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Don't think sequestration is really hitting people where it hurts? Meet Jeff Maryak, Army reservist, combat veteran, and civilian employee of the Defense Department. He's 39 years old, and thanks to the sequester, he's searching for a way to get back to a war. Buzzfeed's John Stanton explains why:
He pays $1,900 monthly rent for a small apartment in suburban Maryland; $950 in mortgage and utilities a month on the house he can't sell in North Carolina; $1,000 in monthly child support payments; $250 for his and his daughter's car insurance; $300 a month for an extra insurance policy for his kids; $250 for their cell phones; and a luxury, the more than $500 note on his black 2008 BMW. And, like millions of Americans, Maryak is living under a mountain of credit card debt—he estimates that just to meet the minimum monthly payments, he's shelling out more than $600 a month. [...]

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?"

Deployment looks like the answer to him—if he can find a deployment when the U.S. has so scaled back its wars.

Maryak, who Stanton describes as an "anti-spending conservative," appears to be kind of a work hard, spend hard, then work hard some more to pay the bills kind of guy. But that plan breaks down when you're hit with a 27 percent pay cut all of a sudden. Even if you don't have the house that won't sell on top of your rent, like Maryak. So while the national political press—Stanton included—appears to have concluded that the sequester isn't really that big a deal, when you look at a story like this and then realize that some version of it is replicated thousands of times, it's hard to see how people say sequestration is no big deal and easy to see how its effects are going to keep building and spreading.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 07:46 AM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Why'd he trade in the BMW (22+ / 0-)

    for an Impala?  A Yaris or Accent would be a lot more convenient for delivering pizza.

    Not to mention $250 a month for his kids' cell phones seems a bit steep. Unless he has 10 kids.

    And I'm positive there are "small apartments" in suburban Maryland that go for less than $1900 a month.  Yes Montgomery county is expensive, but nobody's forcing him to live in a shiny condo development next to his work.  

    Anti-spending my ass.  But hey, at least the people he voted for prevented a 3% income tax rate increase on those making between 250k and 400k a year.  In this case at least, he got the government he deserves.

    •  Ironically, I'd be (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus

      in a very similar boat to his (Minus the BMW and child support).if the Nuclear Regulatory Commission didn't have their head up their ass when it comes to processing security clearances for dual citizens.  

    •  agreed (13+ / 0-)

      this story is absolutely ridiculous.

      just a middle class guy who thought he would be a big player, voted R, and got owned.

      let him feel the pain. he needs the lesson.

      Deficits don't matter, jobs do.

      by aguadito on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 02:30:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And oh goodness... (9+ / 0-)

      ...suddenly he can't afford to have two homes!

      I have heard about plenty of people who walked away from houses when they couldn't sell them. I know a couple personally who rented them out. (He wouldn't even need to make the whole $950, just close enough. He's still building equity, after all.)

      Apparently he is willing to do neither one, but he's happy to complain.

      Anyone who is taking home $5200 per month has no cause to complain, even if they're living in San Francisco. (And I know, because I am.)

      And hey, what do you want to bet that he's contributing the max amount to his retirement fund? (Unless he's got a pension, in which case fuck him sideways with a splintery stick for complaining).

      •  Could you be (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fred Fnord, fungiblechattel

        a bigger ass?

        He doesn't "have" two homes. He has the one he lived in when he was stationed in NC, probably before the divorce, and he has a little apartment he lives in now--one near the job that's suddenly paying him less.

        He got a job delivering pizza. He got rid of his BMW. But that isn't good enough for you.

        Must be nice not to depend on the DOD for a paycheck. My family doesn't have that luxury.

        •  And making upwards of $100k a year, I assume? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SNFinVA, Jeff Y, Cream Puff

          Sure, I can be a bigger ass if you like.

          He doesn't "have" two homes. He has the one he lived in when he was stationed in NC, probably before the divorce, and he has a little apartment he lives in now--one near the job that's suddenly paying him less.
          I'm confused by your assertion. I said he had two homes, and you said 'he doesn't have two homes, he has a house and an apartment!'

