then say their job is one of the hardest, but still have no problem passing their own bill to not have their pay cut and then decide to make the military members who defend the people from all enemies, pay for the mess the politicians made in the first place. MY EYES have been opened to the reality of the country I'm going to be defending for the next 5-8 years. I'M SO PROUD OF MY COUNTRY RIGHT NOW. MAYBE NOT……

  8. The sole reason for sequestration is that both congress AND our current POTUS have refused to do their jobs, especially the POTUS, who couldn’t be bothered long enough to leave the golf course to put together and propose one single budget during his ENTIRE reign of terror! This IS part of his job description! If any one of us were to blatantly refuse our jobs as much as he has, or even minutely, we would have been fired a Long time ago! While the responsibility of putting these idiots in office in the first place, as well as continuously re-electing them falls on the heads of the voting public, the fact remains that proposing, agreeing upon, and implementing a budget IS THEIR JOB! Therefor, sequestration should have NEVER been so much as a word uttered in one of Obama’s many back room deals! Being as they ALL refuse to do their jobs, only THEIR pay and THEIR benefits should be cut/suspended until they do the darn job they are highly overpaid to do. However, the entire sequestration is merely a part in Obama’s master plan. He purposely has everyone stirred up over and distracted by his gun ban crusade to the point where congress is divided into two sides… Pro 2A and against 2A. He has had everyone, congress and public alike, so heated up about 2A so that sequestration could be easily slid into place to begin a gov’t shut down. So far, his plan is working. It’s past time for people to wake up and look deeper than the media reports that are “approved” by the POTUS and his regime to see what is really happening. Don’t believe me? Think I’m a conspiracy theorist?? Read your history books… Hitler, Castro, Stalin,…etc. no one can truthfully deny that history DOES repeat itself!

    • Someone said the average person on the street doesn't know what sequestration means. Whoa, where are you coming from? Maybe you need to watch C-Span instead of right wing propaganda. The House controls all money legislation (you know the Constitution) Republicans control the House so who are you blaming? Get a grip and stop making up nonsense.

    • We all know cuts have to be made–and for fairness sake they should be across the board. The thing is, cuts should not be so massive ALL at once. It took 12yrs , 2 wars to get all this dept. Let's take some years to reduce it. I really doubt Obama plotted the sequestration. He certainly went along thinking it would never really happen. The obstructionists in the Congress are the real culprits. They refuse to compromise to solve our dept crises, or reach agreement on a budget. Yes, they all should get 20 per cent pay cut and reduction in health care until they get something done.

    • Melanie Bush | March 14, 2013 at 9:28 am |

      It it is not the POTUS's job to come up with a budget. It is congress. The POTUS just reads it and approves. I think Americans really need a civics lesson.

      • Check that civics class again Mel, The POTUS is required by law to submit an annual budget to congress by February. Apparently the law doesn't stipulate that his submission be realistic, just timely. I don't believe that he has met the submission deadline since taking office and now have been realistic when he finally did make his submission. the latest submission was so laughable the even his own party members rejected it to the man.

  9. John Murray | March 13, 2013 at 7:19 am |

    Sequestration was a desperation play, plain and simple. The one good thing that came out of it is that the country is learning two things. 1) We can survive not increasing our spending as much as we have been every year and 2) The President is more interested in scoring political points than he is in doing what is right.

  10. This is very interesting. If we, the citizens were to break a law, we would either be fined or serve time. Since our government (President, Senate, House) have broken a law, they should be fined 25% of their pay. We need to make it retrospective starting 4 years ago for their failure to obey the law.

    • Wouldn't that be kick in the butt. Unfortunately members of the Congress are already millionaires. If we took their free health care, it might get their attention.

  11. fortleonardwood90 | March 13, 2013 at 8:39 am |

    while someone is monkeying in washington, the DoD civilians already had pay freeze 3 years in a roll while inflation and health care premium shot up the roof. Now the most hard hit impact is also the DoD civilians. 50 % of the sequester comes from DoD.

  12. BillSanders | March 13, 2013 at 10:14 am |

    I'm retired Army, and have been since way before this recession. I'm still of a working age, but seeing it from the other side of the fence, ya'll are simply going through what we've been going through since 2008. I did time in Iraq and Afghanistan, so don't try to lecture me on the hardships of deployment. I also did Desert Storm and remember the monstrous downsizing that happened after that. That was WAY worse than sequestration.

