With less than four weeks remaining before a March 1 deadline and an ideological budget divide deeper than ever, automatic across-the-board budget cuts — known in Washington as sequestration — may be an idea whose time has finally come. But don’t expect anyone to be happy about it. When Senator Lindsey Graham said, “I’m ashamed of the Congress,” his disappointment was genuine.
But when the cuts arrive, expect cynical finger-pointing all around. The pain of sequestration was intended to force a budget agreement. That deal never happened, but the harsh reality of honest spending reductions will surely open some eyes. That alone may be a silver lining that makes the whole exercise worthwhile.