The looming sequester is nearly upon us. Brave cabinet officials seeking the Holy Grail of a Balanced Approach to deficit reduction face many perils.
LEW: Open the door!
Open the door!
[pound pound pound]
In the name of President Obama, open the door!
REID: Welcome gentle Treasury Secretary, welcome to the Congress Anthrax.
LEW: The Congress Anthrax?
REID: Yes... oh, it's not a very good name? Oh! but we are nice and we shall attend to your every, every need!
LEW: You are the keepers of the Balanced Approach to reducing the deficit?
REID: The what?
LEW: The Balanced Approach -- it is here?
REID: Oh, but you are tired, and you must rest awhile. Boehner! Biden!
BOEHNER and BIDEN: Yes, oh Reid!
REID: Prepare a bill for our guest.
BOEHNER and BIDEN: Oh thank you thank you thank you—
LEW: Away away vile temptress!
REID: The bills here are warm and soft – and very, very big.
LEW: Well, look, I-I-uh--
REID: What is your name, handsome treasurer?
LEW: Sir Lew... the Chaste.
REID: Mine is Reid... just Reid. Oh, but come!
LEW: Look, please! In The One's name, show me the Balanced Approach to deficit reduction!
REID: Oh, you have suffered much! You are delirious!
LEW: L-look, I have seen it! It is here, in the--
REID: Secretary Lew! You would not be so ungallant as to refuse our hospitality.
LEW: Well, I-I-uh--
REID: Oh, I am afraid our life must seem very dull and quiet compared to yours. We are but five score wealthy Republicans and Democrats, all between sixty and ninety-five and a half, cut off in this Senate with no one to protect us! Oh, it is a lonely life -- drafting, amending, unamending, making exciting boilerplate. We are just not used to handsome cabinet officers. Nay, nay, come, come, you may testify here. Oh, but you are in deficit!
LEW: No, no -- i-it's nothing!
REID: Oh, but you must see the economists immediately! No, no, please, lie down.
FRANKIN: Ah. What seems to be the trouble?
LEW: They're economists?!
REID: Uh, they've had a basic economic training, yes.
REID: Oh, come come, you must try to balance! Senator Frankin, Senator Leahy, practice your art.
FRANKIN: Try to balance.
LEW: Are you sure that's necessary?
FRANKIN: We must question you.
LEW: There's nothing wrong with that!
FRANKIN: Please -- we are senators.
LEW: Get off the bill! I am sworn to fiscal responsibility!
FRANKIN: Back to your bill!
LEW: Torment me no longer! I have seen the Balanced Approach to deficit reduction!
FRANKIN: There's no Balanced Approach here.
LEW: I have seen it, I have seen it. I have seen--
VARIOUS SENATORS: Hello.
MENENDEZ: No, I am Reid's identical twin senator, Menendez.
LEW: Oh, well, excuse me, I--
MENENDEZ: Where are you going?
LEW: I seek the Balanced Approach to deficit reduction! I have seen it, here in this Congress!
MENENDEZ: No! Oh, no! Bad, bad Reid!
LEW: What is it?
MENENDEZ: Oh, wicked, bad, naughty Reid! He has been setting alight to our beacon, which, I just remembered, is Balanced Approach-shaped. It's not the first time we've had this problem.
LEW: It's not the real Balanced Approach?
MENENDEZ: Oh, wicked, bad, naughty, evil Reid! Oh, he is a naughty senator, and he must pay the penalty -- and here in Congress Anthrax, we have but one punishment for setting alight the Balanced Approach-shaped beacon. You must tie the budget down on a bed and sequester it!
SENATORS: A sequestering! A sequestering!
MENENDEZ: You must sequester it well. And after you have sequestered it, you may deal with it as you like. And then, sequester me.
VARIOUS SENATORS: And sequester me.
MENENDEZ: Yes, yes, you must give us all a good sequestering!
SENATORS: A sequestering! A sequestering!
MENENDEZ: And after the sequestering, the spending bill.
SENATORS: Spending bill! Spending bill!
LEW: Well, I could stay a BIT longer.
KRUGMAN: Secretary Lew!
LEW: Oh, hello.
KRUGMAN: You're in great peril!
KRUGMAN: Silence, foul temptress!
LEW: Now look, it's not important.
KRUGMAN: Quick! Come on and we'll cover your escape!
LEW: Look, I'm fine!
KRUGMAN: Come on!
LEW: Now look, I can tackle this lot single-handed!
MENENDEZ: Yes! Let him tackle us single-handed!
SENATORS: Yes! Tackle us single-handed!
KRUGMAN: No, Secretary Lew, come on!
LEW: No, really, honestly, I can go back and handle this lot easily!
MENENDEZ: Oh, yes, he can handle us easily.
SENATORS: Yes, yes!
LEW: Wait! I can defeat them! There's only a hundred of them!
MENENDEZ: Yes, yes, he'll beat us easily, we haven't a chance.
SENATORS: Yes, yes.
MENENDEZ: Oh, filibuster.
KRUGMAN: We were in the nick of time, you were in great peril.
LEW: I don't think I was.
KRUGMAN: Yes you were, you were in terrible peril.
LEW: Look, let me go back in there and face the sequester.
KRUGMAN: No, it's too perilous.
LEW: Look, I'm a cabinet officer, I'm supposed to get as much peril as I can.
KRUGMAN: No, we've got to find the Balanced Approach to reducing the deficit. Come on!
LEW: Well, let me have just a little bit of sequester?
KRUGMAN: No, it's unhealthy.
LEW: Bet you're a Tea Partier!
KRUGMAN: No, I'm not.
Really. We can face the peril of the sequester.