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God help me. My life is so difficult. Earlier today I bumped into a guy who had just lost his job and was living out of his car. I can TOTALLY understand what he’s going through. Actually, what I’m dealing with is even harder. See, I get a substantial raise from my employer every single year. I’ve never in my life not gotten a raise. Every year I make more than the year before. Always. In fact, not only do I make more every year but my raise is bigger every year, too. I mean, that’s obviously how it is for most people. That’s life for us blue collar folks, amiright? Anyway, check this out: I’m SUPPOSED to get a raise of 10 thousand dollars this year but my boss just told me I’m ONLY getting an extra 9,998 dollars. THEY’RE CUTTING THE INCREASE IN MY PAY BY 2 DOLLARS! CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS?! Oh but it gets worse. Much worse. This selfish maniac I’m working for also told me that the following year I’m supposed to get an added 20 thousand but now, because the company is “bankrupt” (pffft why should THAT effect ME?), I’m ONLY getting a 19,992 dollar raise. AHHHHHHHHHHH! THE END IS NIGH!

Ok. Ok. Stay calm. We’ll manage. DON’T PANIC. WE ARE DOOMED. Ok breathe. Just breathe. Get a hold of yourself, Matt. Somehow we’ll get through this. Somehow. I’ll just tell my wife that we have to move out, sell our belongings, stow away on a train to another town and live inside a refrigerator box, eating sewer rats and discarded cigarette butts. We’ll obviously have to kill our cats to harvest their fur for clothing. They’ll understand. I guess I have a few internal organs I can sell to a Libyan body part trafficking ring. How much are livers going for these days? Can I survive without one? Ernest Hemingway did, right? Look, I don’t know what else to do. I just found out my enormous yearly raise will be slightly less enormous. DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE SERIOUSNESS OF THIS SITUATION?!

This is what my grandfather always warned me about. I remember what he said. He said “Matt, one day you’ll be called into your employer’s office and told that the rate of your annual salary increase will be slowed by an imperceptible amount. When this happens, just remember — your life is over, kill yourself.” Ah. The wisdom of the ages. But he was right. Just ask the guy who won 40 millions dollars in the lottery. On the way home from picking up his check he accidentally dropped a quarter into a drain. Realizing that all was lost, he summarily threw himself in front of a bus. What else was he to do?

Now, if everything I’ve written thus far makes perfect sense to you, then you are probably one of the people freaking out over the “sequester” budget cuts. The “budget cuts” or, as they are known to people who actually have a clue, “the minuscule reduction in the increase of spending”. The media, the President, politicians, and the peanut gallery are all telling us that the economy will tank, thousands will die, the rivers will turn to blood, and frogs will rain down upon us like a Biblical plague simply because the government will be forced to slightly slow down the rate of increased spending. Here’s the figure to remember: if the sequester hits, the government will “only” be able to ratchet up their spending by 2.4 trillion over the next decade, rather than 2.5 trillion. And THAT’S what you’re supposed to be afraid of. Obama has described this scenario as “devastating”. I did so with a straight face (which is easy when you have no personality). Should the horrific and tragic sequester come to pass, in ten years the State will only be spending about 6 trillion dollars a year [GASP]. Uncle Sam has never spent less money in a year than he did the year before. Never. It has never happened. And it certainly won’t happen this year or in the future. There are no actual spending cuts. Not now, not in the past, not tomorrow, not next year, not next decade.

So if you’re on the “STOP THE SEQUESTER FOR THE SAKE OF THE CHILDREN” bandwagon then I can only assume I had you in tears with my fictional story above. But if you in fact have a functioning brain, then you recognized it as a joke, just as you recognize virtually everything said by any politician as one big — albeit unfunny — joke.