Big Fat Juicy Ones

Nobody likes me, everybody hates me,
I think I’ll go eat worms!
Big fat juicy ones,
Eensie weensy squeensy ones,
See how they wiggle and squirm!

That nursery rhyme is about as good as any to explain how the Sequester, with which we are now wrestling, came about. The Congressional leadership had a hissy fit and the Sequester is the result.

Since there seems to be some confusion about what the word even means, let me suggest it’s just a fancy word for an age-old habit, one that the Congress has been indulging right along. To “sequester” means to hide, as in hiding one’s talents under a bushel basket or, in another version of the parable, burying them in the ground. (You’ll recall that Jesus decried that particular habit and berated the man who failed to invest and make his talents produce more – Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:12-28)

It seems that servants never change. Nor does the remedy. Unjust servants have to be dismissed. It is our misfortune that their masters did not see fit to dismiss the lot of the incompetents this past November. Perhaps because they did not realize where the problem lies. After all, the Congress and the media have consistently conspired to perpetrate the myth that the POTUS is in charge of the public purse.

Indeed, the drumbeat goes on — as has been quite successfully assembled in ” target=”_blank”>one video compilation. The title alone is worth dissecting.

Amazing – Obama Caught in Bald-Faced Lie on White House Sequester

  • Amazing = a lie, because lies are such a constant that they no longer can amaze
  • Obama Caught = a lie, because the POTUS was neither running nor hiding when he asserted that the idea to sequester public funds did not originate with him (though it may have been brought into discussions by the staff, as the press secretary admits)
  • Bald-Faced = the truth, because the POTUS, unlike his hero Lincoln, is clearly clean-shaven
  • Lie = false, because the Congress has been employing sequestration for a long time. As Steny Hoyer points out, it’s a Republican policy.

    The sequester now in play is actually an updated version of the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act of 1985. There also was a small sequester in 1986, and a big one planned for 1990.

  • White House= a half-truth and a “false attribution of agency.” Regardless the color, houses don’t act and failing to identify responsibile individuals is disengenuous and/or lazy. Republicans like worms; Obama’s staff offered them some.
  • Sequester = a euphemism, a word used to make something unpleasant sound nice. In this case, what’s being disguised is that rationing the currency is a favorite strategy for trying to manipulate the economy, by people who routinely proclaim that the “free market” is automatic. Since everybody knows that rationing leads to hoarding, that word can’t be used. Neither can “cut,” because that’s a word that is now reserved to partner with “tax.” (One is tempted to speculate that, since he’s already clean-shaven, Obama might even qualify for perfect, if he went for the tax cuts).

The Republican obsession with tax cuts obviously has deep roots. Maybe there is some association with the barbershop and getting rewarded for sitting still and not squirming. If so, then associating reducing tax cuts with rich people is probably a really bad idea. It’s threatening to penalize the short hairs for having been good.

Besides, since Washington is where all the dollars come from, why they need to be collected and sent back requires a bit more explanation than that the people, who got them, aren’t deserving. After all, Jesus didn’t order the collection of what was left over from the feast of loaves and fishes, because he wanted to deprive the still hungry. No, the left-overs were to be collected, so they wouldn’t go to waste. And that, I’d argue, is precisely the same reason why dollars, that aren’t being used, should be collected and sent back to Washington to be recycled. We don’t collect taxes to penalize; we collect them to keep the currency moving. If you want evidence that the dollar is stuck, just look at this graph:

The dollar is now circulating or flowing through the economy more slowly than since they started keeping track in the nineteen fifties. Why? I’d say because everybody’s hoarding, following Congress’ example. They’re burying their talents instead of investing. They’re not giving to Caesar (us) what is Caesar’s. How to explain it? “They know not what they do.”

So, let’s all blame the President. Besides, there’s that irresistible gilt by association. (Gild = Cover thinly with gold. Give a specious or false brilliance to.)

Featured image: courtesy of Uncle Jim's Worm Farm.

Monica Smith

Monica Smith writes Hannah's Blog. Born in Germany, she came to the United States as a child, living first in California, then after an interval in Chile, in New York. Married to a retired professor at the University of Florida, where she lived for 17 years, she moved to St. Simons Island, Georgia, in 1993 and now divides her time between Georgia and New Hampshire. (New Hampshire, she says, is always interesting during a presidential election.) She and her husband have three children and five grandchildren. Ms. Smith says she "learned long ago that I am not a good team player when I got hired at the Library of Congress, fresh out of college with a degree in political science and proficiency in four foreign languages, to 'edit' library cards and informed my supervisor that if she was going to insist I punch the clock exactly on time, my productivity was going to fall from being the highest to being the same as everyone else's. The supervisor opted to assign me to another building where there was no time-clock. After I had the first of our three children, I decided a paycheck wasn't worth the hassle."