Sequestration ‘Slow-Motion Accident’

Photograph by Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg

Repairs are made to the USS Bulkeley as it is docked at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Norfolk, Virginia, on Feb. 28, 2013.

As President Barack Obama gathers leaders of both parties of both houses of Congress today at the White House, before the near-midnight point at which the White House will have to order an across-the-board sequestration of discretionary spending, a former White House aide says an “accident in slow motion’ is about to start.

Cuts in Defense and other discretionary pending won’t be felt immediately, past advisers say.

Melody Barnes, former domestic policy adviser for the Obama administration, said today on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that the cuts will play out more like a “slow-moving accident.”

”This is going to be a slow-rolling deal,” David Axelrod, former White House adviser and campaign strategist for Obama, said on the morning program with Barnes.

Some communities will see an impact, said Axelrod, who also is a political contributor for MSNBC now, but most communities won’t feel it. That’s a more measured prediction than what the administration has been making about the severity of the budget cuts. The public, Axelrod added, is suffering some “fatigue” over Washington’s budget battles.

And many people, he said, have “tuned out.”

Bloomberg’s Todd Shields and Lorraine Woellert report today on cuts that won’t be “immediately apparent.”

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