          It's almost as if he owned a home, and rented a (quite expensive) home, and therefore had two homes. One of which he is paying rent on, and the other of which he is paying a mortgage and utilities for (and if the utilities are significant enough to mention, either he has someone living in it or he is using it as a vacation home, because just keeping the pipes from freezing doesn't cost much).

          My point was not 'he has a vacation house!' (nor is that what I said.) It is that for every person who has two homes and is having trouble selling one, which is causing him to cut down on his BMW payments, there are a dozen people who have no home at all, and another hundred who are in danger of losing the one they do have. Some of them are government employees, some of them are unemployment recipients, and so forth. All of them are an order of magnitude more screwed than this guy is.

          And yet we are choosing to focus on this guy instead. I leave exactly why we are doing so as an exercise for the reader, but I invite you to think about it, because the answer is illuminating.

          He got a job delivering pizza. He got rid of his BMW. But that isn't good enough for you.
          After the pay cut, he makes more money than roughly 90% of people in the United States. I will not fucking weep for him, and any attempt to make him the poster child for those who were hurt by the sequester will just make more people hate both the government and the media, because it makes them look laughably out of touch with the concerns of most of the country.

          If you cut my pay by 20% tomorrow, I would be upset. And I probably would start looking for another job. But I wouldn't mistake what was happening to me for serious hardship, because I've seen serious hardship before. If you have not, I am quite happy for you, because it sucks ass and the fewer people who see it the better off the world is. If you have, if you have ever had to sit back and think about where your next meal was coming from, I invite you to sit down and think about what that felt like for a while, and then reread this article.

          I think you'll find it reads a bit differently.

    •  Don't be so sure... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Egalitare, Bronx59, Cream Puff

      that's market rate, at least in Alexandria, VA.  I imagine in Montgomery County market rate is even higher.  

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 05:53:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sure, along the Washington Metro line (0+ / 0-)

        Not everywhere in MoCo.  I apartment-hunted there for a few months back in 2007, when prices would have been similar to now if not higher.  I'm sure he's paying extra for prime location, luxurious furnishings, or both.

        Factoid: IIRC, MoCo is the only county in the US where the median income of African-Americans is higher than that of whites.

        •  well...prime location is of course relative (0+ / 0-)

          for me, it's a necessity to live along the metro line, because I don't own a car.  That obviously doesn't apply here.  But there may be other factors determining location, like shared custody for a kid's school or something.

          Not everyone has the freedom to live where rents are low.

          And prices have gone up since 2007.  

          Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

          by a gilas girl on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 05:41:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I looked it up (0+ / 0-)

            and you're right about the increase.  12.6% between 2007 and 2011.  I'd forgotten that areas heavy with Federal employees don't suffer market downturns the way Toll Brothers McMansion parks or post-industrial Rust Belt urban hellholes.

            However, the countywide average rent for a one-bedroom in 2011 was only 1309$.  The most expensive area (Bethesda) was still only 1723$.  We can't know exactly what other factors apply because we don't know where he lives or works.  I suspect his kids don't live in the 1-bedroom with him most of the time.

            My main point was that this guy's been fiscally irresponsible and that his case was a bad example of the sequester hitting Federal employees.

  •  Boehner: You gotta break a few spirits in order to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leathersmith, Fury

    make goolash.

  •  How in the hell (16+ / 0-)

    do you really expect to get sympathy for someone that is clearly living way above his means.  The 27% figure is misleading. The last I heard they were cutting 22 days for the year which amounts to a 8.33% annual pay cut. At that level of pay he has to be making above 100G a year.

    Past Combat service notwithstanding, he needs a financial counselor because going back to work to fix a temporary cash flow problem is nothing more than adding one bad choice on to a number of other ones I can see with his spending habits

    So sorry about the BMW...

