“Sudden, Harsh, Arbitrary’ Sequster Only 1.2 Percent of 2013 Spending

In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama described the upcoming sequestration cuts as “sudden, harsh, arbitrary cuts,” claiming they would “devastate” important government functions and cost “hundreds of thousands of jobs.”

However, according to Congressional Budget Office figures, the cuts amount to only 1.2 percent of 2013 spending, which is enough to keep the government running for about 4.5 days.

“These sudden, harsh, arbitrary cuts would jeopardize our military readiness.  They’d devastate priorities like education, and energy, and medical research.  They would certainly slow our recovery, and cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs,” Obama said on Tuesday.

However, in its latest budget projections, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) explains that the sequester, a package of automatic spending reductions, would amount to only $44 billion in cuts in 2013, a mere 1.2 percent of total spending.

“By CBO’s estimate, budgetary resources for defense (other than spending for military personnel) will be cut by around 8 percent across the board, and nondefense funding that is subject to the automatic reductions will be cut by between 5 percent and 6 percent,” states the CBO.

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