U.S. budget cuts more blip than bomb

White House press secretary Jay Carney

White House press secretary Jay Carney looks down as he speaks to reporters about the so-called "sequester" at the White House in Washington February 28, 2013. Positions hardened on Wednesday between the U.S. President and Republican congressional leaders over the budget crisis even as they arranged to hold last-ditch talks to prevent harsh automatic spending cuts beginning this week. Looking resigned to the $85 billion in "sequestration" cuts starting on Friday, government agencies began reducing costs and spelling out to employees how furloughs will work. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque