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Pick your sequester scenario

tea leaves

Can you read the tea leaves on sequestration? (Photo by Cyron via Flickr under Creative Commons license.)

Is the sequester a certainty? Legislators and agency leaders alike are now saying the March 1 cuts will likely take effect. But former Government Accountability Office executive Paul Posner told the Federal Times this week that "the full sequester is only one of 20 potential scenarios."

Posner, who was GAO's director of Federal Budget and Intergovernmental Relations and now heads George Mason University's Master's in Public Administration program, told FCW on Feb. 5 that a "short sequester" seems probable, but there is still "considerable uncertainty surrounding the outcome."

Name a solution

Full sequester? Another extension? Call the whole thing off? Let us know in the comments what you think should be done.

The March 1 cuts are relatively small compared to past sequesters, Posner said, noting that cuts of 25 percent were threatened in a 1990 sequester that prompted a bipartisan grand bargain. And this time, he said, is appears that most everyone "dislikes the alternatives to sequester even more than they dislike the sequester."

However, a budget deal to extend the continuing resolution that expires March 27 could roll back some or all of the sequester, Posner said. And there could be legislation that preserves the overall cuts, but gives agencies more flexibility in how to apply them.

Those hoping for an expert prediction, however, are out of luck: "I would not bet on any outcome at this point," Posner said.

Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Feb 06, 2013 at 12:10 PM


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Reader comments

Wed, Feb 20, 2013 still working?

its easy to say, go ahead do it. but would you say the same if your income was being cut or removed? it is a big deal for those who are ordinary middle income federal goverment employees. to lose so much income and still be able to pay the bills wil be impossible for some. we can all agree that there needs to be serious spending cuts and permanent ones. but pehaps a more surgical precision in cutting needs to be done instread of this hatchet chop across the necks of hard working people.....i see that political appontees will be exempt..hhmmmm.

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 amajorpain Virginia

Let us NOT get off topic. This is still a simple matter. 1- The government extract too much from the private sector. 2- The mucked up government spends much more than it extracts from the private. 3- The government is a voracious beast and is attracting way more attention than it deserves. 4- The government neglects its primary obligation: Serve We The People. The solution is equally simple: 1- Cut government in half and then cut it half again. 2- We The People would have a lot less government to wrangle and keep under control. PS: The state governments are too big AND additionally the general government forgets it did not create itself. The states created the general government yet the states have come to rely on the ever-ineffectual general government? ...because it is too big! CUT! CUT! CUT!

Thu, Feb 7, 2013 Retired Soldier

Let it happen and get on with Life. Everyone is making a Mountain out of a Mole Hill. We spend too, too much $$ on Defense Contractors (Large and Small !!!!)fighting over who has the most influence.

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