    “ Success has a great tendency to conceal and throw a veil over the evil of men. ” — Demosthenes

    by Dburn on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 08:42:08 AM PDT

    •  Wrong (5+ / 0-)

      IF he is furloughed one day a pay period, it's a 10% cut. There are 10 working days per pay period, at 8 hours per day.

      If he is furloughed two days per pay period it's a 20% cut in pay.

      There are 120 working days left in this fiscal year -- remember NO cuts were made until March 1st, and most federal employees get 30 days notice before they're furloughed.

      I'm a federal timekeeper, I've filed the bloody paperwork (pay slips, leave slips, etc.) for most of my federal career (33 years), and I know how much money disappears from the check during a furlough.

      Remember this is a matter of scale, what is a small cut to the agency overall, represents a hefty chunk to the individuals being furloughed.

      •  That's the short view (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sparhawk, Aquarius40, devis1

        The long view is that there was 22 days out of the next 7 months he was furloughed. He obviously had few concerns about living check to check as Federal workers very seldom go through even a bit of pain compared to the private sector.

        There were many people just like him prior to Sept 2008 that lost ALL their income and still haven't got any of it back. They lost their homes cars and personal possessions.

        Cry me a frickin river. A BMW for C.S.

        “ Success has a great tendency to conceal and throw a veil over the evil of men. ” — Demosthenes

        by Dburn on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 01:22:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Note -- I don't approve of HOW he was spending... (11+ / 0-)

          ...his money.

          I'm guessing he was GS-13 or higher. None of the auditors I was working with was pulling down enough money to have a car that expensive!

          There's all sorts of ways to save money -- ditch the $250 a month cellphone bill, and go pay-as-you-go. When the kids run out of $ that's it for the month.

          I guess he's going to have to learn to be frugal...

           

          •  BTW - I saw the announcement (0+ / 0-)

            His total furloughed days now come to 14 instead of 22 . He'll have to suck it up and juggle through 7 pay periods.
            Then he can get back to "why worry? we never get laid off"

            Three months. If people get a decent paying job after three months of unemployment, they consider it a fricking miracle. The idea they could get Fridays off for 7 pay periods  and still get full benefits (including 30 paid vacation days) and come back to full time employment is called a Vacation compared to living on unemployment, then food stamps for all 7 days of the week. Now we are coming to the five year point when they can't even get that.

            This is total and complete exercise in unjustified whining by all members of the Federal workforce that were inconvenienced by this. They do themselves no favors by whining about it to the press. They still don't understand exactly how good they have it.

            “ Success has a great tendency to conceal and throw a veil over the evil of men. ” — Demosthenes

            by Dburn on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 06:16:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Everybody isn't being furloughed (0+ / 0-)

        The same.  Depends on your job and how necessary DOD has deemed your constant presence.  A few civilians will not be furloughed because their job is deemed too necessary and must be fully staffed at all times.

    •  I was trying to make those (10+ / 0-)

      numbers add up before the 27 cut and couldn't and I am good at squeezing dollars.   The 1900 a month rent ....with a  family of 5 we could not swing.....The cell phones would have to go and get a go phone..or no phone..The BMB would have to be traded for a Volkswagon or at least a car whose insurance wouldn't take it all. Insurance?  Tell the kid no driving until they can help pay for the insurance or let them deliver the pizza.  The child support can be renegoiated with lack of income and you cut cable and other things to line up with at least some breathing room.

      The house in NC....I would rent out .
      There are answers here and combat does not have to be one of them
      There is always Chapter 7.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 02:41:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They live in a bubble (6+ / 0-)

        Most of these people probably deployed during the current WOT, then they come home, get out, and work as a DOD civilian.  They lived in a sort of other world, almost all of them are Conservative too, and have not one single clue what it has been like for civilians on Main St.  My husband works with like 13 of these civilians.  You can't talk to them either, he has tried....as an Independent voter he has tried to get them to see some reality and they refuse.  In their minds though war heroes and those who supported the heroes should all be able to drive a BMW if they want.  Almost all of them are about to get a strong dose of reality, and it is something that none of them even have a plan for.  They can't even fathom it.  They bitch about a nanny state, but think that they deserve a lifetime nanny.  They make no sense to me.

