According to the Congressional Budget Office, the $85 billion in sequestration spending cuts translates into $44 billion reduction in actual federal outlays for 2013. The following chart puts that figure in perspective.
To balance the budget this year, the reduction in outlays would have to be almost 20 times larger.
One might argue that it isn’t fair to compare the cuts to total spending because sequestration barely touches entitlement spending, which is the budget’s 800-lb gorilla. I acknowledge that sequestration isn’t the ideal for cutting spending. So by all means, let’s target the whole ball of wax and dramatically increase the amount to be cut.