The Sequester Scheme: Worse than You Thought
Is This What "We the People" Want?
Earlier this spring, my sister and her husband planned to visit me in Baltimore.
They were excited they'd be staying so close D.C., as they wanted to do some museum hopping. He's a history buff from the Midwest, and they currently live several hours from our nation's capital in Southwest Virginia.
When my mother called to inform me that the Smithsonian Institution, their most highly- anticipated destination, had shut down most of its exhibits due to the sequester... well, it rained on our parade. As a result, my sister and her husband begrudgingly agreed to delay their travel plans.
Unfortunately, museum closings are just the tip of a massive iceberg when it comes to the pangs of sequestration.
What's worse, those who arguably deserve the best government care are the ones experiencing the brunt of the blow...
Who is Sequestration Hurting the Most?
While our country's leader hosts lavish parties and plans exotic family vacations funded by our tax dollars, jetting from one fundraiser to the next, national military men and women who've devoted their lives to protect our sense of peace and freedom are suffering as a result of sequester cuts.
Hospitals treating wounded warriors have been dramatically affected by furloughs. Those furloughs have had negative financial impacts on at least 3,500 hospital employees in Virginia and Maryland alone.
The two hospitals taking the biggest hit are Walter Reed in Bethesda, Maryland, and Fort Belvoir in Virginia.
ABC 7 in Maryland reported:
Hospital officials say the furloughs affect 2,392 caregivers at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda. That's 94% of the civilian staff there. [...]
The furloughs stem from the automatic budget cuts from sequestration.
Out of the Department of Defense's 800,000 civilian workers, about 68,000 are exempt from the furloughs. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has said furloughs will save the department $1.8 billion.
And if that weren't a slap in the face to our wounded service men and women, active Marines are the victims of serious food rationing, also in the name of sequestration.
While most voters believe the combat war is over, it is uncertain just how many troops will remain in Afghanistan after 2014. In an area where more than 70% of the fatalities have resulted in the aftermath of the 12-year war, hot food rounds have been scrapped in Afghanistan.
Soldiers in Fort Bragg and the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst won't be permitted to partake in an Independence Day celebration. Events have been cancelled. However, this is unlikely to give our Congressional leaders pause from taking a full workweek off to celebrate the holiday with $15 martinis as they watch the fireworks from an expensive boat docked in the Potomac...
"Don't Punish the Public"
On the health front, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) were required to cut $1.55 billion (5%) from the fiscal year 2013 budget. The organization has been mandated to apply these cuts across the board, meaning all programs, projects, and health centers will take a hit.
More than 80% of the NIH's budget goes to over 300,000 research personnel at more than 2,500 universities and research facilities around the country. It's evident that all areas of medical research will be affected by Obama's signed order.
Additionally, our schools are taking a brutal hit. Texas alone will lose approximately $67.8 million in funding for primary and secondary education. Spending cuts of this magnitude affect the community at large, leaving teachers, assistants, counselors, coaches, and principals out of jobs that once allowed them to provide for their families.
How are we as a nation supposed to progress in terms of self defense, health care, and education when we're putting our tax dollars in absurdly expensive government-protected pension plans for just a few — instead of towards programs that would benefit the majority and society as a whole?
Is This What "We the People" Want?
Last I checked, we were still a democracy (although I'm having an increasingly difficult time figuring out which parts of our system make this a true statement).
Shouldn't we, as taxpayers, get a say in where our nation's money — read: our tax dollars — are allocated?
The fact that a $100 million African safari was even considered for the Obamas this summer blows my mind...
Living in a diverse urban areas like Baltimore City, I see firsthand how hard lower-income earners have been hit with sequestration budget cuts.
Much to my dismay, Congress doesn't do much to fix a budget cut crises — unless it directly impacts the wealthiest 1%. The government bigwigs are controlled by the Big Money Guys, and they know good and well not to bite the hand that feeds them.
The media tends to harp on furloughs and delayed flights, but skips over the worst parts of this deal. When you really examine the facts — cancer patients suffering from disease and the added stress of medical bills, under-funded schoolchildren, laid-off teachers, furloughed hospital employees, the list goes on — it's hard not to become infuriated by government waste in the midst of all we're losing.
Congress' Opulence Doesn't Help
Last week I told you that you are being ripped off.
This week I'm frustrated by it all over again.
The situation has become far more serious than many realize, simply because the mainstream media doesn't talk about it (that is, beyond a superficial summary of the issues)...
But an increasing number of people are seeking the information for themselves — and waking up to the traps the Insiders have set for us.
We at the Outsider Club hope you are becoming motivated by and passionate about the reality, and driven to become proactive in planning how to thrive in spite of these plutocratic conditions.
Keep up the good work.
Farewell for now, Brittany Stepniak Brittany Stepniak is the Project Manager and Editor for the Outsider Club. Her “big picture” insights have helped guide thousands of investors towards achieving and maintaining personal and financial liberties while pursuing their individual dreams in lieu of all the modern-day chaos.
Farewell for now,
Brittany Stepniak is the Project Manager and Editor for the Outsider Club. Her “big picture” insights have helped guide thousands of investors towards achieving and maintaining personal and financial liberties while pursuing their individual dreams in lieu of all the modern-day chaos.
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