        Coming off two wars is going to rake a bunch these yahoos too.  I know that sounds somewhat disrespectful but I'm kind of fed up with almost all of them.  We just don't need the workforce that we did though with Iraq and Afghanistan going on.  Many are about to be blown out of the bubble and onto the street next to you and they have no economic survival skills.  And they never really gave a shit about anybody but themselves after waving the flag and watching Fox and Friends.

    •  Have to admit: That was my first reaction. (10+ / 0-)

      He's really a bad example.

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 02:53:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  May have lost overtime, as well n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  Umm wow anti spending conservative? (18+ / 0-)

    Wtf?  He can't just cut back and live in the woods with an axe and his self sufficiency?  This guy wants sympathy?

    "Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal."

    by sujigu on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 09:25:09 AM PDT

  •  Amazed That Elected Officials Seem OK (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wonmug

    with this continuing. This thing that was so terrible it would not be allowed to happen. This thing that once we accepted it would happen would not be damaging because it would only allowed to continue for a little while. These anecdotes don't seem to matter. I guess when people start seeing that employment rates and GNP are sluggish if not declining, people will connect the dots. Economy will again be the issue in 2014. Marriage equality, gun control and immigration reform are important. But the economy will dictate how the midterms go. Don't see an effort by the Democrats to get rid of the sequester or focus pinning the blame on the Republicans.

  •  The guy is paying $500 a month for a BMW. (15+ / 0-)

    He's an "anti-spending conservative". If he's taking home $3400 a pay period, that's $6800 a month. And he's ass deep in debt.  If he's delivering pizzas to make up the difference, maybe instead of going to war he should do a little navel gazing.

    •  I could save $2000 a month (6+ / 0-)

      with one of those paychecks.  

      “ Success has a great tendency to conceal and throw a veil over the evil of men. ” — Demosthenes

      by Dburn on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 01:25:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  so he was supposed to plan for the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vetwife

      sequester and knowing his pay would be cut by a quarter? It's his money he is entitled to do what he wants with it and some of those expenses he can't easily get out of. what's he supposed to do, not pay child support or insurance payments? Except for the kids cell phones. That should be slashed right away.

      "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

      by eXtina on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 02:35:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sparhawk, tardis10, True North, Ramoth

        He was maxed out before this came along.  It's not like this was some out-of-the-blue surprise, either.  

        And unless he's a very senior NCO or a mid-grade officer, his wartime pay - even with tax breaks, if he ends up being eligible - won't match his civilian pay.  I know this from personal, my-own-boots-on-the-ground experience.

      •  What he's supposed to do (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OldSoldier99

        Is be a better manager of his money. Even before the sequester, he was spending a great deal of money for someone who is supposedly an "anti-spending conservative". Now, I know the GOTP is all about do what I say, not what I do, and ordinary, regular people are constantly one paycheck away from disaster anyway, but if you're going to slap a label on yourself that you're "anti-spending" and not properly reign in your spending and/or adjust your lifestyle to stay within (or better, below) your means, when that horrible thing happens - whatever that thing is - then you're much better prepared. This guy has made a long series of poor choices.

        No, he didn't have to plan for the sequester. Like most people, he should be - and should have been -  planning for life.  Life is a series of pop quizzes, and it really matters how you are able to respond.

      •  Yes, but... (0+ / 0-)
        It's his money he is entitled to do what he wants with it
        Yeah, he's entitled to do what he wants with his money.  But he's not entitled to a whole heck of a lot of sympathy when he whines about being unable to handle a temporary pay cut.

        Considering the number of people who are scraping by on wages near poverty level, I'm not sure why he would expect a lot of sympathy when he's making somewhere in the vicinity of $100k/year?