  13. LosingFaith | March 13, 2013 at 12:08 pm |

    If Congress and the President had included their pay and entitlements to the list of items to be cut, Sequestration would never happen. Instead, they continue to target the same folks that keep giving day after day, after day. Since Mr. Obama has been President, my income has stagnated and yet gas, taxes, consumer goods, housing etc… continue to rise, effectively reducing my wages to be worth a fraction of what they once were. But hey, it could be worse, my only fear is that it will as long as congress continues to act like three kids fighting over one lollipop.

  14. Nobody wants a country with a budget out of balance but to do it in the way that sequestration does is wrong. The "President" is punishing those who he dislikes and protecting his buddies. For him to fly in Air Force One to play golf with Tiger when Air National Guard personnel are losing $400.00 a month is insane. The military has been forced to stop Tuition Assistance and he keeps on flying.

    • Melanie Bush | March 14, 2013 at 9:30 am |

      Congress is the one that comes with budget. They are the only ones who come with a budget. The President just approves it. Quit blaming the President for congress's shortfallings.

  15. The real culprits are members of Congress (Senators and House of Representatives). A pay cut probably won't help; most are already millionaires. Maybe taking their free health care might get their attention.
    They were elected to serve us (the entire country). It' time to put aside political differences and get on with solving the dept crisis and getting a budget in place. Sequestration is an absolute idiotic solution. A one line law and stroke of the pen and it goes away. GOOD BYE AND GOOD RIDDANCE. Across the board cuts over 4 or 5 yrs is a much fairer and wiser way. After all, it took 12yrs and 2 wars to get us in this mess. We all know cuts have to be made-just not so much all at once.

  16. Lawrence Ekdahl, | March 13, 2013 at 10:24 pm |

    Sequestration is a lie. I am surprised that so many so called intelligent people have fallen fo this huge lie. There is no cut in the budget. It will be increased by more than a trillion dollars and the increase will be cut by 2%. Get your head out of the hole in the ground.

    • Don't tell me its a lie. I work as a DoD civilian – when furloughs start I'll lose 20% of my pay… Thanks

    • Melanie Bush | March 14, 2013 at 9:32 am |

      It affects and my husband. I don't know where you are getting it is a lie, but you are wrong.

  17. I spent a long career in the military and civil service. There is so much waste and unnecessary expenditures in any program that cutting a mere 3 percent won't be noticed anywhere. I have long encouraged my congressman to push a 10 percent, across the board cut in all Federal budgets.

  18. I wonder if this country would be in better shape if congressional pay and benefits were controlled by the states they represent instead of the federal government. Maybe then the work of and by the people would get done. In the meantime, sequester away, there is a lot of waste in the federal government.

  19. Patrick Morris | March 14, 2013 at 7:21 am |

    How about the American people, as a whole share this burden for a change? Oh wait; I forgot no more White House tours. Yea that seems fair. Taxes don’t go up, but I as a government worker and Army Veteran take a 20% pay cut, as well as see the benefits I earned over 20 years of military service and sacrifice, continue to come under attack. Our politicians are sending us a message. They do not value government workers and veterans. OK, message received, looks like time to look for an employer that does value my skills, experience, work ethic, commitment, honor and sense of duty.

    • Just who is the employer here? We are! And collectively our vote will make a difference. So how about we vote out our current employees and continue to do so until they get it right. That's the beauty of our system. If we continue to weed out the non-performers, newly elected officials will immediately be put on notice.

  20. For my understanding and observation, I can describe congress in one word "LAZY". The sequestration makes it too easy for them to just do nothing on the premise that it's the other side's fault. This was evidenced when they shut down and left for the weekend; as if March 1st was just another routine day. Their actions speak louder than their words, and I am sickened by their lack of commitment to the American people as a whole; rather than to their special and personal interests. Personally, I will continue to vote out any incumbent on my ballot until they get it right. Just my opinion; your mileage may vary.

