wThe foreboding stench of party-line battles echoing on the Capitol provides only a minuscule perspective of just how ridiculously out of control our federal budget is and how it affects every American. While our government leaders squabble of which entitlement to cut or to decrease spending on, American military families are preparing for the worst. This is a good time to explain that as a new soldier in-processing to a new duty station, one of the first places he and his family are sent to is the WIC office on base or nearby. WIC is the federally funded entitlement program known as Women Infants and Children that provides food stamps to pregnant or nursing women and their children under the age of five. Being sent to the WIC office signifies looming financial stress in the near future for the new soldier; otherwise, why would he and his family be sent to such an office by his military leaders? This is shameful.
It seems more appropriate to cut the middleman (WIC office administrators) and all the bureaucratic paperwork that goes along with the WIC process and increase the pay of the enlisted. One has to wonder why this easily arrived at possibility has not yet been implemented. Is it perhaps that they wish to control the purchasing power of the soldier? Do they feel that the enlisted soldier is not responsible enough to decide what purchases to make or how to spend his money? Regardless, this is just another long arm of the government reaching into the life of the American people. Cut the WIC; increase the pay for the soldier.
Nonetheless, the possibility of the shutdown has many military families frazzled. While making a call to the auto finance company it was expressed that they have been receiving many phone calls the last few days trying to make preparations for the worst. The same is true for the utility companies, creditors, and landlords. Most of the lenders are empathetic and willing to work with the military and even show their anger and disappointment with the government. Then, there are a few that are not so easy to work with. Some lenders respond with statements such as, “We are not even considering the possibility because it will not happen. It has never happened in the history of this country.” To them I say, “...keep living those pipe dreams but if it were you in this situation, you would be preparing for the worst also.”
Obviously no one wants to “believe” that a shutdown will occur. However, we would be ignorant not to prepare for it. One would think that delaying or withholding military pay would not even be considered. This is where some knowledge of how things work on Capitol Hill comes in handy. Unfortunately, nothing is that simple in D.C. and separating the military pay issue from the ill-fated federal budget issues is just a fantasy. Rep. Jack Kingston R-GA, Rep. Steve King R-IA, and Rep. Louie Ghomert R-TX along with fifty other congressmen co-sponsored a bill in hopes of protecting military pay in the case of a government shutdown. (Ensuring Pay for Our Military ACT 2011). However, President Obama, Sen. Harry Reid D-NV, and other Democrats have vowed to shut down the bill, claiming that its passage would ensure a shutdown. President Obama simply states that it’s just a “distraction” to working out an agreement on the budget that the Democrat-led 2010 Congress failed to pass.
So, what is it like to be on the receiving end of such a lofty Hail Mary pass that is being thrown with a heavy weight instead of a football? We are running fast trying to figure out how best to prepare. As previously stated, many military families are living paycheck to paycheck and struggling to make ends meet. When considering the possibility of not getting a paycheck, military families are urgently laying out their bills and making tough decisions on which one to pay and which ones to hold off on. It comes down to the essentials, what does one need to survive? In recent conversations some wives have come to the conclusion that the first to be cut would be creditors/lenders of credit cards, loans, television, internet, etc. Then, the car payment and the house payment would be next. It was agreed that the final essentials would be water, food, and cell phone.
It is easier to go without electricity than water which I have personally learned. Food is an obvious essential. The cell phone would remain because we obviously want to maintain contact with our spouse who for many is deployed, have the ability to make emergency calls, and smart phones could be used for internet access which is almost essential these days. Thankfully, many of us will benefit from the shelter of the Soldier’s and Sailor’s Civil Relief Act of 1940 and not receives any negative reporting if payments are made late.
One may ask why these military families have not prepared for rainy days to begin with following the rule of thumb that at least three months of bills should be set aside for such emergencies. For families like mine my husband and I were both personal trainers and doing fairly well when our nation was attacked. My husband felt called to fight for his nation and do his part. We took a major pay cut and moved our family half away across the country, leaving our extended family behind. While we had a certain amount of savings set aside on our move into our new military life, it was quickly dissolved after being forced to rely on it because of the pay cut we experienced. All this was done without any complaint because we felt it was the least we could do for our country. We made several sacrifices without requesting any sympathy. We did however, at least expect a paycheck.
The thing that really smells this crap up is that our elected leaders will still get paid, unless they follow Speaker Boehner who has already committed to not receiving his pay. To light a larger fire under your rear, consider this, the widows of soldiers who were killed in action will not receive their pay either. Okay, now sit down for this one. Guess who will still get a friggin’ paycheck…WELLFARE recipients, that’s who!!!!
Folks, it is time to cut all the ridiculous spending on frivolous hideous crap such as funding foreign cultural affairs projects, rebuilding of mosques and madrasas in the Middle East, funding abortions, and mohair military suits that were pulled out of commission back in the 1960’s. (I might be a little off on the last one, but thought it would be fun to include it.) I’m done. Our federal budget is out of hand. Our Republic is on the brink of being lost and incapable of resembling what it began as. It’s time for a new revolution. WAKE UP AMERICA!!!
While I don’t like the idea of not receiving a paycheck, this government shutdown has some good points. Why are we funding all these museums when we are broke? What is so wrong with not approving visa applications, we cannot even manage the people who are already here on visas. It is time the federal government learns how to make cuts and tighten the purse string just as the average American family is. Suck it up and quit spending. We do not to be the PR guy of the world and we are not the peace maker of the world. We cannot run in and save every little country whose people cannot get along within its own borders. Stop researching gay life in the military, they’re already there. Stop researching the sex life of a sea turtle and quit trying to beat Russia and Egypt to Mars. WE ARE BROKE. WE DO NOT HAVE ANYMORE MONEY. So far, no deal…just a few hours left before we know for sure if we will have to hold our breath until the next payday. Good-luck to all who are hanging in the lurch. May God bless you and may God bless America…into fiscal responsibility.