The automatic cuts were mandated by law after the Super Committee failed to institute cuts after raising the debt ceiling to avoid defaulting and include automatic spending cuts to domestic and defense programs across the board, with little discretion as to where the cuts are instituted.
“The whole point of this is that it’s supposed to be so mindless and stupid that everyone finds it unacceptable,” explained Bob Greenstein, the executive director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
The cuts would kick in at the start of next year unless Congress acts.
“The only thing Congress would need to do to prevent these big, dumb cuts that no one wants is to agree on an equivalently-sized deficit reduction package they’d prefer of smarter cuts,” said Ezra Klein, guest host of The Ed Show on Friday. “But thus far because they’re Congress and they’re terrible at their jobs that has not happened.”