Sequestration 2013: What Washington D.C. Can Learn From the NCAA


There are 537 elected officials in the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the White House. Of these, 257 are Democrats (54 in the Senate, 201 in the House and two in the White House), 279 are Republicans (45 in the Senate and 234 in the House) and one Senator is an independent who caucuses with the Democrats. And of course, there is the president and vice president. 

Of these distinguished public servants, very few are making any effort to sort out America’s financial dilemma. That task has been delegated to Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, who has resorted to printing money for the purchase of bonds, thus keeping interest rates at virtually zero.

To all appearances, this is a fight-to-the-death battle between Democrats and Republicans for dominance of the political scene. In fact, however, the battle is between the economy and the government, with the latter the preordained loser. The only open question is when the game ends.

How to sort this out in time? Perhaps the month of March provides an answer?

There are clearly too many voices saying to few things. How can we possibly need 537 people when there are but two or three different views? The Democrats have a view; the Tea Party has a view; and the mainstream Republicans (if any) have a view that might differ slightly from their more right-wing colleagues.

Most are reciting talking points; the more theatrical are bloviating; but virtually none are solving and all think that they alone are qualified to run the entire country. Or so their toadying staffers tell them.

America has a way of solving this kind of problem that is widely acceptable to all, and that brings us back to the month of March. What happens in March? The NCAA basketball tournaments and their single elimination brackets that turn otherwise law-abiding citizens into gambling felons.

We have only to put all of the Democrats and the independent in one tournament bracket and all of the Republicans and Tea Partiers in the other. Seedings and feed-in rounds would keep political commentators busy for a week or so, after which the tournament would begin.

Winners of each game — pitting either two Democrats against each other or two Republicans against each other — would not be determined. While this seems contrary to America’s competitive instincts, the same result can be achieved by selecting the loser of each contest and this is far easier, particularly in the early rounds.

The loser would be chosen based on his or her lifetime record in the all-important political skills of time wasting, stupidity, intelligence-insulting comments, repetition of talking points, pandering and general uselessness. Like the Supreme Court’s understanding of obscenity, we know all of these things when we see them.

Reality television could be added to make it more exciting. In addition, the sequester could be used to terminate the salaries of the loser in each game, with staff members placed in a pool for subsequent draft by the to eventual winners.

By the end of the month, there would be two winners – one from the left and one from the right — who would be forced to work together to solve all of the taxing and spending problems. They would have at their disposal all of the unemployed staffers resulting from early round losses, from whom they could draft a predetermined number of the most useful. The political hacks would proceed directly to K Street.

Should this plan be implemented, Federal Reserve Board Chairman, Bernanke, might even be able to take a few days off later in the year.

This post originally appeared on LibertyPell.