Part of the problem could be the lexicon. Who knows what “sequester” means? That, despite valiant efforts by the media to explain it. It’s actually a verb that means to isolate or cut. The noun form is “sequestration,” but that’s even more awkward (an extra syllable, after all) and hardly fodder for water-cooler chat – unless, of course, it’s your job that’s possibly on the line, in which case you are keenly interested.
But unless you work in certain industries – such as defense, which is slated to take half of the cuts – it’s just the latest food fight in the dysfunction known as Washington politics. Fiscal crisis fatigue among the public appears to have set in. Just two months ago, Washington was on the edge of its seat over the “fiscal cliff,” the tax increases and spending cuts due to take effect on Jan. 1 as required by law, and aimed at setting the nation on a sounder fiscal path.
The sequester was due to take effect then, but in the last-minute agreement was delayed until March 1.