THE BLOG
05/07/2013 01:27 pm ET Updated Jul 07, 2013

Sequestration Traumatizes Clifford Household

President Obama warned me about sequestration. "People will lose their jobs. The unemployment rate might tick up again," he said. The burden will fall on "the first responders, or seniors or middle class families."

The one percenters knew that the burden would not fall on them. Threatened with inconvenient flight delays, Congress did something extraordinary. It acted. I am not making this up. In a matter of weeks Congress actually passed legislation to assure that your next corporate junket will not be marred by annoying flight delays.

Meanwhile, sequestration continues to ravage the real people: the middle class, the seniors and the first responders as epitomized by the Clifford household.

A friend called yesterday. I immediately downgraded from friend to acquaintance when he asked if I would host a table for an arts organization's Gala.

"I would love to help, but I can't," I told him.

"Why?" he asked.

"Sequestration," I answered.

"Sequestration?" he asked.

"I guess you don't follow the news. As Obama warned sequestration is devastating for seniors and middle class families. We have been forced to sequester galas for the rest of the year."

Today my wife asked me to take out the garbage.

"I can't," I explained.

"Why not?" she asked.

"Sequestration," I answered.

"What does sequestration have to do with taking out the garbage?"

"Don't you follow the news? Services are being curtailed do to sequestration."

"Are you really saying you can't take out the garbage because of sequestration?" she asked.

"So everything is my fault," I replied. "Because Congress and the president can't agree on spending, sequestration automatically kicks in. Services are cut, and it's all my fault!"

"How has sequestration prevented you from taking out the garbage?" she asked.

"I've been furloughed," I answered.

"How can you be furloughed when you are unemployed?" she asked.

"That is the worst part of sequestration. It hits the most vulnerable -- the poor, the downtrodden, the unemployed. And also us first responders," I answered.

"What makes you a first responder?" she asked. "You never respond to invitations, bank overdrafts or even parking tickets."

"I am a first responder to injustice, repression and tyranny. I respond with quiet sympathy. I don't want to divert media attention from exposing the unjust, the repressive and the tyrannical. "

Just then Frank called about the money I allegedly owe him. "Don't tell me once again that the check is in the mail," he said.

"I won't. In fact, the check is in sequestration," I said.

"What do you mean in sequestration?" he asked.

"All you big shots don't understand sequestration because Congress makes sure it never bothers you. But the real people -- the poor, the downtrodden, the unemployed, the first responders and me are getting screwed. You can go sequester yourself," I said as I slammed down the phone.

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