Less than two months ago Washington escaped from the doomsday scenario of the looming “fiscal cliff.” Now it faces the threat of the less colorfully named “sequester” or “sequestration,” depending on who’s talking about it, but somehow the dire warnings of impending disaster are beginning to sound unconvincing.

Certainly there is reason for some concern, as the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts that are set to take effect on March 1 are going to put a dent in the budgets of practically every federal government agency, as well as many state and local budgets. The cuts may lead to layoffs and furloughs of federal workers, as President Obama and his cabinet have been warning.

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