A very important point is being almost entirely overlooked in the sequestration debate: sequestration wouldn’t actually cut spending. As I’ve pointed out before, a cut is when spending goes down. Under sequestration, projected spending increases would merely be a little smaller. Federal spending is set to go up every year through at least 2021, sequestration or not.
It says a lot about the power of political inertia that something as inconsequential as sequestration generates months of dire headlines and heated debate. This is not a cause for optimism. If you prefer a slightly sunnier view, read Peter Suderman’s insightful Hit & Run post (from which I also poached the above chart).