  21. Why is the federal government arming up domestically?

    The hardware build-up has been called a “domestic arms race,” and it’s starting to make even mainstream media journalists nervous. Benko writes that the 1.6 billion rounds of ammo being purchased by DHS represents “…a stockpile that would last DHS over a century. To claim that it’s to “get a low price” for a ridiculously wasteful amount is an argument that could only fool a career civil servant.”

    He also points out that this huge arms race of weapons, ammo and armored vehicles by the federal government is taking place right in the middle of the claimed “sequester” which the government claims has sharply curtailed its ability to spend money. So while Janet Napolitano threatens to release criminals onto the streets of America, behind the scenes the government is actually building up an ammo stockpile so huge that it could wage a 20-year war against the American people.

    World Net Daily has also covered the story, saying, “the federal government’s extraordinary buildup of ammunition looks even more ominous than critics already have portrayed it.”

  22. Archives for Taxpayer Waste Sequestration Fail: WH Funding $1.5 Million Study To Find Out Why Lesbians Are Fat
    Written by V2A March 12, 2013 Sessions: Government Spends Trillions On Poverty Programs As Poverty Continues to Grow
    Written by V2A March 9, 2013 Despite Sequestration Hysteria, Government Keeps “Creating” Thousands of Jobs l
    Written by V2A February 27, 2013 Rand Paul: Why are We Giving Money to Countries that Hate Us?
    Written by visiontoamerica February 25, 2013 Obama Hands Out Free Health Care — to Pakistanis!
    Written by V2A February 20, 2013 Dems in Denial About Runaway Spending
    Written by visiontoamerica February 16, 2013 Food Stamp Rolls in America Now Surpass the Population of Spain

  23. Written by visiontoamerica February 12, 2013 New Record: 1 Out of Every 13 ‘Workers’ Collecting Disability
    Written by V2A January 20, 2013 72% of U.S. Casualities in Afghan War Under Obama’s Watch
    Written by visiontoamerica January 14, 2013 1 in 4 Children Now On Food Stamps
    Written by visiontoamerica January 10, 2013 Welfare Recipients Benefit from Strip Clubs, Liquor Stores, X-Rated Shops
    Written by V2A January 7, 2013 Obama Orders Pay Raises for Congress, Federal Workers
    Written by V2A December 28, 2012 Social Security Ran $47.8B Deficit in FY 2012
    Written by visiontoamerica December 27, 2012 As Social Security Runs Deficits, America’s ‘Disabled’ Hits New Record

  24. Obama Borrowed Nearly 6X as Much in February as Sequester Cuts All Year
    Filed under Economics, Government Posted on March 5, 2013 0
    During the month of February–as President Barack Obama was warning Americans they would see dramatic effects in their lives if “sequestration” of some planned federal spending kicked in–the federal government’s debt climbed by $253.5 billion.

    That one-month increase in the debt was nearly six times as much as the $44 billion in spending cuts the Congressional Budget Office estimates will take place in all of fiscal 2013 as a result of sequestration.

    At the close of business on Jan. 31, 2013, the federal debt was $16,433,791,850,294.04, according to the U.S. Treasury. At the close of business on Feb. 28, 2013, the federal debt was $16,687,289,180,215.37. Thus, the federal debt increased $253,497,329,921.33 during the month.

  25. Better than nothing at all.

  26. Having spent 15+ years in the military I honestly believe that sequestration is a GREAT thing. I've never known the government to manage any program efficiently. In most cases, they just waste money. Having served in the Army in the past, I can tell you the Army wastes LOTS of money on unneeded programs, wars, travel, etc.

    Additionally, most people will agree that the government needs to cut back on spending. And they are ALL FOR government cuts as long as it doesn't effect them personally.

    As a taxpayer, I believe all government programs should share part of the burden of these tax cuts/spending proposals; even the military. Just my two cents.

  27. sabrinacking | March 12, 2013 at 1:40 pm |

    Help at Christmas no less. They decided to pull all the BAS for the NTC rotation….three months later, in December. With a whopping 20 odd days notice to soldiers, so well into November…guess what, we are withdrawing all your BAS for the NTC rotation in December…Merry Christmas!
    At this time, my husband is in no worry for being hit by the RIF, his MOS is understrength, he has never had so much as a negative NCOER, and he is still as an old guy, a running fool who PTs the crap out of his soldiers…HOWEVER this does not mean I don't have compassion for the people we see this is hitting. And no, most of them are not just fat.