        I'll also note that while he's entitled to do as he pleases, being able to do something isn't the same as it being a good idea to do those things.  Bottom line is that if you make enough money to have the luxury of living below your means, it's basic financial wisdom to do so -- spending less than you make and saving the difference gives you so much more flexibility when times turn tight.  

        Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

        by TexasTom on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 08:29:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Priceless (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vetwife, OldSoldier99

      A little navel gazing would have done many of his kind much good.

  •  He would really benefit from some financial (13+ / 0-)

    counseling..for sure.

    I do feel badly for anyone whose pay and hours are cut back. But still, his spending is way out of control.

    Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

    by wishingwell on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 02:30:40 PM PDT

    •  he obviously had to move to get a job (0+ / 0-)

      my sibling is in the same situation. Mortgage on a condo that was purchased during the boom, tried renting it out but it got trashed by the tenant, and paying rent on an apt where they had to go for a job

      "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

      by eXtina on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 02:33:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't we want fewer DoD jobs ultimately anyway? (5+ / 0-)

    And he has a house in North Carolina plus an apartment he's spending close to 3 grand a month on after utilities... Is this what counts for a sequestration sob story these days? I'm all for jobs that pay a living wage, but seriously, this guy deserves little sympathy.

    "...we can all shut-up and go back to our caves." - Leonard Bernstein

    by progdog on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 02:31:20 PM PDT

  •  Any explanation for why his pay was cut by (0+ / 0-)

    so much? Wasn't it supposed to be around 10% or 20 at the most?

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 02:32:37 PM PDT

  •  What's that saying... (10+ / 0-)

    About reaping and sowing?

    Maryak, who Stanton describes as an "anti-spending conservative"
    Pardon me if I've got no sympathy at all for a guy willing to shell out more than Casa Brillig spends on a landline AND 3 cell phones (WITH data plan) and can't manage to live on what he makes, when the elected officials HE supports took us both to the point where the Federal mess was so damned bad and then to sequestration because they're too damned partisan to get their heads outta their asses and do what's right for the country because a Brown Democrat(ic) Dude is in the White House.

    (damn... all that in a single sentence? I must be pissed!)

    I'm not usually this blunt, but... fuck him. It's what he was willing to do to everyone else in the name of Anti-Spending Conservativism. Get off your whiny ass and start conserving!

    "But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die." - - Cherokee saying

    by brillig on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 02:33:11 PM PDT

  •  ... (3+ / 0-)

    I can't garner any sympathy for someone who can pay for all that stuff. The answer to his question is to not fuck yourself like that in the first place. Clearly, with his choice of cars, a house payment and rental, child support, insurance, $250 cell bills for the kids, etc,  he's not able to make any decisions that would keep himself out of that situation. No sympathy...

  •  This guy is not the poster child (12+ / 0-)

    for how bad the sequester is. He is a prime example of living beyond one's means.... & what some are willing to do to keep living that way.

    "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

    by tardis10 on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 02:35:34 PM PDT

  •  I don't understand the rent cost. nt (0+ / 0-)
  •  If he can't sell the house in N. Carolina (0+ / 0-)

    I'd advise him to move back into it.  A $950 mortgage payment beats $1,900 in rent.  And maybe the $500 in cell phone/insurance payments could be whittled down, as well.

    _"Love is the rosebud of an hour; Friendship the everlasting flower."_ Brook Boothby

    by Keith930 on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 02:38:59 PM PDT

  •  In my 3rd year of state-imposed furloughs (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    True North, OldSoldier99, profewalt

    All told, the cut was about 20% for us untenured faculty. Contractually, they could pick on us more than staff or tenured faculty. I, too, have a house I can't sell. I've picked up a 'side hustle' on top of trying to make sure I'm in position to get tenure. I'm at the point where I don't really care all that much about getting tenure where I am. I want to make sure I've done what I can to make myself attractive to another university as soon as I can move the house.

