At $85 billion, the cuts amount to a sliver of the more than $3 trillion annual federal budget. They’re an even tinier speck of America’s $16 trillion economy.
Still, with impacts measured in billions of dollars, the sequester is not trivial. The cuts could cost 750,000 jobs in 2013 and reduce GDP by more than half a percentage point, according to the Congressional Budget Office. This estimate largely jibes with the prognostications of several private-sector forecasters.