As Politicians Bicker Over Funding, Military Families Cut Back on Vacations
Policy + Politics

As Politicians Bicker Over Funding, Military Families Cut Back on Vacations

REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

This summer apparently won’t be all fun in the sun for some military families, as a new survey finds they’re trimming their vacation plans because of looming federal spending cuts.

Forty-seven percent of middle-class military families -- those with household incomes of at least $50,000 -- intend to spend less money this year on their summer vacations, according to a new poll conducted by Sentient Decision Science on behalf of First Command Financial Behaviors Index.

Conversely, only 22 percent said they planned to spend more on their summer siesta.

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The survey attributes the scaled back planning to anxiety over the return of sequestration in October. The Budget Control Act of 2011 raised the spending ceiling for a few years but that deal is set to expire at the end of this fiscal year.

It’s unclear if congressional lawmakers will be able to reach a similar agreement to raise the caps, as Republicans have repeatedly rejected Democratic calls for a “budget summit” to hammer out such a solution.

Without another budget compromise, the Defense Department, which accounts for roughly half of all government discretionary spending, stands to lose billions, directly affecting military members and their families.

Indeed, 70 percent of those surveyed said they felt anxious about the cuts to defense spending and more than half admitted they’re concerned about their job security.

Military families are more worried about the seemingly unavoidable budget cuts than their civilian counterparts, according to the survey. While 29 percent of military households plan on taking shorter vacations, only 12 percent of civilians plan do so.

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Twenty-one percent of service families plan on staying closer to home, compared to 12 percent of civilians, respectively.

The survey polled 530 people between the ages of 25 and 70 and has a 4.3 percentage-point margin of error.