a comprehensive "grand bargain" agreement on taxes and spending
unlikely to succeed in the lame duck session, there is a strong possibility
that sequestration will commence on January 2, argue experts David W. Barno,
Nora Bensahel, Joel Smith and Jacob Stokes in Countdown to Sequestration: Why American Leaders Could
Jump Off the Fiscal Cliff, released today by the Center for a New
American Security (CNAS).
three possible scenarios to address the "fiscal cliff" - i.e., the
broad set of tax and spending measures ranging from sequestration to expiration
of the Bush-era tax cuts scheduled to kick in by the end of the year - the
authors conclude that the fate of sequestration depends on prospects for a
broader resolution of the fiscal cliff, where the total dollars at stake are
more than nine times larger than the defense sequestration cuts. Lawmakers from
both parties might see going off the cliff as an indirect way to reach a
broader consensus in 2013 about balancing the nation's revenues and expenditures.
to the authors, the prospect of sequestration is one of the most critical and
immediate defense issues facing the nation, and they urge U.S. defense
officials and the broader defense community to prepare for it. They warn that
tremendous uncertainty about the final 2013 defense budget will continue as
Congress and the president seek a comprehensive deal on the wide range of
fiscal cliff policies.
for a New American Security (CNAS) is an independent
and nonpartisan research institution that develops strong, pragmatic and
principled national security and defense policies. CNAS leads efforts to help
inform and prepare the national security leaders of today and tomorrow.