$44 Billion, $44 Billion, $44 Billion

A few days ago, I posted that while you’re going to see the FY 2013 sequestration number as $85 billion, don’t believe that because, according to the Congressional Budget Office, it’s really only $44 billion that would get cut this year with the rest in future years (if the sequester went on that long, which of course it won’t).

Interesting case in point.  On the front page of the WSJ weekend edition, they refer to the mythical $85 billion.  But if you go to the bottom of the fold on page A4, there is a box with teeny-tiny print that answers your sequester questions.  And there, for those who have persevered, it says “actual outlays of government dollars would fall by about $44 billion during this period [FY 2013], with the rest of the decline occurring later, according to the Congressional Budget Office.  This is because outlays often lag the budget by months or years.”  Ta da!

Obviously the smaller the sequester this year, the smaller the impact it will have both on the government’s ability to function and our overall economy.  We all need to know the real number.