It will force the govt to actually spend less, and thats always a good thing.
I disagree with this. The only mechanism we as a people have to invest in ourselves on a large scale is through government action. Businesses borrow to invest in themselves all the time and it's recognized as a good thing when done well. Unlike businesses who measure the value of a project in terms of dollar returns, government has to mesaure the value in terms of economic and social return, but that's not impossible. Should the government invest in early childhood education when the proven return is 13 to 1? Sure. No business would pass up that payback. Roads, bridges, electrical infrastructure? Absolutely. Even military spending pays back by providing training, driving technology advances, etc even if it is lower than some other investments. Failure to invest in ourselves in never a good thing.
If those numbers are correct, that means that every dept and agancy in the govt will simply have to trim some fat.
But some of those agencies have been trimming for years and are already under resourced. On the military side, they can't decide to make one less fighter and allocate that $100,000,000 to veterans' care because that's not how sequestration works. Everyone takes the hit evenly. When 5% of the people directly or indirectly employed by the government end up unemployed, you need to increase social spending on things like unemployement, but the budget just got cut instead. Sequestration will end up costing the government more revenue due to reduced economic activity and increased social benefits than it will save on paper.
Yes, there will be some adjustments made, and yes there will be some short term pain, but it wont be forever and it wont be fatal to the US or its citizens.
By short term pain, do you mean hundreds of thousands of job losses? For the millions who keep their jobs, it means higher prices and longer waits in lines for government services. Maybe that is short term pain. For those who lose their jobs, they might not use different terms. They will take your tax dollars in unemployment checks though.