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5 Ways Obama Can Defuse a Fiscal Cliff Stalemate


These five steps are a mixed proposition for Obama -- they buy some additional time to reach a deal, but they also remove many of the economic pressures that would force a compromise.

Soldiers Follow Orders, and the Pentagon Hasn't Gotten Them Yet

It's not like 2013 starts and the Defense budget is instantly dragged in front of a firing squad. The government can delay the impact of sequestration just by taking some time to pinpoint possible cuts, said Todd Harrison, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

First, the White House OMB sends the Pentagon a memo ordering the 10% reduction. That would happen around Jan. 2. Then the military's accountants toy with their spreadsheets to decide where to trim. This exercise should take long enough that any actual cuts couldn't be implemented until February or early March.

"It really won't be until the second-half of the fiscal year [April] that we see the real impact of this, because DoD hasn't done detailed planning yet, and they can't do it any faster," Harrison said. "Don't expect the apocalypse that has been predicted. You will be disappointed."

Editor's Note: This article by Josh Boak originally appeared on The Fiscal Times.

For more from The Fiscal Times:

Black Friday: Wal-Mart Faces a Triple Whammy

4 Ways Retirees Can Survive the Fiscal Cliff

11 Foods You Can't Buy Anywhere Anymore

Follow The Fiscal Times on Twitter @TheFiscalTimes.
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