  28. but it's the same thing at any company…if you don't need 10 accountants anymore you get rid of those that you don't need and retain the best of the best. The only difference here is that if they do get hit by RIF, they have counseling services, VA care, GI Bill and hiring preference to fall back on, unlike private sector who usually has one month pay…if that (heck they laid off a bunch of people in my company on Friday, all they got was their paycheck for the 15th). If the military doesn't NEED 1k infantry guys because the fight is over and can only get rid of 800 through attrition why do you think they should keep the extra 200, plus the expense of their families, just to be nice? It's hard, and it's harsh, I get that, but logically speaking, in a business sense (which in a time of skyrocketing debt has to be taken into account) why should the military keep the extra people?

    I don't think this NTC thing is anything new, of the past 3 NTC rotations my husband has had he's never gotten Sep pay and he's been gone for months at a time…but oddly enough he got it in Sept when he went through selection for 32 days

  29. Jill Dellamano | March 13, 2013 at 11:50 am |
  30. sabrinacking | March 18, 2013 at 9:31 am |

    I AM a taxpayer too. More importantly than that service members are taxpayers TOO. I'd like to see your tax returns and compare them to mine…let's see who actually paid more in taxes over the past decade.

  31. sabrinacking | March 12, 2013 at 7:52 pm |

    I think in your argument you state something which orchestrates why this affects military personnel harder. You state: the population needs a lesson in resilience. Any simpleton knows a large part of financial and personal resiliency comes from stability. As military families, we have little stability. Financial or otherwise from our incessant moving, deployments et all. We lose money every time we move…stability is not a commodity we have, therefore resiliency, or rather flexibility financially is much harder for us. For your average civilian stability is the foundation of financial health. Try losing your second income every time you PCS, try having to sell a house in a tanked economy, try having to pay to have someone keep your kid their senior year of high school at your last duty station, or as we did have to pay for him to attend a private school so he can meet the foreign language requirements of a new state to graduate on time.

  32. sabrinacking | March 12, 2013 at 9:00 pm |

    I wish you all the best, you have quite a way to go still…and your tune may change along the way. Oh and PS…five, we know 5 families going through RIF with more than 15 years in. The RIF predates sequestration, I used it to orchestrate the point…the same families going through repeat deployments, having their on post extra benefits cut (who cares about the commissary, shop the other six days…but closing CYS every Friday is a nightmare, not only for working spouses, but single soldiers w/children)….the RIF is just one more thing hanging over people's heads. By calculations you got out 7 years ago…it was a lot easier for anyone to get a job 7 years ago….

  33. sabrinacking | March 13, 2013 at 6:34 am |

    I don't know Amy from Adam but I would think after most of my comments on her particular posts if she was as you describe, she certainly wouldn't want me within 50 miles of her "free trip and free everything". I don't propose to have good ESPN, but you clearly have some personal issue with their events, but also the military in general from your recent divorce. I get that. If you care to elaborate, my email is my screenname at hotmail.com.

  34. sabrinacking | March 13, 2013 at 9:38 am |

    Most military families live nowhere near relatives who in the civilian workforce provide support systems to working parents.
    Again, I voted sequestration is a necessary evil…but I can certainly understand how people are angry, it's just one more morale kick after another.
    And for the record, the last large company I worked for did indeed, pay for my cell phone, my laptop, my Internet and paid for incentive vacations for it's employees as well as had a wonderful human resources Dept driven wellness program which included: free outside counseling, financial workshops, and yes…a daycare center. So there ya go.

