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FACT CHECK: Sequestration would destroy the United States’ military strength: The Department of Defense already must trim $487 billion under the Budget Control Act, the debt ceiling compromise reached last summer. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in May that his department is prepared to handle those reductions with a plan that “meets not only the goal of savings but also, more importantly, protects a strong national defense for this country.”
But deeper cuts are coming if Congress does not find an alternative. The Budget Control Act called for $2.1 trillion in total deficit reductions between 2012 and 2021. Most of those cuts, $1.2 trillion, were unspecified, and a 12-member congressional “supercommittee” was charged with determining where the money would come from.
To promote bipartisan compromise, lawmakers included in the Budget Control Act a list of default cuts, known as sequesters, to be implemented if the supercommittee failed to reach an agreement. The supercomittee did fail, and the default cuts include another $500 billion from defense.
Sequestration is part of what lawmakers often refer to as the “fiscal cliff” a combination of spending cuts and tax increases that will take effect next year, unless the two parties reach a deal, and which could push the country back into a recession. A deal is not expected before Election Day. by Callum Borchers, Globe... 10/23/2012 1:29:49 AM