    We got a letter from the good R governor in this state that he proposed to cut the number of required furlough days in half for the next fiscal year. How nice of him. No mention in the letter regarding whether we'll get part of the paycuts back - just a reduction in the number of furlough days. He and the state leg are exempted from all of the cuts they've imposed on the rest of us.

  •  hard to have sympathy (16+ / 0-)

    for someone that is bitching about 6800 a month take home pay when I've been out of work for three years (too old and too educated to be hired by anyone) and have shrunk my life down to about 1,000 a month going out...the house went long ago just to keep eating...

  •  trying to figure out (10+ / 0-)

    How the hell going back on active duty is gonna fix his problems.  In his pics it shows he's an e-6...so there is no way he's gonna make up the cash he lost due to the sequester.

    27% loss in income?  Time to revisit your divorce decree...and walk away from that house and declare bankruptcy.

    And really, I'm supposed to feel sorry for a guy with a BMW?  I make more jack than he does and still drive a 10yo Honda.

  •  Ugh. And now for the right-wing response: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fury, Ramoth

    "Child support?!" Maybe he should have stayed with his kids! Yeah! Obviously, he deserves it, because everyone deserves the bad things that happen to them. Except me.

    Sigh.

    The problem with going with your gut as opposed to your head is that the former is so often full of shit. - Randy Chestnut

    by lotusmaglite on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 02:45:33 PM PDT

  •  Is this a joke? (16+ / 0-)

    Am I really supposed to feel sorry for this guy? $80,000 per year? That is a very nice income, even for a high cost area like around DC. Also, $250 on cell phones, BMW, $1900/mo apartment…? A $600 monthly payment on credit cards means this guy is likely carrying a balance somewhere around $25,000  or $30,000.

    Sorry, the dude just sounds like an idiot. If you are pulling down $80k and still living paycheck to paycheck you are doing something wrong and it’s no fault but your own. Also, veteran status and Bronze Star aside, he’s not a very sympathetic character in general. Flunked out of a good college. Divorced twice. Considering the magnitude of his fuckups in life he’s actually doing quite well for himself and has precisely zero basis for complaint.

    Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

    by Joe Bob on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 02:56:03 PM PDT

  •  Interest (10+ / 0-)

    I can forgive most of his monthly spending (I'm not sure I could just walk away from a home I couldn't sell and, having a daughter of my own, I sympathize with the cell phone bill) ... until you get to the $600 in credit card minimum payments and interest.  That's a lot of revolving debt; I suspect that the Beemer was hardly his one and only "luxury."  

  •  "anti-spending conservative" sure spent a lot. (7+ / 0-)

    Typical R voter. It's great when everybody ELSE gets slammed with the predictable side effects of Ayn Rand Worship, ultra-crappy when it happens to you.

    Still not enough to keep them from voting R.

    "I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. -- John Stuart Mill (March, 1866)

    by Blood on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 03:05:08 PM PDT

  •  If I paid $1,900 = ¥ 210,000 for rent (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldSoldier99

    I'd be living in Kanda Tokyo in a very nice condominium.  Remember Tokyo is the most expensive city in the world.

    •  Hell I would at least have a yard and house (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mishima, Militarytracy

      with a pool, lake and maybe a country club nearby.  We have a pool but it is theraputic... Came with ADA compliance railing.  We lucked out when we found this house.. But ours is pretty cheap and we still don't pay that kind of money..  I don't even have a dishwasher.  We have air and heat and a fireplace but the home was built in the early seventies.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 04:14:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We bought very modestly too (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bronx59, Vetwife

        If he retired today, the fixed rate mortgage would be 1/6th of that benefit.  We are not the norm though.  We aren't even exciting among the war crowd :). We have one car payment.  My husband does have a Harley but it is paid for, planned for and paid for.  My husband needs to deploy and there isn't even much out there for him as someone who is currently active duty......there is Korea, but Korea isn't tax free and there is one "extra" unimpressive pay having to do with your family doing without you (it was 60 bucks a month in 2001 and I don't know what it is now) there is no combat pay or hazard pay.  We'll take Korea of course...gratefully.

