Rich Galen

You might have noticed that the House, the Senate and the President are so worried about this looming March 1 deadline that they are - all 536 of them - on vacation.

If the sequester had kicked in on January 1, it would have called for automatic cuts in the vicinity of $85 billion. With sequestration delayed until March 1, according to the Library of Congress, the automatic cuts will be $24 billion less - $61 billion although other sources maintain they have to cut the full amount.

That's a lot of money. But to put it into context, total federal spending requested in the Obama budget for fiscal year (FY) 2013 is $2.9 trillion.

$61 billion is about two percent of $2.9 trillion. That's it. Two percent.

Whatever the total, they don't have to cut the whole amount on March 1. They have to spend that much less by September 30.

If you or I made $50,000 per year, two percent of that would be $1,000 - or $19.23 per week. We could do that.

Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program and Social Security, are among the dozens of programs that are exempt from sequestration cuts.

Here's what we know: The Congress and the President are incapable of cutting anything from any program, ever. If the only way to reduce spending is by instituting automatic cuts, then I am for allowing the sequester to take effect and see what happens.

If the United States doesn't fall off the face of the Rand-McNally map then maybe the House, the Senate and the President should pass another law automatically cutting more spending for the next fiscal year.

Then they should all go back on vacation.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at