In the context of the US Congress, sequester is defined as an act of lewd acrobats involving a senator, a underage prostitute, a tube of KY-Jelly, and a squid.
OK, you got me, I might have just made up that last bit.
So, to prevent sequestration from becoming a way for politicians to carry out personal vendettas against various political targets (both by the left and the right), the money is supposed to be withheld from every government agency equally. That is, every government agency, program, and project gets the same percentage of its projected budget withheld to produce an “across the board” total spending cut in order to make the federal budget for that year meet the limits set by congress in the Budget Resolution.
In other words, if you force the government into sequestration in order to stick it to the other guys, you automatically screw yourself too.
There is very little flexibility in sequestration because the process isn’t supposed to be used.
Sequestration is supposed to be the nuclear option, the option with such catastrophic consequences that anything else is preferable – including sitting down at the table with your political opposition and doing your goddamned job.
Using Sequestration to cut government spending is exactly like slamming into a wall and depending on your car’s airbag so that you don’t have to fix the brakes.
It’s stupid and dangerous and as I’ve said, exactly like cutting off your own nose.
Go read the whole thing; a genuinely clear, angry, and (yet) amusing look at this clusterfk.