  35. You are so wrong on so many levels. I was in the AF for four, and married to it for 18.5 years. Now that I'm a civilian its a heck of a lot TOUGHER where it comes to good paying jobs, affordable housing, healthcare, food and all the other perks that the military enjoys without fully understanding what it's like to live in the "real world". My husband was TDY/deployed a good part of our marriage, and although it was difficult it wasn't nearly as difficult than the millions of American supporting themselves and children on their own while also supporting your family too! So to say the military makes more sacrifices than non-military is a complete fallacy and a crock of bull—your caste system mentally is so far off the mark. FYI, the most dangerous jobs and deaths are civilian, e.g., transportation, logging, mining, drilling, construction, manufacturing, etc.; whereby, without the civilian contribution the military wouldn't have the materials to develop weapons, or planes to fly on, buildings to work in, or paychecks to live on. The FACT IS you are fully reliant on a working citizenry and without them you wouldn't be yammering on about a topic you don't appear to grasp. The Sequestration is necessary and there should be no compassion because our government nor military intended to operate like it does today—its sole purpose is to provide those specified in the US Constitution, period. Pay particular attention to Article 1, Section 8, para 11; whereas the only power given to Congress is "to raise and support armies; but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years". It was intentionally written this way because our founders knew the dangers of a country with a large army and disbanded the Confederate Army after the Revolution. America is suppose to rely on a MILITIA (reserves) and Citizenry (2nd Amendment) to protect the country from internal and external dangers at our shores—that's it. The fact most citizens are clueless about how their own country operates is why we have so many self inflicted problems like the National Debt.

  36. Actually Jill, I am a vet, and my husband has been in 13 years. So I fully understand 24 hour duties, probably more so than a lot of the spouses here.

  37. I appreciate every day that I have, but i wouldn't call it luck, I'd call it back breaking work to get there and in the event of a layoff I am MORE then adequately prepared to deal with it financially and emotionally.

    Honestly, if my husband was getting the boot at 15 years, my first question would be what did he do to fuck up or slack off. I mean most times you really have to try to get kicked out with that much time in. The ones over 10 years were booted for lackluster work performance compounded with affairs or "family" issues that would prevent them from coming into work. Another one lost it because his wife went ape sh!t that he had to deploy a month after their 4th was born and went right up the chain of command, then to the local media when the CG told her to get lost, he got the boot for refusing to deploy with his unit.

  38. cell phone laptop and internet I would expect any business to pay for…so no biggie there. How much was your health care deductible each month, and your copays to doctors, specialists, ER, and drugs? How much was your non subsidized grocery store? How much was your daycare and did you get X hours free per month or subsidize. How many counseling sessions were free? usually there is a cap on them. Did they fully pay for all your housing and electric (tax free) while still giving you a base salary equal to most private company jobs?

  39. sabrinacking | March 13, 2013 at 4:21 pm |

    I thought so too….here I was graduating at the top of my Masters class owning a successful actual physical private company…and whamo…the Army happened to my life…yet again. I get that you can not get it, and I hope that you never do. It's a terrible thing to do everything right…and still not win, but it happens and with age…you will learn that.

  40. sabrinacking | March 13, 2013 at 5:32 pm |

    I'd respond, but you said AF….and I have learned to just not go there….suffice it to say 11 straight years of combat deployments is slightly different than TDYs/noncombat deployments. We did 7 plus years before the war with constant TDYs etc…but no one was shooting at him, and he wasn't shooting at anyone…and trust me it makes a world of difference.
    I have also worked in the civilian sector my whole life and I don't know who you people are working for that you were so poorly compensated. I have never not made more than my husband. He gets that little total compensation sheet every year with the dollar value assigned to his commissary privileges etc…and I have ALWAYS made more in actual cash paycheck than that entire sheet in a year…AND got benefits on top of it. So there ya go.

  41. I've never claimed to do everything right, I'm just a very cautious person and what most people deem a super saver…we could both loose our jobs and pay our current expenses for 3 years without dipping into retirement accounts. I've got my Masters too and I WAS Army. I get that you are saying it's a compassion issue, I feel for them. But what you aren't getting is that just because it sucks doesn't mean it's not necessary and complaining isn't going to do anything. What is going to help is pre planning for the potential of this. Don't keep the delusions that you will always have a paycheck or that one paycheck is more than sufficient. If nothing else can be taken from this it's that no one owes you anything and proper planning begins at home, not with the government

  42. Never once gotten said sheet you talk about. And see you made ridiculous money because you were a defense contractor, so a job that existed solely to work with the Army, so therefore your position existed because of the taxpayers…it's sad how much defense contractors make because of the INSANE amounts they charge the federal government. And obviously you have been out of the real world for quite some time.

