Friday, March 1, 2013

Sequester Day

What was the last crisis all about—and when was it exactly? Quickly now, spit it out. When was the last Winterstorm Warning? Give me the date. This morning, asking the first question, I suddenly had a total lapse of memory. That may be because of my age—or because we get very used to people crying wolf—and can’t remember what color the wolf was last time. I had to search around for it. Ah, yes. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. Passed January 2, 2013. In which, assaulting our sense of language, payroll tax cuts were rolled back, no doubt to the relief of the working masses, and tax rates were nudged up for the uppermost layers. Now it comes to me. That was the Fiscal Cliff!

Today is Sequester Day. It was scheduled, originally—in the Budget Control Act of 2011, enacted August 2, 2011—to take effect January 1, 2013, but, to our great “relief” it was postponed by the above-mentioned Taxpayer Relief Act to March 1, 2013.

Now, today, a big meeting looms at the White House in course of which, possibly, a path will be paved to Sequester Lite, and the next crisis, at present due, roughly, on April 1st, will come into better focus. No name has been established yet, but that’ll come soon. Ceiling Crash II? Stop Government Day II? We’ve had such movable feasts before, in the past, hence my use of the Roman two. In wake of today’s meeting, every congress-person, of course, will rise to speak, be given his or her two minutes, hold forth about the Ceiling Crash, pro or con, and then “yield back the balance of my time.” Those speeches alone will take us to April 1st and, having built us up for it, we shall be prepared for the festive slamming of government doors when we can Bo-No-Mo, the Bo standing for borrow, the Mo for more. And the No? Well, which part of N and O don’t you understand?

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