After Congress approved and President Obama subsequently signed into law the Budget Control Act of 2011 — complete with the provision that automatic spending cuts that came to be known as sequestration would kick in on March 1st, 2013 if the so-called “super commitee” failed to come up with more specific deficit reduction measures — we were treated to all kinds of warnings about how absolutely necessary it was that Congress learn to cooperate, because sequestration would be beyond devastating. Teachers and firefighters would start receiving pink slips; TSA lines at airports would grow to prohibitive lengths; the White House would have to cancel tours; federal workers numbering in the millions were getting laid off; lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

Yeah… not according to an audit from the Government Accountability Office:

Only one employee in the entire federal government lost a job due to sequestration, according to a government audit that found the only permanent cut came at the U.S. Parole Commission, which eliminated one position. …

“Despite relentless warnings about the dire consequences of sequestration’s budget cuts, it appears sequestration resulted in only one layoff,” he said. “While that’s good news for federal employees and other workers, it is devastating to the credibility of Washington politicians and administration officials who spent months — and millions of dollars — engaging in a coordinated multi-agency cabinet-level public relations campaign to scare the American people.” …

Seven departments or agencies did furlough employees, but even that was less than a third of government agencies and departments surveyed by the GAO. Instead, those 15 departments and agencies that didn’t furlough employees ended up using leftover savings or cutting other programs. …

According to the GAO, nearly every agency or department affected by sequestration canceled or limited bonuses, cut travel and training, and limited overtime.

So, in short, sequestration accomplished exactly what it was supposed to — and not nearly enough of it at that, despite politicians pushing the myth that we cannot possibly function without a gargantuan, sprawling, ever-growing federal government to create jobs and do things for us.