The Budget Showdown


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President Obama ordered the start of $85 billion in government spending cuts on March 1, beginning a potentially decade-long wave of belt-tightening that risks curbing U.S. economic growth this year. The across-the-board cuts, known as sequestration, were part of a 2011 deficit-reduction agreement and were intended to be so onerous that Congress and the president wouldn’t let them occur. Instead, Democrats and Republicans deadlocked on an alternative.

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