Saturday, April 09, 2011

Budget Football and a voice from the frontlines … and the weekend

Saturday.  A bit of housekeeping.  Another few edits on some pics before sending on to their owner. 

Winding down after crazy busy at work.   My job is like this:  Imagine being at the State Fair for 8 hours a day (if not more), 5 days a week, on the busiest day of the season, then multiply that by five months.  Now, most of the State Fair people are great and normal folks.  But always there are a few groups you’d prefer that they stay on the other side of the park.  It’s the best way I can describe this year so far.

Moving on.  The budget football.  Yikes.  Is everyone glad that this was semi-resolved?  My own household would be affected by a Government shut-down.  But not like this (below) … a note I received via FB from a wonderful young man (my nephew) who is on his umpteenth tour of duty in Iraq.  Okay, umpteen might be too numerous but still he has been there more than twice.

(NEPHEW (to me))

I need your help. I dont know what all you can do, but can you bring this situation to light with some of your bosses. I have Soldiers out here that do not know what to do and I have no answers for them. I am a little worried myself. We should not have to worry about how we are going to provide for our families when we are in a place that is willing to kill us for the simple fact that we are american. We need as much help as we can get. The invite I sent to you, if you can pass that around that would be greatly appreciated.

  (ME)  08 April at 15:22

will do. i work at the state level though and have no idea what is going on at the federal level .... i think there is a severe game of chicken going on and both sides are digging in their heels. J is affected, too, remember! we are all concerned.

(NEPHEW)  08 April at 17:17 Report

i know and understand that it extends well beyond the military to almost every facet of government jobs, as well as understand the difference between the state/federal responsibilities. maybe a state senator might have some pull/know a federal senator well enough to be able to effect some decision making. just wanting to try to do something. not so much for myself, as the shutdown would have a minimal effect on me, but more for my Soldiers and brothers that rely on the joke that is our paychecks to feed their families. As I have said before. many of them live paycheck to paycheck and do not have any money set aside mainly because they can't afford it. They are worried about how they will take care of their families when I really need their head in the game.

It really comes down to life and death for us out here. Granted the climate in Iraq has changed alot over the years, but it has not changed the fact that if anyone of my Soldiers is distracted from the task at hand then it puts everyone around him in an unmeasurable amount of danger. This does not effect only one Soldier. It effects at least 3/4 of the Soldiers that I currently work with. If you do the math, then the climate has changed to a much more dangerous level, because now they are worried about things at home instead of here.

This is one of the most basic responsibilities that our government owes not only the military but all aspects of government service that are hit by their incompetence. All I am trying to do is bring to light any way I can that even though we are still working and are supposed to get back pay, that it does not help anyone now and will not help no matter what they do unless they reinstate the pay.

(ME) 08 April at 17:48

Absolutely ... I totally understand. Will copy and send your message on to my boss, who I know has talked to Congressman S_____ this week.

 (NEPHEW) 09 April at 01:12 Report

Sweet thank you, thats all i can ask. I just dont want to be a spectator on something as important as this, maybe they can pull their heads out of their rear ends and fix it before it gets to bad. Is J getting forloughed or is he still working? Hope all is well and I'll see you guys when I can.

(ME) 09 April at 12:45

Message delivered and it looks like we might have done some good! (Ha) ... crisis averted for another week. I think you military families were a pawn in the game ~ I hate that you were (are) held hostage while the sides battle it out. It ain't right, I tell you!


carmar76 said...

your nephew is exactly right - our men & women in the military, wherever they're stationed, but most especially in hostile environments - should not have to worry about their paychecks. they shouldn't have to live paycheck to paycheck, either, but i guess that is a different battle. they at least shouldn't have to be worried that their family won't have enough of something because of this mess.

oh, it just makes me so upset! your nephew had my admiration & respect for his service, pam.

Karl said...

Good morning Pam,

It was theater, Bad theater. Military pay was never really on the line. Spin to get people excited. And in the end nothing was acomplished.

As far as living paycheck to paycheck. Many get themselves into the situation. A common problem in the young, soldier or not.

Karl said...

one other thing your nephew should understand is, During the last government shutdown, in 1995, troops continued to receive their paychecks, the Clinton Administration followed the OMB guidance issued during the Reagan Administration. The Obama Administration, it seems, was tacking a different direction. The President was threatning to withhold pay for our military while ensuring welfare recipients get their checks on time. Which is what he needs to know.

moi said...

Karl is exactly right, and that's wrong, wrong, wrong. It should be the other way around. One of the few things I believe a government should rightly fund (which means I will gladly pay my taxes for it), is a strong, capable military.

Nephew also should know a couple other things:

1. A shut down wouldn't be for long, a month at most.

2. And, I mean no disrespect here, but every individual and family living in this country should make it their FIRST priority to have at least 3 months's worth of salary in savings as a contingency. It's just smart money management.

fishy said...

The actions of the past week PROVE our Congress do not serve the people. It appears they are playing a never ending chess game where we the people are the disposable pawns.

Pure fantasy to expect them to put gaming aside and settle into reality.

Pam said...

Carmy: I agree!

Karl: Thanks for your perspective and I passed along your statement.

Moi: They make so little and expenses so high, it is no wonder they live payday to payday. But they take the job expecting a steady paycheck. I wouldn't do it, would you?

Fishy: Well, I have a different perspective since I watch the yearly budget battle closer up (except at the state level). There is only so much pie to slice up and how you slice it is always contentious. The new conservative movement in DC is holding some feet to the fire re budget deficit and accountability and I think they are probably battled hardened now as well.