Editorial: Sequestration: What will happen?

December 16, 2012

Unless the White House and House Republicans strike a long-term budget deal in the next two weeks, across-the-board budget cuts of between 8 and 10 percent will cascade across government beginning Jan. 2.

Then what?

Incredibly, no one knows.

That is because, until this month, the White House actively suppressed agencies’ efforts to plan for the event on the optimistic assertion that a deal will be struck in time and sequestration will never come to pass.

It’s widely recognized that sequestration will be ugly — about $109 billion will be arbitrarily sliced out of discretionary programs, a flat 9.4 percent across most defense accounts and 8.2 percent across most nondefense programs.

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