Tag Archives: sequester

Sequester Savings #1: A Running Tally of How the Sequester is Affecting My Spending

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So, the sequester has the talking heads buzzing about how much, if any, effect the sequester budget cuts are going will have on the economy.

As a family whose income is going to be reduced 20% for five months starting sometime in April, we are already working on our family budget and figuring out how to “not spend” that amount–because we don’t think we should have to sacrifice the savings we already have (or even the savings we were planning on putting by) to the cowardice of our legislative and executive branches of our federal government. Cowardice, yes, because the brave move would have been to tell the people of this fine country, honestly, that we are in a mess and we need to cut spending and we need to raise taxes, both. Instead, they chose to “let the sequester happen” and take zero responsibility for their failure to govern or lead.

So, they won’t get a penny of my savings account. We will instead withdraw that money from the economy.

My plan is to post regular Sequester Savings entries. I won’t be able to keep an exact tally. How to account for “what I didn’t spend” as opposed to “what I did spend?” You don’t get receipts for NOT spending. Unless you create one. Like today.

Daughter: Can you go to Waterways (a local coffee shop)and get us some lattes?
Me: We can make coffee at home. We are saving money.

Total savings: $7.50 directly OUT OF THE LOCAL ECONOMY.

I’m also in the middle of baking a loaf of homemade bread. My usual loaf of 12-grain bread costs about $4. A quick search on the internet shows a loaf of white bread homemade costs between 36-45 cents a loaf. Huh.

It will be interesting to compare grocery totals for months pre-sequester to months post-sequester. I’m counting March as post-sequester since we are starting the economizing now.

This is list of things I’m cutting out:

$ coffees and lattes anywhere but home
$ breakfast out once a week at local restaurant
$ books–kindle, Amazon, bookstores
$ pizzas from pizza shops (making my own instead ALL the time)
$ lunches and dinners out–take turns making lunches at home, peeps?
$ clothes for me for the next five months; I’ll make do with what I
have
$ theater, movies, or a concert unless it is free
$ entertaining at home, i.e. parties–unless it is potluck it isn’t happening!
$ jewelry, makeup, shoes–almost goes without saying, right?
$ extra trips that burn gasoline

You may wonder if I plan on having any fun at all. Sure. Libraries have books last I checked, so I don’t need to buy them. Coffee at home is fine. My homemade pizza and bread–yum and fun to make. A game of cards of mah-jong with friends down the road is fine entertainment. Scrabble anyone? How about a walk, bike ride, swim?

On the other hand, I’ll miss eating out, I really will.

But the main point is this, Federal Government: I’m not bailing you out with my savings. I hope the economy feels the pinch. I hope, finally, you duly-elected officials start doing your jobs, work together, and figure out how to balance this budget, starting with entitlement reform and ending with closing the most egregious tax loopholes.

Oh, and raise the minimum wage while you are at it. Have you seen the stats on wealth inequity lately?

The Sequestration Fiasco

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Does anyone else think this whole supposed sequester “debate” is a political scam perpetrated by BOTH parties?

Here’s my thought: both Democrats and Republicans know we need to reduce our budget spending and raise revenue in order to get our fiscal house in order, but neither wants to be “the bad guy” who makes the tough choices. So our lovely political parties are going to let the sequester happen, and neither side will claim responsibility for the sequester and will instead blame the other side…in effect, political stalemate. This, instead of being brave and making tough choices with reductions and taking responsibility for those choices. And if it is a political stalemate, neither party loses. Only the American people lose.

It’s not a bad move, if you are a political party. You don’t stick your neck out. You can skew the facts and figures as fuel for your next campaign and light the match from behind your safety wall of political rhetoric. The politicized news agencies will blow on the flames, igniting a wildfire of ire on both sides. The smoke and flames will obscure the truth…whatever that is. Great plan. If you are a political party.

Neither party is willing to admit, out loud, that Social Security and Medicaid/Medicare (as well as defense and other items) have to be cut and revamped if we are going to have a responsible budget. Dems refuse to admit that the government is bloated. Repubs refuse to admit that we need increased revenue to pay down the debt we’ve grown.

No one wants to think about China.

We the people really need to withdraw our support from both parties, in my opinion. They are not working for us. They are too busy starting fires.

To read more about the sequester, I’ve put together a list from a number of sources from both sides and the middle.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2013/02/19/172425370/whose-sequester-is-it-anyway

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/02/19/obama-seeks-sequester-scare/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-21508658

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/02/18/bowles-simpson-debt-sequester-budget-plan-politico/1928819/