    In my current company there are four levels of premiums for health care, single, married, family, and family 5 plus. The most expensive of which has a $1200 a month deductible, single is 350/month copays, for specialists are $100, regular doc visits $25. Cheapest prescription for generic is $15. That's pretty standard nowadays for anyone outside of the government world.

    And frankly, I've gotten three unsolicited offers since 2011, could I double my salary probably but I prefer the flexibility to set my own schedule and work primarily from home. I really don't get what you think "I'm not getting" Yea it sucks for people who will be overstrength but there are millions of Americans going through it already so why should the military be exempt?

    Outside of the highly convoluted federal government sector, the outside world really doesn't pay that well outside of a few cities like DC.

  43. She probably wasn't a grossly overpaid defense contractor like you were. Never seen this total compensation sheet you discuss but I"d love to see one and see how poorly written it is.
    I too have always made more cash than my husband but when you add in free healthcare, prescriptions, retreats, gyms, food, PX, etc it doesn't come close to the non defense contractor real world

  44. Then child care isn't for you. It does not mean that one of these other 12.8% unemployment people wouldn't jump on the opportunity. How do you create a business, you fill a niche that has great demand. If you don't want to do it, that's fine, but I am SURE there are others willing to take up the slack.

  45. sabrinacking | March 13, 2013 at 7:39 pm |

    I was only a contractor for six years of a now almost 20 year career in executive administration, most of my career has been spent in the private sector, completely unrelated to the military in any way in retail and telecom.
    My husband thinks it's called an Army Compensation form…I know a lot of people actually use it to qualify for mortgages, which I personally always thought was idiotic since my PX discount can't pay the mortgage…but at any rate, you get one every year from the S1.

  46. sabrinacking | March 13, 2013 at 7:42 pm |

    Again, I don't disagree with you. My point was to explain the necessity of sequestration to people you need to meet them where they are, not on your high super saver horse. No one listens to that person. And where they are is exhausted, over used and angry…

  47. sabrinacking | March 13, 2013 at 7:47 pm |

    After my experience, I would never advise people in the military to buy a house or to take the financial risk associated with sole proprietorship while there is any threat of PCS. Been there, done that…holy Hades….

  48. And that is why a sole proprietership is almost never the answer…I am actually very sorry that you set one up, and more so that it didn't work out, they can be good but not when you have to move etc.

    Since you already know but others may not while in the Army an LLC is almost always the best answer, liabilities are limited to the assets of the LLC providing the rules such as no co mingling of assets are followed while in sole proprietorship the owner is responsible for all debts of the business directly. Sometimes cheaper up front isn't always better. I can understand your Holy Hades on that one…debt is NEVER fun

  49. sabrinacking | March 14, 2013 at 7:48 am |

    We are as baffled by you as you are us…we get the form every. single. year. It comes out once a year. You can request it from your S1. It is basically a total compensation breakdown it assigns a $ amount to every benefit recieved…commissary=x, AAFES=x, housing=X yadda dee yadda

  50. sabrinacking | March 14, 2013 at 8:02 am |

    You clearly have never started any company. I am trying to control my laughter that you think you could get any LOC or funding for an independent LLC start up…without some managerial culpability…it never happens. You are right, I did structure as an LLC…but you try buying property with one, without buying it outright in cash…today post the mortgage crash…good luck with that. What generally happens is a separate holding company purchases the property, which the LLC then leases from the holding company. So you are right…I dont have to carry any debt from the business itself…luckily I ran at profit every year so had none…BUT, I did have to remain culpable for the property and any real property capital improvements…which again, good luck selling in this market. I absolutely would recommend no one, under any threat of PCS start a business that has any property tied to it in this economy. I waited until we were assured by the Army we had stabilization for our kid being in high school….but there is ALWAYS that little one line kicker: needs of the Army….and it will get you every. single. time. Start a website, be a blogger, sell Scentsy whatever you want to call a business. But absolutely under no circumstances start a traditional business with a hard store front, property et all until you retire. Period. End of Story. To do so was basically playing blackjack with every thing I had ever earned in my life. I am not a risk taker, I would have never done so had the Army not stated we had stabilization, but they can do whatever they please with that one little contractual line. I did so, purely to have my career fuly funded and underway by the time he retired. Because again, it takes time to build a business and a customer base. You cant just start one after your husband retires when you're 45 or 50 and expect for it to be any real financial benefit for you for the first five odd years.

