Tuesday, April 02, 2013

The unseen victims of austerity addicts

According to the very important punditry, the sequestration spending cuts are just a big joke because -- ha ha -- the world didn't end and nothing happened to the well off Villagers, so what's the big deal? Of course they don't mention the cuts haven't really taken full effect yet. They're only just now beginning to filter out around our country. Sam Stein and Amanda Terkel collected 100 instances where the spending cuts have started. Already social safety programs like Meals on Wheels are being cut, thousands of jobs are being lost, and those who are lucky enough to keep their jobs are seeing pay cuts of 20% and more. None of these people are laughing.

John Stanton tells one combat veteran's story. The man served honorably in our government's wars. He came home and worked hard to climb the economic ladder. This is his reward.
Then sequestration slashed Maryak's paycheck by nearly 27%. That cut nearly $900 from the $3,400 he makes a pay period. He responded, first, by picking up a job four nights a week delivering pizza for Papa John's; he then traded in the BMW for a white Chevy Impala, to save money and because he discovered that nobody tips the delivery man in the BMW. And since that miserable combination hasn't quite closed the gap — gas is expensive, and the Impala gets terrible mileage — Maryak, who was awarded a bronze star in Sadr City in 2008, found himself dwelling deeply on one question: "How do I unfuck myself from this situation?"
His best answer is to go back to active combat duty, but that's not an easy option:
But Maryak, who's applied for eight deployments so far, has run into another problem: With the United States out of Iraq, withdrawing from Afghanistan, and wary of putting boots on the ground in Africa and the Middle East, "deployments are ridiculously hard to find nowadays."
Admit it pleases the anti-war part of me that this is true, but it doesn't help Maryak solve his cash flow problems. He takes responsibility for his choices. He's worked hard all his life. His story is being repeated thousands of times all across America. They deserve better than to be used as a pawns in the partisan political games on Capitol Hill.

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