The era of austerity may have arrived.
President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans are dug in on the sequester, and there are no signs of a quick fix to the $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts that both sides say they disdain.
That could certainly change after a few bad months of economic numbers or a public outcry. But until average Americans feel the cuts, neither side looks willing to budge on the key issue of revenues without some game-changing factor. And neither party is inclined to risk a government shutdown on sequester politics.
"I don't think anyone quite understands how the sequester is really going to work," House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) conceded in an interview aired Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."