The Sequester Simplified
The Budget Control Act of 2011 (or the Sequester) was signed into law on August 2, 2011 by the President. It was the President's idea and Congress voted for it. It was a product of negotiating to end the debt crisis at that time. The law was supposed to kick in on January 1, 2013 but the can was kicked down the road to March 1(this Friday).
The law calls for budget cuts straight across the board in increments over a span of 10 years. Every department will be affected, but people receiving Federal assistance will not be affected immediately if at all. $44 billion dollars in cuts will, if another deal is not made by March 1, be taken for 2013. Obviously, 44 billion dollars is a drop in the bucket compared to what is spent by the Government in one year.
Interestingly, we will actually spend 15 billion dollars more, than the 3.7 trillion dollars spent last year, in 2013.
Layoffs of intelligence contractors by the Department of Defense began in 2010 and will continue until they reach the Administration's requested 15 percent. This is also part of the Sequester, but known since 2010.
Each Federal employee will be required to take one day, unpaid, off due to the Sequester. Some layoffs in various areas will be made, but again, these will be over time. Fast fact: the unemployment rate for the public sector (Federal employees) is much lower than the private sector (those of us that work for private businesses). This will make things a little more "in line."
This Washington made crisis, and the other debt crises we continue to have, are due to both the President and Congress not having passed a budget since 2008. Amazingly, this Country has not one but three departments that oversee this Country's finances (the GAO, CBO and Office of Management and Budget), yet we haven't drawn up a budget? Just sayin.'
There has been a great deal of "fear-mongering", however, the Country will not collapse or see any major impacts from the Sequester since it is a ten year cut. There will continue to be more Washington created crises, as they have another debt ceiling increase to negotiate.
A personal note: all of this could be avoided if Washington would simply pass a budget. They refuse to do so. It's childish!