Everybody thought the Super Committee was going to come up with some ways to cut spending without as much pain. The committee failed miserably, possibly due to the fact that they never met, as far as I could tell.
Leon Panetta called sequestration "lesgilative madness." He said it took the form of hard cuts that nobody wanted.
50% of the cuts are to come from the military and the rest are domestic cuts, such as national parks, federal courts, the FBI, food inspection and housing aid. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid have dodged the bullet, so far, no thanks to the Republicans.
A bunch of the Defense cuts will be to furlough civilian employees, which will affect my son-in-law starting in April. He will be reduced to a four day work week until further notice, which amounts to, I think, about 10% pay cut. (Don't take my word for it. I read it on the internet, where everything is true, right?)
It's all hogwash, of course. Political life has become an endless series of deadlines that mean very little. In real life, people have become so used to the posing, posturing, grandstanding and dire predictions, that we just go about our businesses and, eventually the crisis passes. Or not. Either way, we have very little say in the matter.
It seems this has become an "us vs them" situation. "Us", being the "little" people outside of Washington, and "Them" being The House, Senate and President. The gulf between the two groups widens every day.
Remember, the situation is so dire, the Congress has decided they just can' t face it. They took a long weekend, and went home yesterday, where they will hide from their constituents until Monday.