The cuts are split approximately evenly between
defense and non-defense categories, with the
latter including both discretionary (i.e.,
Cabinets and Agencies) and mandatory spending
cuts including Medicare. Most Medicare spending
would be reduced by approximately 2% per year
versus planned levels. Social Security is not in
the scope of the sequester.
Over the 2013-2021 period, the sequester would
reduce planned spending by $1.0 trillion with
interest savings of approximately $170 billion,
for a total of nearly $1.2 trillion in debt
reduction or avoidance. The blunt nature of the
cuts has been criticized, with some favoring
more tailored cuts and others arguing for
postponement while the economy improves.
“The impact of sequestration cannot be
underestimated because at the very time many of
our passengers are contemplating their next
business trip or family vacation, our pilots are
looking at a future in which they will have no
other choice than to leave those passengers
stranded at the gate,” said Capt. Sean Cassidy,
ALPA’s first vice president, at the news
conference, which included Rep. James Moran
(D-Va.), Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.), and Rep.
Gerry Connolly (D-Va.).