I'm not a complete nerd, but I long ago decided not to be scared of numbers, so I looked at the 394-page sequester report. The report is actually pretty simple-- it lists federal agencies and how much their budgets are going to be cut, like this:
cut levels are 2% for some special favored programs (like Medicare),
7.6%, 8.2%, and 9.4% (mostly for defense programs). Some lucky programs
have no cuts, like Social Security and Medicaid. The overall savings from these cuts are just $1.2 trillion over 10 years, that is only $120 billion a year or one-tenth of our current deficit.
The cuts and the which functions would be affected were determined
by the debt ceiling deal that passed over a year ago. The Congress people who passed this legislation probably know what they voted for,
and could probably put together this report, but they hoped to embarrass
Obama and pin the cuts on him. That's a pretty weak ploy. Personally, I'm glad
the debt ceiling deal had teeth. Finally a bit of fiscal sanity.
complaining about this had better make a damned good argument against these cuts and offer a better alternative.
One additional reflection: It takes 220 pages to list all the federal agencies and bureaus, though I fear that maybe even this listing isn't all the federal bureaus. This makes me wonder if the federal government is trying to do too much. However, I didn't see obviously ludicrous agencies. Maybe ending non-ludicrous agencies is part of budget sanity too.