Welcome to the Sequestration New Year, which is not a real holiday. This is the day that automatic budget cuts go into effect, which is the result of a dysfunctional government and a slew of Republicans and Democrats who are more interested in making political points than creating fiscal stability.
This "new year" does not attract the kind of joyful celebrations we see at New York's Times Square on New Year's Eve. It's more of a day of despair for federal workers facing unpaid furloughs or, worse yet, unemployment.
To Congress and the president, none of this appears to be a big deal. In the days leading up to this political train wreck, Congress took a nine-day vacation and President Obama played a round of golf with Tiger Woods.
Pundits, economists, members of Congress and the Obama administration have come up with two predictions on what the federal budget cuts will do. The first is that it really won't do that much, and that $85 billion in a $3.6 trillion budget is little more than loose change. The second prediction is that sequestration will be painful to many people, especially civilian employees of the Department of Defense.
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