Minden Press-Herald

Wednesday
Oct 01st

Where’s Chicken Little When You Need Him?

A--Sequester: To set apart, as to sequester a jury; to seclude or withdraw.

B--Sequester: Failure of the Congress to reach agreement on cuts to the national budget by March 1 automatically triggers cuts (sequestration) of 2.5 percent, or about $85 billion from spending programs.

C—According to our nation's best and brightest leaders, when B occurred (late last Friday), schools, hospitals, prisons, airports, day care centers and assistance programs targeting the poor and middle classes would shut down, our military would cease to exist as we once knew it, the sky would darken and the Earth would split somewhere along a line between Seattle and Miami.

In fact, Her Cluelessness Rep. Maxine Waters (D-LaLaLand) claimed during a news conference on Feb. 28 that "over 170 million jobs" could be lost due to sequestration which she says is, naturally, the fault of Republicans. By the way...are there that many jobs in the country?

Funny thing. The sun rose again today, birds were singing, loaded school busses made their appointed rounds, B-52s cruised the skies, no hardened criminals had received a get-out-of-jail card...your humble observer could continue, but I think you get the point. In fact, I was extra careful pulling into traffic to avoid being mowed down by a frantic chicken speeding through the streets clucking catastrophic warnings.

Funnier thing. Politicians (from the uttermost to the guttermost) who had been predicting doomsday both from the bully pulpit and before anything that resembled a camera are now saying things won't be really that bad.

While President Barak Obama seemed a little less pessimistic in his statements as he signed an order putting sequester into effect, Speaker of the House John Boehner said during an interview Sunday that he doesn't know if the forced spending cuts would actually have a negative impact on the nation's economy.

"I don't know whether it's going to hurt the economy or not," Boehner said. "I don't think anyone quite understands how the sequester is really going to work."

Thanks for confirming what many of us have suspected for some time, JB. Neither you nor your co-conspirators have a clue about another mega-important eco-budgetary puzzle to which Congress continually loses key pieces.

Remember, friends, this is a Congress which has not spent within its means since Moby Dick was a tadpole. And while the governmental agencies have until Oct. 1 to shave that $85 billion from a budget that still hasn't been passed by the Senate, don't bet that deadline will be met.

We heard for weeks the hyperbole (presented to the point of nausea by a willing media) coming from both parties as blame was tossed about like a game of "pin the tail on the donkey" gone wild. The truth is that sequestration was merely a tool which leveraged yet another half a trillion dollar increase in the nation's debt ceiling. The Budget Control Act of 2011 was signed into law in August of that year and brought closure to the 2011 "debt crisis" which threatened to sending us tumbling over the "fiscal cliff" and into default.

I'd bet a dollar to a donut that our boys and girls were asked to just go ahead and vote for the oxymoronic BCA and the accompanying sequester trigger in 2011 with the calming assurance that "after we pass it, we'll read it and have someone explain it to us."

And despite calling it "President Obama's sequestration," Mr. Boehner fails to recall that he claimed to get "98 percent of what I wanted in the deal," and led the effort when the House passed that great oxymoron by a 269-161 margin. The Senate voted likewise 74-26. Neither party can blame the other for the failure to reach an agreement. It's been more than a year of doing nothing, something for which Congress is becoming famous.

In other words, our elected officials...all of them...voted to kick the can down the road and now their foot's caught in the can. I, too, believe it's time to kick some cans down the road and that includes applying collective podiatry to posteriors of Dumbocrats, Repugnantans, Undependents and all other party namers who occupy the hallowed seats of Congress.

If we insist in keeping those we have in office, then the least we can do is to force a little sequestration definition A on our Congresspeople. Until the budget is balanced and unnecessary spending (like that little IRS television studio which operates on a $4 million annual budget) is brought under control, our hired hands would be treated the same as a sequestered jury.

That means staying in a less-than-four star-hotel, no television, no newspapers and no contact with those outside the Congress halls until you finish the job. Oh yeah...that sequestration would also mean no face time on camera, no newspaper interviews, no fundraisers, no Washington parties (and their amenities) and dining on the same food as the great unwashed.

No U.S. representative or senator could tolerate such cruel and unusual torture. We'd have a balanced budget in a matter of hours.

Pat Culverhouse is a journalist and political columnist who lives in Minden. You may contact him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

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