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Yes, Virginia, there is a Sequester Day

February 28, 2013|By Paul Whitefield
  • The Capitol in Washington glistens in the sun on Sequester's Eve.
The Capitol in Washington glistens in the sun on Sequester's Eve. (Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg )

So, it’s Sequester’s Eve, and all through the White House (and the House and the Senate), not a creature is stirring, not even John Boehner.

Out in the hinterlands, folks are putting up their Sequester trees, decorating them with $1, $5, $10 and $20 bills. Some have strung together coins in long, looping chains. And government workers are hanging furlough notices and/or pink slips. All for that magical moment Friday morning when everyone will gather around the tree and scramble to grab as much money as possible before it’s all gone.

This year’s Grinch of Sequester, President Obama, has warned that the budget cuts that go into effect on Sequester Day will be bad. Very bad. So bad, for example, that the Navy couldn’t afford to send an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf to protect us from the bad Iranians, who don’t observe Sequester Day (and they call us the Great Satan!) and so may choose to do evil things during the holiday.

Of course, the Sequester elves in Congress have been hard at work making sure that this Sequester Day will be the biggest ever: an $85-billion holiday. After all, who wants to spoil Sequester Day by doing something sensible about the debt?

As always, people are asking the same question: What do I get someone for Sequester Day? Do I go with the usual cheap tie or socks -- or do I imitate the politicians and spend like there’s no tomorrow? Is a Rolex too flashy? An iPad too mundane? Perhaps something more in keeping with the holiday, like a new car with a big loan payment?

Plus there’s the Sequester Day meal to think of. Some will opt for the traditional Sequester duck, long a favorite of the political elite, who choose not to deal with the nation’s deficit. This year, though, there’s been a surge in the sales of chicken pot pies, whose very name neatly captures our dilemma: “chicken” for our leaders, “pot” for where the nation is headed and “pie” because that’s what we’re trying to divide 1.2 trillion ways.

Of course, there’s the usual side dish of sour grapes, and to drink, beer, which you cry into.

People will put on traditional Sequester Day music: Bruce Springsteen’s “Downbound Train” has always been a favorite of mine, though many folks enjoy the older songs, such as Woody Guthrie’s “Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad” or “I Ain’t Got No Home.” And kids and adults alike can join in on “Wheels on the Bus.”

Yes, it’s going to be quite a day. And fortunately, it falls on a Friday this year.

Though I'm not sure even a long weekend will give us enough time to recover.

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