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Five things you need to know about the sequester

What's the deal with sequestration?
Exapnd to see the impact of sequestration. Photo: AFSC

The sequester splits spending cuts 50-50 between defense and non-defense programs.

It's due to go into effect this Friday, March 1, if Congress doesn’t reach a compromise first.

Non-defense programs already get a smaller piece of the pie.

Defense programs take up well over 50 percent of the discretionary budget:

Video: AFSC/Debbie Southorn

The sequester’s bite will have a greater impact on the smaller pieces.

Non-defense programs just went through a round of cuts in 2010–12.

More cuts to nutrition programs for women and children, Head Start programs, and housing assistance will devastate communities that are already underfunded. (Expand the infographic above to see how.)


The Pentagon budget has more than doubled since 1998.

It is full of waste (like the F-35, the "plane that ate the national budget"), and can easily sustain cuts. In fact, the Pentagon had $100 billion leftover from last year’s budget that it didn't manage to spend!

The sequester is not a crisis for the Pentagon:

Video: FCNL

Our message—to invest in people, not the Pentagon—is gaining some traction.

The sequester represents the first cuts to the Pentagon budget in over a decade.

Through March 1 and beyond, we’re reinforcing this message on Capitol Hill and in lawmakers’ inboxes—and in your local newspapers and communities. Sign up for our Wage Peace list to get updates and action alerts by email.

Action kit: Invest in people, not the Pentagon

This is a kit for community groups, Quaker meetings, faith communities, students, and anyone else who is ready to work in this crucial moment to make sure that vital social programs are preserved and that deep cuts to Pentagon spending are made. 

The plane that ate the national budget
F-35, the poster child of Pentagon waste The F-35 is the most expensive weapons system ever and a...
Sequestration Infographic
Use this infographic to reach out to your social media community! Sources include: AFSC Invest...