FIRST PERSON | My wife and I live in Aberdeen, Md., a boom town thanks to the Department of Defense and the BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) that included the Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG). When the government decides to perform a BRAC, it picks multiple installations to shut down, and these bases move newly shut-down facilities to other bases. APG received new civilian employees from DoD installations such as Fort Monmouth, N.J. The local businesses and housing market has thrived with the influx of New Jersey residents bringing their families, businesses, and housing demands to the area.
But some seem to think, all for naught. Here's why:
As Republicans and Democrats refuse to bend or give in to the other's demands, we here Aberdeen and surrounding areas are staring government furlough days right in the eyes. My wife, a civilian employee for the DoD, left a promising teaching career about four years ago to become a mathematician for the government. One of the main reasons she left the public school system? Job security.
We are cutting our spending and living more frugally because it looks like an $800 per month pay cut will be heading our way. The government is forcing my wife to take one day off per week, totaling four days per month, which comes to approximately $800 a month of lost income for our family. I am a full-time real estate agent; that is 100 percent commissioned salary. My wife's income was our steady, reliable income until the sequester. I am currently searching for part-time employment on top of my full-time position to supplement the income cut.
Without sounding completely selfish, I also have often thought of the local businesses and restaurants that thrive off of the 30,000-plus APG employees who eat lunch every day in these establishments, and who shop and buy groceries and gas all around the proving ground. All of these businesses will be affected as well. Across the board, within the DoD, everybody will be taking off at least one day a week. This will ripple across the local economy.
What can be done to help or fix this situation? How about we start these budget cuts from the top down?
- Politics & Government
- Aberdeen Proving Ground