What is the sequester? - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

What is the sequester?

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

The sequester is a set of tax increases and spending cuts that will go into effect on Friday. That's unless Democrats and Republicans in Congress come to a compromise.

But this isn't the first time the government has faced this deadline. 

"We seem to have one cliff right after another," Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) said.

The government was in a similar predicament just two months ago. On January 1, billions of dollars in spending cuts and tax increases were set to occur. Instead, a new deadline was created.

"The fiscal cliff got pushed down the road. The can got kicked down the road; they came to an agreement on some legislation that pushed the date to March 1," UWSP Chief Economist Randy Cray said.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker says it's time for the president and Congress to balance the budget. He said it's something he's already had to do for Wisconsin.

"We had to do it.  We had to put up or shut up" Walker said.

Governor Walker spoke at the White House, with other governors from across the country.

"There are a series of difficult choices. My hope though is that we see something that's better than the arbitrary cuts that are being proposed, and something that doesn't cripple the economy at such a critical time," Walker told reporters.

Democrats say some type of compromise needs to be found.

"We need to have a reliable way to deal with our financial crisis beyond the one year time horizon," Baldwin told Newsline 9.

Economic experts say the deadline was created in hopes for a resolution.

"It was thought that if they would pass something so drastic, that it would force both sides to come up with a solution to the problem," Cray said.

But with just days left until the deadline, that hasn't happened yet. Economic experts say the effects of the sequester wouldn't be felt right away. Instead, they say it would be gradual over the next few years.  

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