government-sequestration-dummiesRecent polls indicate that less than one in five Americans know what the heck “Sequestration” means; the ones that do seem to have a grasp on the concept don’t seem to be overly concerned about it. So why is every newscast split between “Papal Updates” and “Sequestration?”

It’s actually a fascinating game of “flinch” involving the different Chambers of Congress. So, if you’re like me and learning about this on the run, here’s a thumbnail storyline of key events that make Midnight tonight (March 1st) a pretty significant date.

August, 2011 – POTUS signs Budget Control Act; raises debt ceiling but calls for “Sequester” to kick in if a deficit reduction plan has not been submitted. The goal? A cool $1.2 TRILLION dollar reduction in debt by 2021…you know, you’d think something like this would have been front & center in the recent Presidential debates, but I digress.

November, 2011 – The committee (a “Super” committee, no less) announces they have no announcement.

December, 2011 – Congress doesn’t vote on a plan they don’t have. Merry Christmas.

January, 2012 – “Sequester” countdown officially begins. Nobody knows what the hell that means.

September 2012 – POTUS announces that Government will continue to be funded at 2012 levels thru Q1, 2013.

January, 2013 – “Fiscal Cliff” (a much catchier tagline than “Sequestration”) is averted, kinda….delays the “S-word” for 2 more months.

February, 2013 – POTUS signs “No Budget, No Pay;” sounds tougher than it really is ~ suspends enforcement of deficit ceiling again, witha  provision that effective May 18, Congress either approves budget cuts or their paychecks will be suspended.

March, 1st 2013 – Sequester officially begins.  Calls for $85B to be cut from 2013 budgets, equally split between Defense and Non-Defense. Entitlement Programs (Welfare, Medicare, SS) are spared. Good luck with all that.

April 15, 2013 – Now we really, really, really, mean it; if either Chamber of Congress fails to approve budget with the aforementioned $85B in cuts, their paychecks will be held in escrow for the year. Please, please, please let this happen, if only to see what happens next.

September, 2013 – Another year of paychecks on the line if the 2014 budget isn’t approved!

Call me skeptical, but now that I understand it….I’m still not buying it.

John “Whit” Whitaker is Founder of the HR Hardball™ movement. He’s going to sequester himself for 2 days this weekend to show his support for Congress. 

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