In less than a week, consumers will take a ride on a roller coaster courtesy of the sequester.
Inaction in Washington means automatic cuts to the federal budget will begin on March 1.
Some lawmakers view the one-trillion dollar plus reduction as a positive first step toward balancing the budget.
But consumers will be among the first to experience the hardship.
Shoppers won't find a package of sequester on a store shelf, but will notice it in the beef and poultry aisle and feel it at the register.
With some 9,900 USDA workers and food and safety inspectors on furlough, slaughterhouses will come to a grinding halt. Prices of meat and chicken will rise as supplies dwindle.
"There's no ceiling on what you buy now,” stated consumer Dan Nedeloff. “Everything is going up and up."
Along with higher prices, expect long delays and disruptions at airports. A $600 million cut to the Federal Aviation Administration will send thousands of air traffic controllers packing for home. In all, about 4,000 FAA workers will be furloughed.
Salesman Terry Huffman flies weekly to visit his customers across the country.
"It's absolutely disgusting to a citizen that we can't get things done in Congress,” believes salesman Terry Huffman. “It's nothing but political 'who-ha."
About 70,000 kids will go without early childhood education. A 420 million dollar reduction at Head Start means laying off 14,000 teachers and other school employees.
What kind of toll will the sequester exact on the economy? We put that question to Economics and Finance Professor Steven Isberg.
“The sequester is probably a little bit more trumped up in terms of its impact than most people would think," Associate Professor at the University of Baltimore Steven Isberg commented.
Isberg believes the economy can hold its own in the short run and he's not alone.
The full sting of sequester won't be felt immediately, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The CBO estimates that only half of the $85 billion in cuts this year will have a negative effect on the economy.
We have all heard how broken Washington is, well one only needs to review the sequester's timeline to see the truth in that.
Wednesday we will take you aboard the sequester timeline.