  •  Spending beyond his means. (7+ / 0-)

    I live in oil and gas country and have heard stories about the workers that work massive overtime hours. When the overtime stops they cannot live on their regular paycheck because they have used the overtime to buy a bigger house, more toys, expensive truck, etc.. One of my friends told me his cousin had to get a parttime job to make the payments after the overtime was cut at his job. Executives have been known to depend on their yearly "bonus" to make payments on their credit cards. People that tend to be careless with money will just have to learn the hard way. $250 a month for cell phones is so the kids will have unlimited texting. Bad choices.

  •  it's his fault $250 for his kids phones? eom (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldSoldier99, Militarytracy

    Those who quote Santayana are condemned to repeat him. Me

    by Mark B on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 03:13:52 PM PDT

  •  He could sell his gun. I hear (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybersaur

    demand is up.  And bullets would fetch a fancy price too.

  •  He's an idiot (7+ / 0-)

    Anyone who is paying $600/month as a MINIMUM credit card payment, thinks that an Impala is a good car for delivering pizza, spends $250/month on his kids' cell phones (you can get a minimal plan from Virgin for less than $10/month if the kids need an emergency phone) -- is an IDIOT. Thinking he can solve his problems by deploying to Iraq just proves it. My question is: Why is this moran on the gov't payroll in the first place/ He's not smart enough to shuck corn.

    Democracy - Not Plutocracy!

    by vulcangrrl on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 03:37:17 PM PDT

  •  An "anti-spending conservative???" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldSoldier99, Vetwife, Militarytracy

    Look: he's not an anti-spending anything. It's clear from his financial straits that he l-o-o-o-v-e-s spending, as long as it's on his needs and his wants.

    He just doesn't want the government to spend on other people. Y'know. Poor ones.  Brown ones.  Disabled ones. Sick ones. Elderly ones.

    In other words, he sounds like a typical greedy right-winger.

    And my comment is not from envy: I don't want to brag, but I make substantially more than he does but my wife and I still save over 20 percent of our pay in various accounts.  And I drive a 12-year old car I bought used several years ago.

  •  Let me tell you how these folks are and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    exMnLiberal

    I have known a few. I had friends ...a couple for over 40 years and they were always pretty poor.   I used to buy the kids Christmas.   One is a vet.  When he started having problems and we all reconnected ..they knew his ptsd was getting worse.  He had always had it.  He went from mean to a preacher. Things calmed down when they bought a house in the 80's and they became Reagan people.  We grew up together and raised children together until I moved off to Florida about the time he became a minister,   We hooked back up in the mid nineties.   They met my then new husband and of course both being vets they hit it off.... For a few months we visited back and forth and then they called and said a house was for rent down the street from them.  We had no kids at the time at home.   We took the house .  One night he had a bad spell with heart trouble and we carried him to the hospital.. He had never gotten involved with the VA.  I got him and his wife involved with VA healthcare.  I worked on his claim for 6 months straight.  My husband and me went 60 miles one way for a year while his wife worked to the VA and Federal building and regional office.  We got from 0 to 100 percent total and perm, disability justly deserved but what happened after that was not.  They were all for Max Cleland and Clinton...then the impeachment and then he was just garbage and after Bush went in...He was God..
    Since we were involved in the Gore campaign we were socialists.   I had seen these compassionate conservatives i thought I knew all my life throw everything under the bus including us when 911 happened and they had their disability and all troops yellow magnets but welched on the agreeement to help another vet obtain.  That was the deal.
    You get yours and help another vet.   When we got the kids, they wouldn't babysit when my niece was killed, they wouldn't take my husband 4 miles down the road to the hospital and instead of helping me with UVA they went down to another organization and helped the conservative vet.  To Hell with the liberal ones. I NEVER HAVE OR WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN PARTY.  The last straw was over Obama in 08.  We had not seen them in years but to constantly refer to him in a racist way.. I blew up and cut them off and hadnt spoken to either one since.   I saw them take handouts before the diability came through, I saw them use my husband to play at funerals, I saw them totally not acknowledge we existed after we paid for a trip for the wife to join her husband to get a pacemaker.   I saw them tell me I was an idiot to help people..
    My answer,
    That was not the tune you were singing when you needed a liberal.  You hypocritical republican jackass.

