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It has been a harrowing six weeks for the nation, what with the sequestrapocalyse and all. As of March 1, our underfunded federal government was forced to slash indispensible initiatives such as robot squirrels, pickle specifications and cowboy poetry.
Okay, they’re not cutting any of these, but how is Washington supposed to drop $965 billion from their budget? Well technically, they aren’t cutting that either but maybe reducing the planned growth in spending over the next decade. And admittedly, the government will spend $2.14 trillion more in 2022 than it does today. But sequestration is still the end of the world and stuff.
Don’t believe me? Just this week the White House leaked that their assistant chef Sam Kass might have to take A Few Days Off. I told you it was serious.
During a White House meeting with agriculture journalists, Kass discussed the subject, mentioning that his next stop was a “furlough meeting.”
“We’re being furloughed. Shin and I are getting cut,” Kass said, seeming to joke. He was naming Shin Inouye, the West Wing communications staffer charged with taking care of “specialty media,” who was monitoring the reporters’ meeting. But when asked to specifically confirm that he is indeed being furloughed, Kass backpedaled. “I don’t know,” Kass said.
“We have a budget meeting…in the briefing room is all I can say,” Inouye said by way of explanation, as he and Kass headed off to their date with destiny.
Mercifully, this cruel possible furlough wouldn’t affect Kass’ three fellow sous-chefs, the executive chef or the executive pastry chef. But what if President Obama craves Duck Galantine during a bout of Republican-induced insomnia? We pray that his drastically reduced staff of 5.95 chefs will be able to answer that 3 a.m. phone call.
Shockingly, the nightmare of sequestration gets even worse. Did you know that small possible future reductions in the rate of government growth would create an espionage nightmare plunging our national security into mortal peril? Because it might, you know. I read all about it in BuzzFeed:
Lawmakers and officials who oversee security clearances say the abrupt cut to roughly 20 percent of federal workers' pay is pushing tens of thousands into the category of financially strapped government workers for whom foreign agents look in recruiting moles and spies.
It may sound far-fetched, but those with experience in espionage cases said the threat is genuine.
The risk that financial hardship could lead to espionage is "definitely a concern," South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, a former Judge Advocate General in the Air Force, told BuzzFeed.
Sadly, BuzzFeed didn’t illustrate this crisis with baby aardvark GIFs, but that in no way lessens the story’s seriousness. As sequestration moves forward, be prepared to hear more tragic tales of an emaciated federal government struggling to put Duck Galantine on the White House china.
Of course, we could eliminate these possible security risks by simply firing a few government employees instead of furloughing them. What am I saying? That’s total wacko-bird conservative common sense, which has no place in polite company. Just a thought; if the government has too many employees for even the government to keep track of, those miserly conservatives might have a point that we should reduce the payroll a bit.
Follow Jon on Twitter at @ExJon.