Neil Offen: A deal, sort of, is finally reached

Mar. 03, 2013 @ 08:29 PM

After a series of late-night negotiations, I am proud to announce that my wife and I have solved our fiscal-cliff-debt-ceiling-budget-deficit-sequester crisis and also improved our score on yesterday’s Sudoku.

Both sides moved from entrenched positions - one on the couch, the other on the blue love seat in the family room - to come together for the good of the family and to avoid the drastic across-the-board reductions poised to hit all our board games.

Monopoly was particularly gratified by the outcome, but Boggle said it would withhold comment until it saw how things fell out. The market reacted positively to news of the deal, particularly the produce department. On Wall Street, the Bronx was up and the Battery was down.

The agreement came despite last-minute misgivings over what a sequester would mean and who had thought of the word in the first place. Observers also wondered if it would pass unscathed through spell-check or would come out as semester each time.

The deadlock had lasted for months, coming after multiple deadlines had passed for finding an acceptable budget-reduction plan that would have allowed the budget to stay the same except for a few reductions. The stalemate had become increasingly bitter, with both sides vowing to never give in while anyone was watching or listening.

Ultimately, though, facing the deadline that was the final deadline before we reached some other deadlines, each side gave a little.

I gave the coins that I had forgotten were in the pocket of my jeans that I had accidentally washed on the permanent-press cycle. One of them was a quarter, so no one could say I didn’t give any quarter.

My wife gave in on revenue enhancements, mainly because she didn’t know precisely what that term meant, and promised to shop at the supermarket only on Thursdays, which is ladies’ day even though she does not like the word ladies.

Both sides understood that if we had not reached this last-minute agreement, severe automatic cuts to the family budget would have ensued. According to the non-partisan Office Without Partisans, the predicted 2.4 percent cut would have slashed benefits to the ice cream fund, reduced funding for the defense of Oreos and required all family members to fill up only at gas stations that offered just low-grade fuel on alternate Wednesdays when the high temperature was above 60 degrees and the moon was in the seventh house and Jupiter aligned with Mars.

What remains to be seen is the political fallout of the agreement. According to polls taken immediately after the agreement was signed, 53 percent of those surveyed didn’t particularly like the 47 percent of those who refused to take the survey. Eight percent more said they didn’t know you could only have a total of 100 percent.

 

Neil Offen can be reached at noffen@heraldsun.com or by telephone at 919-419-6646.