    45 years of frienship and I blew it off because I don't need that crap in my life.  The only time I saw my husband disvow a relationship with a brother vet.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 04:00:08 PM PDT

    •  My point above ..they live like this guy (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Militarytracy, exMnLiberal

      and I have no pity whatsoever for them.  None.
      They won't even babysit their own grandkid much less raise 4.   Nah they are too compassionate or too conservative for my blood.  My memory is long and my disappointment is great.  This guy sounds like them.
      IMO grifters or thinking they are the only real americans because of their concept of God and country..until they need a little socialism.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 04:06:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  playing my violin here (4+ / 0-)

    This guy is a fiscal conservative--with credit card debt large enough to require a $600 minimum payment? His financial problems clearly did not start with the sequester.  Does he not know how to reduce his living expenses--starting with his kids' cell phone bill?  Is he not capable of recognizing there are more gas-efficient cars than an Impala?  He's already overpaid if he's employed in any capacity that requires thinking or problem-solving.  Sorry, while there are many people to be concerned about as a result of the sequester, he's not one of them.  

  •  Simple (0+ / 0-)

    Move back into the house in NC:  Save $1,900 rent

    Ditch the extra insurance on the children:  Save $300

    Ditch the kid's cell phones, put 'em on a cheap $20 per month plan for emergencies:  Save $200

    Now, he's saved $2,400 a month.  Of course, by moving from MD to NC, he'll have to find a new job, probably with less pay, but he's dumped several unnecessary expenses.

  •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Militarytracy

    An anti spending conservative,  DOD, government employee gets his wings clipped because of the sequester?

    Just where the heck did he think all those DOD cuts were going to happen?  Actual weapons programs?  

    Oops..  

    "...utterly devoid of charm and mildly offensive."

    by patterson415 on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 04:32:49 PM PDT

  •  Out of control (5+ / 0-)

    Look, I live in the DC area, and I'm sympathetic to the folks who have been hit by the sequester (including a couple of my friends), but this is just ridiculous. If you go by what his maximum taxes probably are based on his takehome per pay period (which I assume is semimonthly), this guy is pulling $125K a year. His spending is completely out of control, and you can get a decent apartment in this area for waaaaay less than $1900 if you're willing to compromise (the mortgage on my 3 story house in Baltimore is only $900/month). The cell phone bill is outrageous, since you can get pay-as-you-go plans for less than $30/month, and he needs to put those cards into a debt consolidation schedule to pay them off at a reasonable rate.

    If someone wants to write a sympathetic story, they need to talk to some of the folks making $30K or $40K a year in public service that have been told they're either being laid off or furloughed, or the low income people who are losing head start for their children. There are more than enough of those folks to interview around here, trust me.

    •  Does seem like a funny tale (0+ / 0-)

      to pull out to try and garner sympathy, doesn't it?

      I agree that there are many other folks working in public service making far less who have to tolerate a great deal more from the sequester.

      Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. (Click on orange text to go to linked content.) Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 06:18:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Am I supposed to feel sorry for this guy? (0+ / 0-)

    Anybody pulling down over $6000 per month at a government job and is shelling out $600 minimum per month payments on credit card debt is getting exactly what he deserves.

    Oh, I'm sorry, he was pulling down over $6000 per month, now it sounds like because of sequestration that is now down to $5000 per month. Oh, the poor man. Now if he had traded in the BMW for a Hyundai Elantra I might actually feel sorry for him.

    Knowledge is Power. Ignorance is not bliss, it is suffering.

    by harris stein on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 06:00:35 PM PDT

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