  51. sabrinacking | March 14, 2013 at 11:33 am |

    There it is finally out of modertion…so there ya go…don't be me. Don't think for one second, until the very DAY you retire….that you as a service member, or spouse of a service member, or your children…have any stability. You don't. You have the illusion of stability, but none whatsoever. And THAT is what makes military life so different.

  52. sabrinacking | March 14, 2013 at 9:41 pm |

    I worked for two seperate defense companies almost 10 years ago….ever since I have worked either for a privately held company having nothing to do with the military, or I owned my own company. I made significantly more…working in the private sector or for myself. So again, there ya go.

  53. Melanie Bush | March 15, 2013 at 5:42 am |

    You obviously do not understand what it means to be one of the truly rich people in America. The distribution of wealth is so out of whack–way more than you think. Watch this video http://mashable.com/2013/03/02/wealth-inequality/ and tell me again what you think about the distribution of wealth.

  54. I think he means the 1% that serve in the military not the rich 1%

  55. ME for one, along with numerous others I work with. I had a good career and made great money with low stress doing a job I really enjoyed. Due to the economic meltdown I had to change industries. I now make only marginally more in base salary than I did in the late 90's, back when gas was $1.39/gal., my electric bill ran $35.00/month and $100 would fill a grocery basket to overflowing. Today, $400 won't even fill a shopping cart.
    There are MANY out there whose standard of living has declined, and that rate of decline is ACCELERATING. We desperately need a regime change.

  56. sabrinacking | March 18, 2013 at 9:54 am |

    She "sacrificed nothing". She joined "because that's the only job you could get". You are a VILE human being. Your anger at your husband and the Army has turned unto a disease that is eating not only at your soul but is now spewing from you like acid at everyone else who has served, is serving or loves anyone who serves. The professional military exists under a social contract with the US people. So there is no draft, less than 1 percent of the population bears the entire brunt of war. For that they are paid a salary and incentives. THAT is the contract they have with the people of the US who would rather, they the other 99 percent of the country and their children never be shot at. That's it. That is the social contract. If the American people don't like it, disband the military and reinstitute the draft. The End. Please, for the love of all that is holy, go talk to a priest, or whatever you prescribe to before this vile anger eats your soul whole.

  57. sabrinacking | March 18, 2013 at 9:58 pm |

    $400 will certainly fill a shopping cart. My lavish military family has not spent more than $500 a month total to feed all 4 of us to include toiletries, laundry detergent, dog food et all. EVER. And I don't shop at the Commissary…..so stop accusing us of living better than you just because we budget better than you do.

  58. I didn't "accuse" anyone concerning how they live. My comment was in regard to the fact that Niels, whose wife makes her money from US, the taxpayers, seems to think they shouldn't have to cut back.
    My point is that there are many of us who are having to make do with a much LOWER standard of living than we did in the past.
    I happen to think that if civilians have to cut back, then those funded by the citizen taxpayers should be willing to cut back as well. It's all about WHERE the money comes from.
    Those in the private sector PRODUCE something for it, while there are arguably many (not all) government employees who add little of value to society, other than to interfere in our lives.
    When one obtains their income from funds that are taken by force from the citizens, they should be held to a much higher standard. This should apply even more to politicians, law enforcement, and others in positions of authority.

  59. sabrinacking | March 18, 2013 at 11:06 pm |

    Again, what I never understand with you is you speak as if you think military personnel, DoD personnel,or whomever else you deem "should be held to a higher standard"…don't pay taxes. They do. So can they then argue, they pay themselves? I was self employed the past four years, paying an insane amount of taxes…and prior o that I worked in the civilian sector…also paying taxes, a lot of taxes with the marriage penalty…and prior to that as a young'n I worked for two defense contractors for a total of six years…where I also…paid taxes. There are so many private sector employees who produce nothing that I am not even sure where to begin…retail sales, resellers of any sort: cars, houses, books, cds et all, hospitality, services…all PRODUCE nothing. I understand that you have it economically rough, but I think you are presuming a lot about a whole slew of other people who have it equally as rough…and…no one is shooting at you.

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