Lang, played by the inimitable but badly imitated Mr. T, is pummeling Rocky when the “Italian Stallion” does what he does best: takes punches.
“You ain’t so bad. You ain’t so bad,” Rocky shouts at the ferocious Lang after every explosive punch.
So it goes for the ferocious sequestration, the $85 billion in automatic budget cuts born through Congress’ inability to get the federal fiscal house in order.
As the Washington Post observed in late June, “Sequestration did hit, on March 1 … But it has not produced what the Obama administration predicted: widespread breakdowns in crucial government services.”
Case in point, the Department of Defense’s fearsome furloughs.
When sequestration was first announced, DOD was looking at some $50 billion in budget cuts and the possibility of issuing 22 furlough days to some 630,000 of the agency’s approximately 800,000 employees.
DOD’s share of this fiscal year’s budget cuts dropped to $37 billion, thanks to continuing resolutions, the fact that Defense is one of the few agencies with a fiscal budget in place, and easing by Congress and the president of a Budget Control Act that was supposed to be merciless with its ax.