Tuesday, February 26, 2013

An Open Letter To Washington DC

Dear President Obama,

In the last 13 years, Congress has given themselves $32,700 in pay raises.... All while fighting about the budget (just under the 20% pay cut that they are asking, no telling, all Federal workers that we must take).
I think if they are going to make the average Federal Employee take a 20% pay cut (1 day off per week= 20%) then they should have to take it as well!
It would save the American taxpayers $18,618,000 a year, which I know is just a drop in the bucket, but it is what they are asking all of us to do! That is not taking into account their budgets that they have for staff, offices, housing, travel etc.
Or even better Congress should forfeit their pay until we have a budget. Why do we pay them to take a vacation while there is a budget crisis?
Honestly these people need to lead by example and make the cuts start with them before they start cutting those of us who make less than $100,000 a year working for the Federal Government!
Stop and look at what a 20% reduction in pay is going to do to the average Federal employee. If we use $55,000 as the standard a 20% reduction in pay is $11,000 over the course of a year, or about $423 per pay period, or $846 per month less going home.
For a family with small children, that is a day care payment for two children.
For a person working towards retirement, that is their extra into savings towards retirement, less money for them to have in savings and more that they have to depend on the government in their retirement years.
For a single mother, that is food on the table, gas in the car, utlities in her home.
For a young person straight out of college, it is their student loan payment, money towards their own home and money to start a family.
For a middle age person that is the pay for their parent's caregiver, pay off their houses.
For the person that has to commute to work due to the housing prices closer to their job, that is their gas for the month, food on the table.
I could go on and on about how this budget crisis is going to affect America.
For me personally? It's the difference between remaining in debt and barely hanging on, barely paying the bills, and maybenally digging out of this hole that we have found ourselves in after one military move after the other.
It's the difference in being able to pay for our 19 year old to take college classes with us helping her pay for them, and her not taking classes unless she can pay for them.
It's the difference in allowing our 16 year old to attend a summer program that will help prepare her for college, or her finding a part time job for the summer.
It's the difference between fresh, whole foods on the table or processed foods. Sad to say but processed tends to be cheaper until the farmers markets open up, and in a lot of cases even then.
It's the difference between sending our 8 year old to educational camps this summer, or just regular day care, or even my not working over the summer so we don't have that expense.
It's the difference between my taking graduate level classes to improve my teaching, or getting a summer job to help pay the bills.
It's the difference between my husband taking a job close to home, or a job working out of the country, because that is where the money is.
This job of mine, after my husband's retirement from 20 years in the military was supposed to be our way up out of this hole that we have dug ourselves, and now we find the prospect of my being right back at the same pay rate I was at working in a state school.
I love our country and love serving our country by educating the children of our military members, but what Congress is asking of the Federal employees right now? It is just too much.
Please Mr. President, push hard on Congress to come to a deal, a good deal, a deal that will benefit all Americans. Push Congress to look, really look for a solution to avoid these cuts on March 1st.

Patricia L. Cleveland
Patty Cleveland
Patty Cleveland
Go visit either my PLC Photography Blog at http://scienceesl2.blogspot.com
Or our family blog at: http://scienceesl.blogspot.com/
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