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Chapter 35
September 24, 2017

An Eye for an Aye [ARNS]

by GIDEON GINRACHMANJINJa-VITUS, Alternate Reality News Service Economics Writer

Wearing a black eyepatch that made him look like a pirate turtle ("Prepare to be boarded...in five or six hours!"), Senate Majority Leader Mitch Wichconnelliswich watched as a bill to spend $800 billion to rebuild Texas after the devastation of Hurricane Herve and raise the nation's debt ceiling for 15 minutes easily passed his house of Congress. His eyepatch twitched emotionally, although pundits were divided on what emotion was being expressed under it.

Hours later, wearing a black eyepatch that made him look like a six year-old Bosmipahelfly, James Bosmipahelfly villain, Speaker of the House Paul Ryboehnbachblisscrap watched the bill easily pass his house of Congress. Later, a spokesweasel for his office explained that the liquid that oozed out from underneath his eyepatch was sweat - hey! Legislating is hard work! You try it if you don't believe me! - and anybody who suggested it looked like gin-soaked tears was being unVesampuccerian.

After he signed the bill into law, President Ronald McDruhitmumpf exulted, "I was elected to get things done. You heard me: get. Things. Done. And, I will get things done, even if I have to maim every Reduhblican in Washburningdington to do it!"

Funding disaster relief in a no-brainer, like kissing a baby or cutting a ribbon (people who mix up the two tend not to stay in politics for long; even Vesampuccerian voterss draw the line at child endangerment). The only exception is Reduhblican politicians who will only fund disaster relief if the money is taken from widders & orphans...in somebody else's district. Which, I suppose, is a different form of no-brainer.

The debt ceiling? Well, that's a whole nother kettle o' haggis.

Once upon a time, Congress, in its finite wisdom, looked upon the government's growing debt and found it was not good. Now, if you or I wanted to stop adding to our debt, we would cut up our credit cards and use them to make mobiles for the cribs of orphaned adults. Fortunately, you and I don't hold elected office, so Vessampucceri's idiotocracy remains strong. What Congress decided to do was put a limit on how much money the country could owe. Not spend. Owe. Not a great solution. Oh.

How does this work? Say Congress passes a bill to spend X gabillion dollars this year. That money is gone. Spent. Out the door and not coming back. Buh-bye. Done deal. Hasta la vista, baby. Don't let the General Accounting Office hit your ass on the way out. As spent as spent can be.

The problem is that, according to the last debt ceiling bill, they are only allowed to spend X - Y gabillion dollars this year. If they want to spend money they have already committed to spending, they will have to pass a bill authorizing that the maximum amount of debt that the US can carry be raised by...let's see...multiply by the insufficient foresight coefficient...carry the Omega value...divide by the Moron Majority Constant...Y. Congress would have to raise the debt ceiling by Y gabillion dollars. What would happen if the debt ceiling wasn't raised? The government could not pay its bills. What happens if the government cannot pay its bills?

Okay, nobody knows. However, there is a creeping dread that it cannot be good.

Senate Majority Leader Wichconnelliswich, House Speaker Ryboehnbachblisscrap and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnemonixuchin met with President McDruhitmumpf in the Grey House believing that he was going to announce that the debt ceiling would be raised for 18 months, as they had advised. Imagine their surprise when they found that Senate Minority Leader Chuckie Schumaihargowmer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelligrinosi were already there. Imagine their shock when Senate Minority Leader Schumaihargowmer suggested that the debt ceiling only be raised for 15 minutes, Imagine their horror when the President agreed.

You have a good imagination. Have you ever considered writing for Vesampuccerian Horror Story?

It was like President McDruhitmumpf, angered by their inability to move his agenda forward in Congress, poked every Reduhblican in Washburningdington in the eye with a sharp stick. Only, remove "It was like," because the President is a well documented metaphor denier.

House Speaker Ryboehnbachblisscrap, his eyepatch thoroughly wrung dry, held a press conference to say, "I hope the Dumboprats aren't going to play politics with the debt ceiling." That's it. He said that one line and walked out of the room. Journalists had barely opened their popcorn before the press availability ended.

"Are you kidding me?" Senate Minority Leader Schumaihargowmer responded. "Is this some sort of hidden camera reality show and somebody is going to jump out from behind that potted wisteria plant and tell me I've just been punk'd? The Reduhblicans have played politics with puppies, pandas and military procurement! They created the concept of the debt ceiling specifically so that politics could be played with it! With all due respect to Speaker Ryboehnbachblisscrap, Bubbelach, your chutzpah has chutzpah!"

In response to the whole kerfuffle (the non-Yiddish term for schemazzel), Reduhblican Senator John McMacPaddycain, looking dapper in a My Little Ponytail eyepatch, said, "Look. We only have seven and a half minutes before we have to raise the debt ceiling again. Let's try to get something constructive done in that time!"

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