Sequestered: How Much Is $85 Billion Anyway?
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The Fiscal Times
March 1, 2013

At midnight tonight, $85 billion in automatic spending cuts through sequestration will begin to cut the defense department budget and reduce domestic spending. Lawmakers from both parties have sounded alarms over what the cuts may do to the economy, with Democrats warning of the dire consequences of furloughs and Republicans worried about cuts to defense and national security. 

Though $85 billion is a ton of money when taken alone, the sequester cuts only make up 2.4 percent of the $3.6 trillion the U.S. is expected to spend throughout the rest of the fiscal year, according to Reuters. However, some of the largest chunks of the federal budget are exempt from the sequester, including Medicare, Social Security and interest on our debt.

So how much is $85 billion, really? To put it in perspective, here are eight things that equal the cost of sequestration (source: American Action Forum).

SLIDE SHOW:  Sequestered: How Much Is $85 Billion Anyway?

Washington Correspondent Brianna Ehley, based in D.C., covers Congress, government agencies and spending issues, health care, and tax and economic policy for The Fiscal Times.