The Budget Control Act of 2011, the dreaded sequester bill, limits discretionary (ex war and other emergency accounts) spending to $1.043 trillion in fiscal 2012, $1.047 trillion in 2013 and $1.066 trillion in 2014. By the way, discretionary spending in fiscal 2011 was $1.06 trillion.
Here's the Budget Control Act. Page 43 shows the limits in spending. You can find fiscal 2011 discretionary spending in CBO's Budget and Economic Outlook, January 2012, Table 3-5, but subtract the Iraq/Afghanistan spending to arrive at the $1.06 trillion in discretionary spending subject to the Budget Control Act.
So where the heck are these cuts? 750,000 people losing their jobs. Head Start closing down. Teachers eating cat food, etc.
The cut is a cut to prior budget requests. That is, in prior fiscal years, there was a request for higher spending this year. There is a cut from the budget request, but not a cut from last year's amount. In essence, the federal government isn't getting a raise in its allowance, so is claiming it is suffering from a cut.
Now since the federal government was able to host White House Tours on $1 trillion last year, why is it unable to host White House Tours on $1 trillion this year.?