The word this time is "sequester" which used to have something to do with keeping one group separate from others. In today's Washington it is the name for the various predicted catastrophes which will occur if the Congress doesn't do something about cutting the federal budget deficit.
Do we expect Congress to balance the budget? Of course not. No one thinks that's possible. Just trim it some.
In general Republicans want to do this by cutting spending, though many of them wince at, say, the thought of a battleship sitting idle. What they absolutely don't want to do is raise taxes, especially on rich people.
Democrats tend to talk about both raising taxes and cutting spending. Military spending--that battleship--is a favorite target. The spending they care about most? Probably entitlement programs--medicare, medicare, social security, veterans benefits--things like that that help people. Tax raises? Sure. They'd start with the rich.
No, it's not all clear to me either. Maybe Congress can figure it out. If you do, please let me know. Nobody said it was going to be easy, the old saying goes. Nobody was right.